Forwards coach Phillip Lemmer says the return of lock Marvin Orie should help strengthen the Lions’ maul defence against the Rebels in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Orie missed the Lions’ 47-39 win over the Jaguares last weekend through injury, but has recovered sufficiently to take his place in the second row for Saturday’s clash.
‘It’s always good to have a Springbok back in the team,’ Lemmer said. ‘He was injured last week and it’s the same as a rotation where guys are hungry to play. We always welcome Marvin back in the team. His leadership is key, especially stopping the driving maul, which is a concern. It’s one of Marvin’s strengths and he adds more weight in the scrum.’
While the Lions produced their most impressive attacking performance of the season last weekend, they faded late in the game and let the Jaguares back in with a few defensive lapses.
The Argentinians especially reaped reward from their driving maul, with starting hooker Julian Montoya scoring a brace of tries, while his replacement, Gaspar Baldunciel, also dotted down from the back of a lineout drive.
‘It was a small detail that the guys missed,’ Lemmer said. ‘That is unfortunately the way it is. If you don’t get it spot on in the first second, you are always in trouble. The senior pack of theirs definitely exposed the youngsters. That is something we have worked on and rather let it happen in the game that you win than the game that you lose.’
The Rebels have named a strong pack for Saturday, and Lemmer said the Lions knew they’d need to be prepared to face plenty of mauls.
‘We have a smaller pack, but the way we explode in the scrum is something that has worked for us so far. The fact that we gave away maul tries, that is one thing the Rebels do the whole game. From the 22 to the 5m line, they will maul everything that they can maul. They will see it as one of our weaknesses. I think most teams will target us there because if they get go-forward there, the whole team has to adapt.’
Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix