Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
19 Apr 2014
12:00 am

Stormers’ Coetzee: We owe the Lions

Rudolph Jacobs

Ominous signs are staring the Lions in the face as they challenge the Stormers at Newlands today in a crucial derby game for both sides.

FILE PICTURE: Allister Coetzee. (Photo by Luke Walker/Gallo Images)

The Lions are coming off two losses – against the Crusaders and the Sharks – and desperately need an encouraging performance before their away leg starts in a fortnight.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann had to scramble this week after four injuries required a reshuffled backline, while he also changed his loose trio and front row.

“It could create an opportunity for the new guys coming in. We have been stuck on 16 points for some time now,” said Ackermann.

The rotation of scrumhalf Faf de Klerk raised some eyebrows, but the selection of two fetchers in Derick Minnie and Jaco Kriel could be a great move.

Then there is a first showing for wing Anthony Volmink, but one must emphasise this game could evolve into a kicking contest between Marnitz Boshoff and Demetri Catrakilis.

At this stage, the Stormers will take any win no matter how it is achieved, and in the Capetonians’ coach Allister Coetzee’s words, there is the underlying message that they owe their visitors one.

“We were poor at managing the Lions’ contestable kicking game at Ellis Park and our lineout also didn’t function well enough,” Coetzee said.

“It’s a different venue here at sea level, but we really have to ensure that our set-piece fires,” Coetzee added.

The Lions are on a sequence of winning two and losing two, a pattern throughout their eight matches, but a third consecutive loss could see their season unravel.

The Stormers have just played two games at Newlands, beating the Hurricanes for their solitary win, before losing to the Waratahs.

But at Newlands they are fancied slightly more.

Kick-off is at 5.05pm.