Edinburgh are hoping to nullify the Lions’ expansive gameplan at Ellis Park on Saturday in a bid to add another notch to their belts in South Africa, reports DEVIN HERMANUS.
Flyhalf Blair Kinghorn crossed for two tries as the Scottish side punished a sloppy Sharks performance 21-5 in torrential rain at Kings Park on Saturday.
The Lions, though, ran seven tries past the Ospreys in Friday’s 45-15 win in Johannesburg, courtesy of a cavalier attack underwritten by a pack working tirelessly off the ball, and lethal finishing from their outside backs.
Ivan van Rooyen’s men are ninth in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship for attacking play, and speaking ahead of Saturday’s URC clash, Edinburgh coach Mike Blair said: “We’re wary of the Lions’ transition attack, so we can’t give away loose balls, or be giving too much space to the outside backs.
“Also, we’ll be watching for the danger in and around the set pieces; I thought we handled the Sharks scrum last week, so we’re confident we can do that.”
Loose forward Ben Muncaster added: “It’ll be a polar opposite to the Sharks game; the Lions are extremely physical but are full of running and a bit more expansive.
“When they played the Ospreys there was a lot of ball in play … they have one of the most offloads in the URC, so we are going to try and stop that, by fronting up physically and managing that.”
Blair says his players have also made every effort this week to acclimatise to the heat and altitude on the Highveld, an Achilles heel for most of the European teams in SA.
“The conditions are definitely different from Durban but I don’t want to use that as an excuse, it’s just something we’re aware of,” the Edinburgh boss said. “We will get sweaty but the guys have been handling the conditions at training.
“We don’t want the win over the Sharks to be a once-off and we’re focused on backing up that performance if we want to be unbeaten in SA.”