‘Lions take attacking opportunities’

Brendan Venter says a Lions' Super Rugby title triumph would be a similar achievement to Leicester City winning the English Premier League.

Four years after being relegated from Super Rugby, the Lions have reached their first final. In May, Leicester achieved a football fairytale when they won their first league title having been 5000-1 outsiders at the beginning of the season.

'The Lions never recruited star players and the team was coached to get to where they are now,' wrote the former Springbok centre in his column for The Times on Thursday.

Venter said the best part of the Lions' game was their attack.

'The reason they are such an amazing outfit is because they find space in so many different ways. Most teams follow a simple recipe by either being very direct off No 9, playing off No 10 and then going to the wide channels or kicking the ball into space. However, with Elton Jantjies the conductor of the orchestra, the Lions have proved adaptable from a tactical point of view and have scored from everywhere this season.'

He added that the Boks needed to learn from the Lions.

'What the Lions are doing at the moment is closest to what New Zealand teams have been doing for a long time. Johan Ackermann's charges haven't neglected their set piece, they have defended resolutely and Jantjies has shown that he possesses the ability to play for territory.

'However, the most striking feature of the Lions' game is that they switch on when attacking opportunities present themselves. Like New Zealand teams, the Lions' ability to pounce on a mistake is superb and they are clinical in terms of execution.'

Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

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Simon Borchardt