Can the Lions Trump the Bulls?

Could this be the last Super 15 preview for the Lions as we currently know them to be for some to come? A question that is almost as daunting as the prospect of taking on the Bulls at
Loftus on Saturday.

The Lions have now reached their final Super Rugby game of 2012 and find themselves in the utterly ridiculous position of not knowing what fate lies ahead of them in less than 7 month’s time. The Bulls won’t be giving a crap about that right now, their fate is crystal clear to them. All they will be interested in is smashing past us and gaining a bonus point win – nothing less.

The Lions won last week and the Bulls got hammered, but make no mistake – if the Lions think that they can put in the same kind of performance this week, they will not be as fortunate. The Bulls are wounded and upset, to say disappointed will be a huge understatement and for them, there is only one way to make amends for their mediocrity.

By all accounts, the Lions will not simply lie down, stick their tails between their legs and accept the punishment. This team has, on more than a number of occasions shown that they have pride and shown that they are capable of causing an upset. One or two well – respected rugby men have stuck their heads above the parapets and publically stated that people should not be too surprised if the Lions come away with another win.

An interesting contest between Elton Jantjies and Morne Steyn awaits us in what will be another closely viewed chapter in the SA flyhalf debate. For the Lions to have a sniff at this match, Elton has to be on song, with his goal kicking and running game.

In fact, I believe that this is the opportunity for Elton to be given a mandate to run and to run often, as he might be able to expose Morne Steyn and possibly create opportunities.

The Lions will know that they will be in for a bruising time and must therefore be mindful of keeping as far away from their own 22 as possible. If the Bulls are allowed to dominate territory and possession then the Lions will be in trouble. It always drives me mad, but I would prefer it if we found touch whenever we kick the ball as all that we do when we simply kick downfield is allow the opposition to run at us and we never seem to benefit any territory anyway.

This is a game where the Lions will need to ensure that the basics are done right. They will need to catch high balls, tackle well and scrum well. The problem is that we have now come to the end of Super Rugby 2012 and we have not yet shown that we can do this for the full 80 mins.

I have been thinking and apart from possibly Elton Jantjies I cannot find a clear advantage that the Lions will have over their opponents. I said earlier that if the Lions played like they did against the Rebels, we will lose, however if we play the way we played against the Sharks, then we will be most teams in this competition.

Logic however tells me that the Bulls will get their 4 tries and will beat us fairly comfortably.

18 comments to Can the Lions Trump the Bulls?

  • Den

    Hi LV – Sobering write-up! Its absolutely true that we don’t play for 80 minutes +. I can think of at least 5 of our Super matches this year, where we either went into an early lead, and then simply tried to defend it OR played out of our skins in the final 20/30 minutes,whereby we showed touches of brilliance, but left it too late!! In saying that, its a sickness with all our SA conference teams, BUT the Lions have been particularly prone to this lack of concentration. That is why I predict a NZ team to win the competition this year. Again,if we can play 80 minutes of the rugby we produced in last week’s first-half,we have a better-than-average chance of beating the Bulls. Despite being a quality outfit,they don’t enjoy an ‘in-your-face’ encounter,which we can produce on the day. Let’s produce it & MAINTAIN IT FOR 80 MINUTES..++

  • Lions to beat the bulls. Won’t even be an upset as the bulls lost 4 of their last 5 only beating a struggling cheetahs side.

  • Go Lions!!
    Anders as Ed sal ek NOOIT die Bulls support nie!!

  • Castle

    Bulls last 5 games is more like the type of season I expected them to have. The wheels are coming off. Hopefully we can take advantage!

    Ackerman has 50% wining ratio, hopefully it will be 75% after this game!

    Roodt played in the following games, Cheethas + Huricanes + Brumbies + Rebels + Stormers + Sharks. Good winning ratio for him.

    Did Mitchelle’s refusal to select him cost us?

  • Kat

    Ek wens die Leeus kan die Bulle goed opdo môre. Die Bulle is tans soos ‘n Hollywood ster wat elke dag moet beindruk met sakke vol inkopies … al is dit net om seker te maak niemand ander kry daai paar skoene nie (en dit lê in die kas en word nooit gedra nie).

    Bradley Moolman is met groot fanfare so gekoop vanaf Monnas net om soos daai paar skoene in die kas te lê net sodat die Leeus hom nie kon gebruik nie.

  • jonver

    Kat – You are right about Bulls shopping spree. But what I dont understand is that players fall for Bulls nice promises. Surely if you are keen to play ruggas you will try and be with a team where you will get the opportunity.
    Leeus moet Bulle goed bliksem!
    Ek hoop Leeu spelers MET GUTS SAL BLY OM C/B TE WEN.

  • Kat

    jonver, I sometimes get the impression that there are actually players out there that do want contracts (i.e. salaries) at unions where they will remain in the background working on their Playstation and golf skills instead of playing hard rugby. Must be the case, especially at the Bulls, where there are players on the books that will hardly ever get game time, and will be far more active at other unions, but prefer the easy background lifestyle (but still be able to claim “I play for the Bulls so am good!”).

  • mufasa

    Jano kry sy 15 minute van fame elke week. Hehe.

  • Zibbie

    Ja ou jano .. soek nogsteeds sy eerste CC medal …

  • Blesbeer

    Gn wonder Jacque het in Japan gaan speel nie! Sy “gaap”- brawade het hom goed in die gat gebyT!!!

  • Blesbeer

    Ek hou vol met my Leeue… Return champs!

  • Blesbeer

    Julle gesien Joshua speel more minus sy gesig-lokke? Die baard is ta-ta… Ek hoop nie sy mojo sit regtig in die baard soos Simson nie… Hehe.

  • Kat

    Verneem Johann Sadie is gatvol vir Bulls en wil waai. Ook geval vir al die beloftes.

  • Dink nie n speler kan beloftes blameer as jy soos jou gat speel nie.

    Het baie uitgesien om hom by die Bulle te sien, maar was n groot teleurstelling.

  • The Pride

    I heard that Butch has signed for the Sharks again, any clarity on this?

  • Zibbie

    so dan gaan sadie either terug wp toe of FS

    ek verneem Butch is verseker klaar met die leeus

  • Blesbeer

    So manne.. Die Super15 is nou ou nuus en ons kyk uit vir die CC… Willa kan jy dalk vir ons uitvind oor die verwagte beskikbaarheid van die volgende spelers?
    Wikus, Franco, Ruan Botha
    Whiteley, Rhodes
    Taute, Coetzee…

    As ons daai klomp manne terug kan he om van te kies, gaan ons n groot krag wees. Maar hoop nie hulle kom so in Drips-and-drabs terug nie want dit gaan nie veel help nie… Kom Leeutjies!!!

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