Underdone Stormers won’t be Lions’ prey in Super Rugby Unlocked opener
CAPE TOWN - Stormers assistant coach Dawie Snyman says that while the Lions are at a bit of an advantage seeing as they have a competitive game under the belt, he is confident that they are as ready as they can be for their first Super Rugby Unlocked match.
The Stormers had a bye during the first week of the local Super Rugby competition, while the Lions were edged by the Sharks in a nail-biting battle on Friday night.
The Lions also lost their SuperFan Saturday run-out against the Stormers (34-21), and while they have 80 minutes of competitive rugby on their side, Snyman explained that the Cape team also got some game time against the Under-21 side in preparation for the domestic season.
“To get a competitive game under the belt is obviously a bonus, the more you play the more you figure yourself out and what you need to work on,” Snyman said.
“They might be at a bit of an advantage in terms of game time, but we’re confident that we are as close as possible to where we should be ahead of a competitive game.
“We have tried to simulate scenarios and we played against our Under-21 squad in the week of the (Springbok) Green and Gold game. Our players who didn’t play for the Green and Gold played against our Under-21 squad, so at least all of our players have two games under the belt.
“We didn’t really execute the way we would have liked to in the Marvel (SuperFan Saturday) game, and it’s something we worked on really hard over the last two weeks.
“We know what we need to get right. Once we get into our systems and play the way we want to play we can open up space, so that’s been a massive focus for us, to make sure we can put ourselves in those positions.”
On the injury front, Snyman confirmed that they will be without Bok lock Pieter-Steph du Toit, (still recovering from the haematoma he sustained against the Blues in February, which developed into acute compartment syndrome) and backs Ruhan Nel and Seabelo Senatla.
“At this stage, Pieter-Steph won’t be ready to go, I haven’t seen his medical update, but he won’t be ready. We don’t have any further injuries from the Marvel or Green and Gold games, and the only guys not up for selection are Ruhan Nel and Seabelo Senatla (both are nursing hamstring injuries), they’re still coming back from injury.
“Sergeal (Petersen) is available for selection, he just didn’t play in the Green and Gold game because he had a tight achilles tendon, but we’ve managed his load and he’s up for selection for this weekend,” Snyman said.