Lions have a plan to weather storm


The Citizen (KZN) - - Front Page - Ru­dolph Ja­cobs

Capeto­ni­ans last got the bet­ter of the hosts at El­lis Park five years ago.

The Storm­ers will ar­rive at El­lis Park this af­ter­noon as the big favourites to record their third straight Super Rugby win, but the Lions have “a few plans” of their own, ac­cord­ing to cap­tain El­ton Jan­tjies.

The Lions pack had made a col­lec­tive de­ci­sion to be bet­ter than they were in their vic­tory over the Reds last week, Jan­tjies said ahead of the clash, but he felt they were deal­ing well with the pres­sure and he be­lieved the first 10 min­utes could de­cide who had the bet­ter mo­men­tum.

“We want to score tries. That’s our motto, but they are def­i­nitely go­ing to come with a plan,” the skip­per said.

“But we are def­i­nitely go­ing to try and pick that plan up in the first 20 min­utes and we’ll make our de­ci­sions af­ter that.”

The Capeto­ni­ans were aim­ing to over­come their poor away record, hav­ing last won at El­lis Park five years back, and they also needed to deal with the alti­tude fac­tor.

The vis­i­tors didn’t con­cede a point in their first two matches, how­ever, and they were likely to be ooz­ing with con­fi­dence.

“They have good mo­men­tum and won their first two games, while they have got Spring­boks who have gone through a lot of sce­nar­ios,” Jan­tjies con­ceded.

“So they have cer­tain strengths and we have cer­tain strengths, but for us it’s about ap­ply­ing it to their sys­tem and just en­joy­ing play­ing at home.”

Storm­ers coach John Dob­son did not be­lieve Willem Al­berts would be a ma­jor in­flu­ence on the fix­ture, as was widely be­lieved with the for­mer Spring­bok flank mak­ing his re­turn for the Lions, and the Storm­ers scrum could hold a big threat to the Lions, es­pe­cially if Jan­nie du Plessis strug­gled as much as he did last week.

A few Bok faces in the Storm­ers team were well known to Jan­tjies, how­ever, and he was con­fi­dent of their chances.

“Off the field we have a laugh to­gether but on the field it’s a dif­fer­ent ball-game,” he said.

“Its a lo­cal derby and the phys­i­cal­ity will be there, as will the high ex­pec­ta­tions, so when the op­por­tu­nity arises we will have to take it.

“We know they will give every­thing and we will bring our best.”

Kick-off: 3.05pm

Pic­tures: Gallo Im­ages

PIV­OTAL. Lions fly­half El­ton Jan­tjies (left) and his Storm­ers coun­ter­part Damian Willemse will need to have their kick­ing boots on when they meet in a Super Rugby derby at El­lis Park this af­ter­noon.

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