Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
31 May 2014
10:00 am

Lions comfortable at home

Rudolph Jacobs

The Lions will never be viewed as cannon-fodder when playing at Ellis Park.

FILE PICTURE: Lions coach Johan Ackermann. Picture: Lee Warren/Gallo Images.

It is something the Bulls have duly noticed this week ahead of their intriguing Super Rugby battle today.

However, it is teams with completely different mindsets who will clash in their traditional Jukskei derby.

The Lions haven’t tasted a win since round six and are keen to stay off the bottom end of the table, while the Bulls are sniffing another play-off opportunity but can’t afford to lose any more games or drop points.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann said this week his team are expecting a total onslaught from the men in blue as they need to keep their slim play-off chances alive.

“The Bulls will have added pressure, but they are also a team playing with a lot of confidence lately, but they will be more desperate,” said Ackermann.

“We have selected a back three with a lot of speed as we anticipate a lot of high-ball pressure, but we are back at home and are confident,” he said.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said this week they have noticed how passionately the Lions have performed overseas where they were probably unlucky, but the focus is on them for now.

“We have to win every remaining match, so are keen to keep on the winning track,” said Ludeke.

Even without Victor Matfield the Bulls are pound-for- pound a safer bet – but the Lions won’t go down without a fight.

“We have made some minor changes and I believe we will be competitive against a team that will be very dangerous at home,” said Ludeke.

“It will also be important for us to go into the break with some momentum. We cannot afford to let them dominate the pace of the match or the style of play.”

Kick-off is at 5.05pm.