Super Rugby

Lions admit to conning Chiefs with late changes

Rudolf Straeuli (Gallo Images)
Rudolf Straeuli (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Lions have revealed that they deliberately made late changes to their starting team before facing the Chiefs in Hamilton last week.

Springbok duo Malcolm Marx and Elton Jantjies were initially named on the bench for the match but were added to the starting team shortly before kick-off.

Marx was his ever-impressive self in the No 2 jersey, while Jantjies starred at inside centre as the Lions claimed a 23-17 victory.

Lions CEO Rudolf Straeuli told Netwerk24 that it was always their plan to start with Marx and Jantjies.

"It was a tactical move to announce the team like that because we wanted the Chiefs to believe they were not going to play. With Malcolm on the bench, the Chiefs opted to rest some of their heavy forwards. With him in the starting team we could take them on at scrum time and it worked well. The foundation for our victory was laid up front," Straeuli said.

The Chiefs named a starting XV without All Blacks duo Brodie Retallick and Sam Cane.

The Lions will however be without Marx for this Friday's clash against the Crusaders in Christchurch as he'll be rested in line with SA Rugby's policy to rest Springboks during Super Rugby.

Jantjies could be back at flyhalf as Gianni Lombard has returned to South Africa with a knee injury.

The Lions' other option at pivot is to play Shaun Reynolds.

The men from Johannesburg will remain without head coach Swys de Bruin, who has returned home to South Africa due to stress. Conditioning coach Ivan van Rooyen has taken over the head coaching duties on an interim basis.

Friday’s clash is scheduled for 09:35 (SA time).

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