Lions optimistic ahead of Stormers clash

2012-06-29 07:45

Despite a difficult season, the Lions seem optimistic ahead of their Super Rugby clash against the Stormers on Saturday.

Lions captain Josh Strauss said they were all singing from the same hymn book despite the difficulties the Lions have faced recently.

These include the Super Rugby axe hanging over their heads and the suspension of John Mitchell.

Said Strauss: “This week has been fairly normal and the guys have been training well. The feeling in the camp is great and we are looking forward to the Stormers clash on Saturday. We have a tough task ahead of us.”

The Lions have made two front-row changes to the side that beat the Sharks 38-28 four weeks ago.

JC Janse van Rensburg starts ahead of CJ van der Linde, who will be subjected to a late fitness test while Jacobie Adriaanse will start in place of the injured Pat Cilliers at tighthead prop.

Interim coach Johan Ackermann was afforded a chance at continuity because of few injuries.

The Lions are rooted to the bottom of the Super Rugby log.

“It is good to know you’ve got the same loose trio, same locks, same nine and 10 and centres for a change. It keeps the continuity going,” the former Springbok lock added.

Strauss said they are looking to feed off the momentum gained from their surprise win over the Sharks at Coca-Cola Park.

The win came as a surprise for the Lions and a massive blow for the Sharks in the race for a playoff spot.

“We take great confidence out of a win like that, especially against a strong team like the Sharks, a team that is really a contender for the semis,” Strauss said.

“I think it was a brilliant game for us, especially looking back at the season that we’ve had injury and loss wise. It was a big boost for us.”

Teams:

Stormers:
15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Gerhard van den Heever, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Siya Kolisi, 7 Don Armand, 6 Tyrone Holmes, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Deon Carstens

Substitutes: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Quinn Roux, 19 Jebb Sinclair, 20 Louis Schrueder, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Bryan Habana

Lions:

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Butch James, 11 Anthonie Volminck, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Joshua Strauss (captain), 7 Grant Hattingh, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg

Substitutes: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 CJ van der Linde/Ruaan Dreyer, 18 Ruan Botha, 19 Jaco Kriel, 20 Michael Bondesio, 21 Waylon Murray, 22 Ruan Combrinck

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