Super Rugby

Lions ready to confront Stormers at scrum time

Julian Redelinghuys (Gallo Images)
Julian Redelinghuys (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Lions will not shy away from a battle at scrum time during their clash against the Stormers at Ellis Park on Saturday.

That is the view of Lions scrum coach Julian Redelinghuys, who spoke to Netwerk24 after the team's training session in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The former Springbok prop was responding to comments from the Stormers camp where the Cape side's hooker Scarra Ntubeni said they would be targeting the Lions scrum this weekend.

"We've done our homework on the Lions. It (the scrum) is definitely an aspect of their game we'd like to target, but we don't want to get ahead of ourselves, because we've also spotted lots of good things in their game," Ntubeni said.

However, Redelinghuys said the Lions would not be backing down: "In this situation, you have one of two options - one is to run away and the other is to confront the challenge.

"We'll stand our ground, no matter how big the challenge."

The Lions conceded several scrum penalties in their 27-20 win over the Reds last weekend, with South African loosehead prop JP Smith giving Springbok tighthead Jannie du Plessis a hard time.

Redelinghuys added: "You have to remember that they (the Reds) are coached by Brad Thorn and he places great emphasis on a solid pack. They are therefore no slouches when it comes to scrummaging.

"With regards to scrummaging, the focus needs to be on all eight players working together as a unit. We may have been caught off-guard against the Reds at the scrums and weren't as focused as we should have been. But I back the players and I believe they will hit back with the right mindset and dedication."

The Stormers, on the other hand, will be eager to break their losing duck at Ellis Park - they haven't won there since a 22-19 triumph in 2015.

Since then, the Lions have notched three straight wins over their Cape rivals - 29-22 (2016), 52-31 (2018) and 41-22 (2019).

Saturday's clash is scheduled for 15:05, with both team line-ups to be confirmed on Thursday.

- Compiled by Herman Mostert