Dawie Snyman says the DHL Stormers respect the Lions’ ability to grind out wins away from home with the teams set to clash at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday. DYLAN JACK reports.
The Stormers host the Lions in their final match of the year and the opportunity to finish 2022 unbeaten at home awaits.
However, they will be up against a wounded Lions outfit that has, apart from their heavy defeat to the Sharks in Durban last week, got good return from matches on the road.
The Lions were the only South African team to win all three matches of the overseas tour in September, scalping Ospreys, Cardiff and Edinburgh.
Particularly noteworthy about those games was how the Lions were able to dig in defensively. This element of their play, which has improved under defence coach and former Stormers centre Jaque Fourie, was also prevalent until the final 20 minutes at Kings Park.
Speaking of this weekend’s clash, Snyman urged the Stormers to make full use of their opportunities when they run out on New Year’s Eve.
“It was the mistake we made a year ago when we played against them,” said the Stormers backline coach. “The Lions’ away record on tour this year was very good. So they are a team that can go on the road and play really well. Those victories that they got overseas, they grinded it out. They got stuck into those games.
“From our side, we need to be accurate and not too loose so that we give them opportunities.
“They have got great individuals, guys that can finish like Edwill [van der Merwe] and Rabz [Maxwane], who have a lot of speed,” added Snyman. “We will respect that.”
The Lions have the respect of being the last team to beat the Stormers at Cape Town Stadium, back in December 2021, but Snyman says the Capetonians have left that game in the past.
“It was a massive turning point in our season, but it was a year ago. We have evolved as a team.
“It’s not really a factor for this weekend. We have developed and they have also changed as a team. They also have new coaches. We won’t look too much at that performance going into Saturday.
“The one thing we realised from that game was that we were on the right track regarding our opportunities, but we had to make sure we executed. We also conceded too many turnovers on that day. After the break we came together and made plans for us going forward.”
Snyman went on to confirm that while the Stormers have no injuries to report from the clash against the Vodacom Bulls, they are also not expecting any reinforcements from the injury list for Saturday’s game.
It’s likely that the Stormers will still be without No 8 Evan Roos and lock Gary Porter for the match, with Ben-Jason Dixon set to retain the No 4 jersey after an excellent performance in the north-south derby.
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