New-look Lions Head West

Lions celebrating
The Lions will be playing for pride against Force on Saturday. Image courtesy of: abe.net.au Source: Getty Images

Force v Lions
Nib Stadium
Saturday May 24 – 7:40 PM (AEST)

Form
Force:
WLWWL
Lions: LLLLL


Coming off five straight losses, the Lions  had to change something. With no chance of making the finals, all they have left to play for is pride. But pride can be a powerful motivator and sometimes it’s what drives teams to success. The Force  come off a crushing defeat to the Stormers last week. The men from Perth need to dig deep and bounce back, if they hope to stay in touch with the Top 6.

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has recognised the good form of Matt Hodgson, Ben McCalman, Nick “Honey Badger” Cummins, Pek Cowan and Nathan Charles and handed them all Gold jerseys. But they have to continue that form for the Force on Saturday, especially if Kyle Godwin, Junior Rasolea, Luke Morahan and Alby Mathewson succumb to injury.

Well what can you say about the Lions? They just cannot win a game. Not only are they being beaten, they are being smashed. Losing 41-13 to the Waratahs last week was only the tip of the iceberg. But coach Johan Ackermann has come to the conclusion that something is not working! Pure genius! So he's decided if something is broke, he'll fix it. Starting with a completely new front row of Corne Fourie, Armand van der Merwe and Ruan Dreyer, the Lions are looking for grunt up front. Rudi Mathee and Franco Mostert have been selected at lock, with Warwick Tecklenburg chucked into the starting side, alongside Warren Whiteley and Jaco Kriel – who are only two who have survived in the pack from last week’s loss – into the back row. In the backline, Ross Cronje will start at scrumhalf, Anthony Volmink on the left wing, Alwyn Hollenbach to inside centre and Deon van Rensburg will cover outside centre. Coenie van Wyk is the fullback.

Normally, this is a sure thing - the Lions in the form they are in and away from home, it’s a hard sell. But sometimes when a clean-out happens, the players perform out of their skin. Could it be a possible upset in Perth? Only time will tell.


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