Ross Roche
Senior sports writer
2 minute read
2 Dec 2021
3:05 pm

Stormers ‘ready’ for Lions after preparing for Zebre

Ross Roche

"The Lions and Zebre play a similar style of rugby," says Dan du Plessis.

Centre Dan du Plessis during a Stormers training session. Picture: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

Stormers centre Dan du Plessis is expecting a similar threat from the Lions to what their side were preparing for against Zebre before their latest United Rugby Championship match was postponed.

With the matches against Zebre and the Cardiff Blues not going ahead, the Lions encounter was rescheduled for Cape Town City Stadium on Saturday.

Despite the change in opposition, Du Plessis admitted the Lions and Zebre played a similar brand of rugby, but the players were more focussed on themselves than what the opposition were going to bring this weekend.

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“The nice thing about this weekend’s game is that the Lions and Zebre play a similar style of rugby, so we are pretty much prepared for the Lions as we prepped for Zebre,” said Du Plessis.

“But the focus has been pretty much on ourselves… so nothing much will change this week.

“We know that both teams (Lions and Zebre) aren’t scared to play rugby from anywhere on the field. If they had a scrum five metres or 10 metres out from their own line they wouldn’t be afraid to run it out of there. That is the type of team that they are, so we are readying ourselves for that.”

Despite the frustration of having the two home fixtures against European opposition postponed at short notice last week due to the emergence of a new Covid variant, Stormers assistant coach Dawie Snyman said it was just a sign of the times.

“It wasn’t anyone’s fault. It’s just something that is happening in the world at the moment and is out of our control, so it was just unfortunate that we couldn’t play them in front of our home fans,” Snyman said.

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The Stormers are set to play Connacht in Ireland in early January, but now with quarantine and other obstacles, that match may not be able to go ahead.

“It’s really tough for us to predict what the situation will be in a week’s time, so all we can do is mostly focus on every day,” Snyman said.

“We are really lucky to have this game at the weekend, so we will prepare as best as we can and take steps after that, once we know what we need to work towards.”