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    Scrums the key to final battle

    2016-08-04 11:25

    Brenden Nel - SuperSport

    Johannesburg - The Emirates Lions know one of the key factors to success in this weekend’s Vodacom Super Rugby final is the performance of their setpiece.

    According to the SuperSport website, as they prepare to face the Hurricanes in the Vodacom Super Rugby final on Saturday morning, Johan Ackermann’s side are particularly strong in the setpiece area, where the scrum has laid the platform for the win over the Highlanders in the semifinal and will again be a strong weapon in the final.

    And looking at the top New Zealand side, many critics feel that if there is a vulnerability, it could well be in the scrum where the Canes have not been at their strongest this season.

    The continuing debate about whether All Black hooker Dane Coles will be available is one thing, but the Lions’ front row have been some of the stars of Super Rugby this season and are pushing hard for higher honours. While the battles will be fought all over the park, having a strong scrum will be the first priority for a Lions pack looking to upset the favourites.

    The man at the centre of the battle, tighthead Julian Redelinghuys has been particularly impressive this season in the scrum, and holds the key to the Lions trying to get over the line against some daunting opposition.

    And he is pumped – excited beyond belief – at playing in his first Super Rugby final and particularly keen to make sure he comes out on the winning side.

    “We’re really looking forward to it,” he told journalists from New Zealand, “We know it may be more of a factor because it is likely to be wet, but we’ve played New Zealand teams in the rain and come out on top – like the Blues – so we are ready for what is coming. We don’t need to change anything, but rather to soak up the occasion and enjoy it.”

    Redelinghuys is a big believer in the brotherhood created at the Lions, and while he rates the Hurricanes, believes his side has what it takes to finish the job they started back in February.

    “We enjoy each other as a pack, and we help each other. You can see when things go right the amount of high fives in the team, and we work everyday to better ourselves and improve from the previous week. There is a great brotherhood among the guys and we know while we have done well, we’re still not where we want to be.

    “The Hurricanes have a good pack – you don’t get into a final if your set phases aren’t good. I rate them highly. We’re ready for a good big fight on Saturday and we know we need to work hard for each other to come out on top.”

    Redelinghuys says the New Zealand teams remind you how good they are because their conditioning is so good you can’t afford to stop for a minute in a game.

    “They are really fit, and that means you have to play for the full 80 minutes – you saw how the Highlanders scored tries at the end of the game. You can’t afford to drop you game or relax. The Crusaders may have had more All Blacks but they were just as strong as the Highlanders and what we are expecting this weekend. We know they will come with a big onslaught this weekend.”

    And while Redelinghuys has done enough to be noticed by the Springbok regulars, even he didn’t think the Lions would make the final when quizzed a few months back.

    But this time around the belief is different and the confidence has grown.

    And if Redelinghuys and his peers can give the Lions a solid setpiece to work from, they have part of the battle won.

    Read the story on SuperSport

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    Fixtures

    Saturday, 17 February 2018
    • Stormers v Jaguares, Cape Town 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
    Friday, 23 February 2018
    • Highlanders v Blues, Forsyth Barr Stadium 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:45
    Saturday, 24 February 2018
    • Sunwolves v Brumbies, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Chiefs, AMI Stadium 08:35
    • Waratahs v Stormers, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Lions v Jaguares, Emirates Airlines Park 15:05
    • Bulls v Hurricanes, Loftus Versfeld 17:15

    Results

    05 August 2017
    29 July 2017
    22 July 2017
    21 July 2017
    15 July 2017
    14 July 2017
    08 July 2017
    07 July 2017
    01 July 2017
    30 June 2017
    09 June 2017
    03 June 2017
    02 June 2017
    28 May 2017
    27 May 2017
    26 May 2017
    21 May 2017
    20 May 2017
    19 May 2017
    13 May 2017
    12 May 2017
    06 May 2017
    05 May 2017
    30 April 2017
    29 April 2017
    28 April 2017
    22 April 2017
    21 April 2017
    15 April 2017
    14 April 2017
    09 April 2017
    08 April 2017
    07 April 2017
    02 April 2017
    01 April 2017
    31 March 2017
    25 March 2017
    24 March 2017
    18 March 2017
    17 March 2017
    11 March 2017
    10 March 2017
    04 March 2017
    03 March 2017
    02 March 2017
    25 February 2017
    24 February 2017
    23 February 2017
    06 August 2016
    30 July 2016
    23 July 2016
    22 July 2016
    16 July 2016
    15 July 2016
    09 July 2016
    08 July 2016
    02 July 2016
    01 July 2016
    29 May 2016
    28 May 2016
    27 May 2016
    21 May 2016
    20 May 2016
    14 May 2016
    13 May 2016
    07 May 2016
    06 May 2016
    30 April 2016
    29 April 2016
    24 April 2016
    23 April 2016
    22 April 2016
    16 April 2016
    15 April 2016
    09 April 2016
    08 April 2016
    03 April 2016
    02 April 2016
    01 April 2016
    27 March 2016
    26 March 2016
    25 March 2016
    19 March 2016
    18 March 2016
    12 March 2016
    11 March 2016
    05 March 2016
    04 March 2016
    27 February 2016
    26 February 2016

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