WP worry for the Lions

Cape Argus - - SPORT - JACQUES VAN DER WESTHUYZEN @jacq_west An­dries Coet­zee, Syl­vian Mahuza, Lionel Mapoe, Howard Mnisi, Court­nall Skosan, Shaun Reynolds, Dil­lon Smit, Hacji­vah Dayimani, Len Massyn, James Ven­ter, Marvin Orie (capt), Rhyno Herbst, Ja­co­bie Adriaanse, Corne Four

THE Lions face their big­gest test so far in the Cur­rie Cup when they host Western Prov­ince to­mor­row, with for­mer Capeto­nian, scrumhalf Nic Groom, sug­gest­ing the vis­i­tors to El­lis Park will be tough to beat.

Both teams are un­de­feated so far in the com­pe­ti­tion, with the Lions hav­ing won all three their games up to now, while Western Prov­ince are two-from-two.

Lions back-up scrumhalf, Groom, who played for many years un­der the guid­ance of WP boss John Dob­son, said this week the Lions were in for a big chal­lenge.

“Dobbo is a bril­liant coach and we shouldn’t be lured into think­ing their form now is the same as it was in Su­per Rugby,” said Groom, who is back in the se­lec­tion frame af­ter re­cov­er­ing from a wrist in­jury.

“He would have planned metic­u­lously for ev­ery game in the com­pe­ti­tion so they’ll be a tight-knit, de­ter­mined group com­ing here. Dobbo has that unique abil­ity to get the best out of his play­ers, so we’re in for a big chal­lenge.”

Groom added the Lions had to put to­gether an 80-minute per­for­mance this week­end. “There were some good signs in our last game … we played well in the first half (against the Chee­tahs), but it’s gen­er­ally been in patches. We need to string to­gether a full per­for­mance now.

“There are go­ing to be some big mo­ments this week­end … be it us hav­ing to up the tempo, make the right de­ci­sion, so we’re go­ing to have to take con­trol.

“Be­sides the Bulls game (of two weeks ago when the Lions just pipped their north­ern neigh­bours), we haven’t re­ally been tested, so we’re look­ing to be sharp in our de­tail this week, ac­cu­rate in ev­ery­thing we do.”

Re­gard­ing his re­turn to ac­tion in time to face his old team­mates, Groom said: “The most frus­trat­ing part about pick­ing up the in­jury when I did is that I was feel­ing in the best form phys­i­cally.

“It al­ways takes a while to get used to the dif­fer­ent struc­tures (at a new union), and I was just start­ing to un­der­stand the way and prin­ci­ples here, so in that sense it sucked a bit. But, at least I get to play some rugby be­fore the end of the year.”

Mean­while, Lions boss Ivan van Zyl has brought back Bok full­back An­dries Coet­zee for the match, with Syl­vian Mahuza shift­ing to the wing for the in­jured Ma­dosh Tambwe.

Kick-off is 3pm.

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