De Bruin ex­pects Cur­rie Cup try fest asWP tackle Lions

The Sunday Independent - - SPORT -

IF IT’S dry and con­di­tions are good, ex­pect an­other Cur­rie Cup tryfest at El­lis Park this af­ter­noon.

Be­fore this week­end’s ac­tion got un­der­way on Fri­day, no less than 307 tries had been scored, and the Lions and West­ern Prov­ince, who clash from 2.30pm, are likely to add sig­nif­i­cantly to that num­ber.

As much as the de­fence gu­rus won’t like it, pow­er­ful tack­ling has pretty much gone out the win­dow in this year’s com­pe­ti­tion and even Lions boss Swys de Bruin is ex­pect­ing an­other high-scor­ing af­fair this af­ter­noon.

“I think there are go­ing to be a lot of tries again ... if the weather’s good,” said De Bruin in the build-up to the match.

“We’ve all seen how Prov­ince played at Lof­tus last week­end (scor­ing six tries against the Bulls) and we know how we want to play the game, so yes, it’s likely to be an­other big score.

“We also need to show the crowds we want to play some rugby.”

De Bruin has picked a young team for the match, with no less than seven men in the match­day-22 still el­i­gi­ble to play for the U-21 team, but he said he was fully back­ing them to have a go at a strong and for­mi­da­ble Prov­ince out­fit.

“I want the guys to throw the shack­les off and have a go, to play with no fear,” said De Bruin. “If there’s any fear there is tight­ness in the per­for­mance and I don’t want that. This is an­other chance for the guys to show me what they are ca­pa­ble of.

“I’ve al­ways said that if you’re good enough, age is no mat­ter. I have to play these young­sters.”

The rook­ies in the Lions team are loose-for­wards Len Massyn, Jo Hanko de Vil­liers, scrumhalf Marco Jansen van Vu­uren, lock Rhyno Herbst, loose for­ward Hacji­vah Day­i­mani, scrumhalf Bradley Thain and out­side back Jan-Louis la Grange.

Sit­ting in fifth place be­fore yes­ter­day’s match be­tween Gri­quas and the Pu­mas kicked off, the Lions are un­der some pres­sure to win their last two games to en­sure they make the play­offs.

Next week they’re up against the Chee­tahs at El­lis Park, so win­ning to­day will sig­nif­i­cantly take the pres­sure off them go­ing into that game.

Get­ting the bet­ter of Prov­ince though will not be easy.

The vis­i­tors edged the Bulls 46-45 at Lof­tus a week ago and are well po­si­tioned in sec­ond place on the log be­hind the Sharks.

Also, they have a good num­ber more play­ers with in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence in their side, among them Se­abelo Se­natla, Huw Jones, Ruhan Nel, Nizaam Carr, Bongi Mbonambi and JC Janse van Rens­burg.

And their crop of younger play­ers have also been around a lit­tle longer than their Lions coun­ter­parts; here one thinks of Damian Willemse, EW Viljoen, Robert du Preez, Cobus Wiese and JD Schick­er­ling, and on the bench the likes of Caylib Oosthuizen, Sikhum­buzo Not­she, Werner Kok and Craig Barry.

It prom­ises to be a hugely en­ter­tain­ing game; now it’s up to the weather gods to play along.

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