Stormers honoured to be British & Irish Lions’ last clash before Tests
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CAPE TOWN – Stormers assistant coach Dawie Snyman says it’s a huge honour for them to be the last team the British & Irish Lions face before they go into their much-anticipated three-Test Series against the Springboks.
After much speculation around their fixture date and whether the match would actually go ahead after director of rugby Rassie Erasmus on Monday said that he would much rather have the SA ‘A’ side take on the Lions in a rematch on Saturday as opposed to the Stormers, Snyman said they are excited to see how they can challenge the Warren Gatland’s Lions at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.
“Definitely (will it be an honour to face the Lions in the final friendly before the Series), it will be their final preparation before they hit the Test Series so it’s a big honour and a privilege. We are happy to step up and see if we can give them a good challenge,” Snyman said during a virtual press conference on Tuesday.
The Cape side, who will be playing against the Lions as the Stormers, suffered a narrow defeat against Griquas in their Currie Cup match at Cape Town Stadium last week. While it was a disappointing one, Snyman seemed confident that they have had enough time to ensure they present a decent challenge to the Lions on Saturday.
“A week in rugby is quite a long time. Against Griquas we were our own worst enemies and if you concede that many penalties you will never play well. The British & Irish Lions are quality, there are no weaknesses in that side. It is an opportunity for our guys to measure themselves against the best in the world. It’s a big opportunity."
With the scrum being one of the Stormers’ strongest weapons and the Lions having had some issues in that area while in South Africa, Snyman said they will just focus on their own execution – in the scrum and beyond.
“Our approach won’t be to look at the scoreboard, it is going to come down to every single moment in the game and defend well or attack well from that set-piece. It’s not going to be about the scoreboard – we will be focused on doing well and at the end we will look at where we are.
“We pride ourselves on our scrums, we have got Steven Kitshoff, Bongi Mbonambi and Frans Malherbe (in the Springbok squad) from this region and the next guys coming in have been led by those guys. They (Lions) had a bit of a tough time at the scrums against the Sharks, but the Sharks are a good scrummaging side, I am sure they will have worked on it.”