Sport / Rugby

Heinz Schenk
2 minute read
21 Feb 2019
8:13 pm

Four notable Lions moves and why they’re vital for Newlands

Heinz Schenk

Despite a fine win in Argentina, coach Swys de Bruin hasn't shied away from making a switch or two for the Stormers.

Lions lock Marvin Orie has been identified by the Cheetahs as a potential key man in their clash in Bloemfontein on Saturday. Getty Images.

The Lions go to Newlands this weekend on a high, having gained a historic first victory over the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.

While they acknowledge that the wounded Stormers can only get better – coach Swys de Bruin called the outcry over their performance at Loftus overblown – the men from Ellis Park nonetheless take form and a fine recent record in the Mother City into the game.

Consistency in selection was evident in De Bruin’s match squad, with the exception of a few changes.

And here’s why they are important.

RUAN COMBRINCK

Except for illustrating again what great depth the Lions have at wing, the gifted 28-year-old is the type of versatile player the side will need in a traditionally difficult fixture.

“He brings the right foot,” said De Bruin.

“We have a bunch of left footed kickers usually in our side. He’s a Springbok and plays 15 and wing equally comfortably. This is Ruan Combrinck. He’ll always bring an extra dimension and he’s good for the team.”

KWAGGA SMITH AND MARNUS SCHOEMAN (As part of the same loose trio)

In size obsessed South Africa, there will always be question marks over the wisdom of playing two relatively small flankers in one loose trio.

Yet it’s not a strategy that’s unfamiliar to De Bruin.

“We’ve done it before. It’s the kind of game where he know the Stormers will target the breakdown, especially given that they’ll be keen to rebound from last week’s loss. It’s the one area where we’ll have to be good. So I think playing with two No 6s is maybe not the worst idea at this stage.”

MARVIN ORIE (From No 5 to No 4)

Franco Mostert’s move to Gloucester is undoubtedly a massive blow to the Lions’ cause as his all-action, no frills style of play truly brought some balance to the team’s attacking style of play.

Orie, as a traditional No 5 when he was younger, is arguably a more stylish player than his Springbok teammate, but he’s rapidly reinvented himself into an enforcer.

The 26-year-old lock made a massive 19 tackles in Argentina last weekend and still found the energy to win eight lineouts too.

It was indeed a Mostert-esque performance.

“The amount of tackles he made was great,” said De Bruin.

“He’s a fine player and a Bok already. That was a superb showing. In fact, if he keeps this trajectory he’ll be pushing for higher honours again.”

Lions: Andries Coetzee, Ruan Combrinck, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies, Nic Groom, Warren Whiteley (c), Kwagga Smith, Marnus Schoeman, Stephan Lewies, Marvin Orie, Carlu Sadie, Malcolm Marx, Dylan Smith. Bench: Pieter Jansen, Sti Sithole, Jacobie Adriaanse, Rhyno Herbst, Hacjivah Dayimani, Gianni Lombard, Sylvian Mahuza, Aphiwe Dyantyi.

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