Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
2 minute read
29 Mar 2018
8:18 am

‘Acccountable’ Lions are ready to roar again

Rudolph Jacobs

Forwards coach Philip Lemmer says the team's wobble over the past few weeks has led to valuable, constructive introspection.

Malcolm Marx. (Photo by Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images)

The Lions have manned up to their recent lukewarm Super Rugby performances ahead of a tough assignment against the defending champions, the Crusaders, at Ellis Park on Sunday.

Forward coach Philip Lemmer said the team have collectively taken responsibility about their defensive lapses after going down to the Jaguares in Buenos Aires last weekend.

Before that, they also lost to the Blues and were pushed all the way by the Sunwolves.

“We are not pointing fingers at anybody, but there were a lot of disruptions around the breakdowns, so we’ll look at the video and pinpoint which guys were at fault,” said Lemmer.

“It’s been a tough couple of weeks, but the guys are happy to be back at home.”

Head coach Swys de Bruin will announce the team on Friday morning, but Lemmer said regular skipper Warren Whiteley was not ready to return after his knee injury three weeks ago.

“Unfortunately, ‘Wazza’ is still out. He is a massive leader in the team and crucial in our lineout contesting and securing our own ball. He is one of the key factors,” said Lemmer.

“But for the two weeks he hasn’t played, we’ve had 100% success in the lineouts, which just shows the value of Sous [Franco Mostert].”

Mostert is also captaining the side.

Experienced stalwarts like hooker Malcolm Marx and scrumhalf Ross Cronje are expected back, while a replacement will be named for injured wing Aphiwe Dyantyi.

Lemmer said last year’s final was long forgotten, but reiterated that the Crusaders have a history of performing well.

“These are the games you want to play, against the big guys.

“We know they are going to maul and they are always powerful in the set-pieces. They have the ability to create magic with the ball,” he said.

Prop Jacobie Adriaanse, who missed the trip to Argentina, said the players have had a good talk and know where they went wrong.

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