The Stormers' Damien Willemse is tackled by Juandre Kruger of the Blue Bulls during their Super Rugby encounter at Newlands Stadium. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
The Stormers' Damien Willemse is tackled by Juandre Kruger of the Blue Bulls during their Super Rugby encounter at Newlands Stadium. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Three spicy Stormers-Lions match-ups with a licence to thrill at Ellis Park

By Wynona Louw Time of article published Feb 13, 2020

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CAPE TOWN – In the Stormers and the Lions line-ups there are more than a handful of players whose presence on a field alone would be enough to draw crowds.

The Stormers are the favourites for the Ellis Park clash, and that’s no surprise given the ‘nilling’ they handed the Hurricanes and the Bulls.

Those Newlands victories were impressive, and seeing them chase another win to break their Ellis Park drought (they haven't won there since 2015) should be good.

Here are three match-ups that should be as exciting as they are crucial.

Damian Willemse v Elton Jantjies

Willemse will be on a mission. Things didn’t go too well for him in front of the posts last week, and he’ll be keen to change that in Joburg.

But that was the only issue, he was solid otherwise, and given how good he is, that issue doesn’t seem that big at all.

I don’t think anybody can emphasise just how much excitement we could be in for given the two flyhalves that’ll go up against each other in Round Three.

Jantjies has put that on show many times, but he could very well have it tougher this weekend given the opposition his pack is going up against.

That aside, the Hot Stepper and the Cross-Kick Connoisseur are more than capable of producing the biggest shows at Ellis Park.

Tyrone Green of the Lions celebrates a try during 2019 Currie Cup match between Lions and Sharks at Ellis Park Stadium. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Seabelo Senatla v Tyrone Green

Senatla can deliver seriously tasty touches to a game, and hopefully he gets the chance to do that against the Lions.

Nobody needs any briefing on his pace, and what he can do in broken play and on the counter-attack is dangerous.

If he gets his hands on the ball, even a team like the Lions will have their hands full.

And then there’s the Lions’ speedster.

How good were those two tries he scored against the Reds last week?

That certainly was a highlight, but his running, the way he completely disregards tackle attempts by pinballing out of them and everything else, really, he adds to the Lions backline is insane. He can be a catalyst just as easily as he can be a finisher.

This guy has big days ahead of him.

Steven Kitshoff v Jannie du Plessis

Kitshoff always produces a big outing, for the Stormers or for the Springboks.

He had another big one against the Bulls with his big carries, and we don’t need to go into too much detail where his scrummaging is involved. Pure class.

Du Plessis, on the other hand, will have a point to prove against the Stormers.

He had a hard time, and that’s putting it mildly, against JP Smith last week at the scrum, and if he repeats that performance, things could get ugly in front of their home crowd.

Still, the veteran shouldn’t be underestimated.

Steven Kitshoff is one of the Stormers’ ‘heavies’ the Lions will look to combat at Ellis Park. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
@WynonaLouw



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