Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
5 Apr 2014
6:00 am

Lions out to buck history with win over the Crusaders

Rudolph Jacobs

The Lions' success in this year's competition is in sharp contrast to their overall record against the mighty Crusaders in Super Rugby.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann. Picture: Gallo Images

This year’s Lions team are a bunch of passionate players who are fired up by a burning desire to play for one another regardless of the colour of the jersey the opposition wear on the day.

And please don’t tell them to surrender, they simply don’t know the meaning of the word.

Especially at fortress Ellis Park.

While nobody is brave enough to suggest the Lions are play-off material, there is nobody predicting they are not capable of achieving that either.

As Lions coach Johan Ackermann said this week, while warning against the day the Crusaders come storming back, these are simply not a bunch of players you can put any constraints on.

“The Crusaders are a great attacking team, so we are expecting a challenging encounter,” said Ackermann.

“But we would like to build on our momentum in the competition, so if we could secure a victory, no matter how it comes, we will take it.

“If the weather plays along it could be a good game,” said Ackermann, a powerful lock himself for the Lions in the late Nineties.

The reality is the Lions have only secured one win over the Crusaders in eight years – a hard-fought penalty-based 9-3 victory in 2007.

Since then they have suffered four successive defeats against the Christchurch side, all by 10 points or more.

The scrums, in particular, will be one of the main battlegrounds as the teams currently top the list for scrums won, both boasting a 91% success rate.

If the Johannesburg team succeeds in toppling the Crusaders – after wins over the Blues and Reds – they will secure their third successive win against Australasian opposition this season.

Kick-off is at 5.05pm.