JOHANNESBURG – Marnus Schoeman does feel pain. And his body is bruised on a Sunday morning.
The 30-year-old Lions flanker confirmed as much yesterday, just a few days after another impressive, no-regard-for-his-body-performance in the 2019 Currie Cup competition, this time against Free State in Bloemfontein on Friday.
“My body is sore on a Sunday, just ask my wife,” said Schoeman when asked if he ever experienced pain during or after his efforts for the Lions.
“But, during those 80 minutes all that matters is the ball; that’s my only concern,” he said. “My responsibility is to get to the ball as quickly as I can.”
The open-side specialist might be one of this country’s smaller loose-forwards at just 1.78 metres tall and weighing 96kg, but he has one of the biggest hearts and bravest souls. Schoeman sticks his head and hands in places that should come with a No-Entry sign attached to it and he doesn’t care who or how he is taken out in trying to win the ball for his team, or slow it down for the opposition.
After a strong Super Rugby campaign, he has continued where he left off and has been one of the Golden Lions’ most consistent performers in the Currie Cup. He said there wasn’t much to choose between facing the best New Zealand, Australia and Argentina can offer and who he’s come up against locally.
“Super Rugby is probably a bit faster than the Currie Cup, but there’s not much between the competitions when it comes to physicality and toughness ... these are local derbies after all and the forward battles are hard,” he said. “The guys really go at each other; it’s hard, direct rugby.”
The undefeated Xerox Golden Lions are back at home this week to face off against the Vodacom Blue Bulls! We've got a BIG day planned and you don't want to miss this humdinger!#LionsPride #LIOvBUL pic.twitter.com/AUYuOy3wnh— Xerox Golden Lions (@LionsRugbyCo) August 7, 2019
And so, after three wins on the trot, which has helped the Lions into second place on the points table, next up for Schoeman and Co are the Blue Bulls, who visit Ellis Park on Saturday evening. And despite the Pretoria-based team being bottom of the points table with just one win from four matches, Schoeman said the visitors to Joburg would be no pushovers.
“It’s the Bulls; it’s a trans-Jukskei derby. It doesn’t matter if it is schools rugby, juniors, Super Rugby or the Currie Cup; when the Lions and Bulls meet it’s big.
“Form means nothing this week. It’s all about those 80 minutes and who wants it more. The Bulls are a quality side with quality players and they can beat anyone on their day.
We’re not underestimating them at all.”@jacq_west