Lions wary of hurting Griquas

Ivan Van Rooyen (coach) of the Lions and Ross Cronje (captain) of the Lions during the Xerox Golden Lions XV team announcement at Media Centre, Emirates Airline Park on August 29, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)

Cash van Rooyen believes the adversity of the Peacock Blues losing their inspirational coach make them hungrier for glory.

“A week is a long time in rugby.”

That was the potentially ominous point made by Golden Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen ahead of their Currie Cup semifinal against Griquas at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Van Rooyen, who stuck with the same side who beat Griquas 27-26 in Kimberley last week, expected both teams to come up with new plans and approaches for the rematch.

“I think they will come with one or two new tricks up their sleeves and they will come with a set plan, so it will be balanced with playing what you see, and the same with us,” Van Rooyen said.

“It’s almost weird playing the same team two weekends in a row.”

With centre Duncan Matthews being cleared after a head knock last week, Van Rooyen felt the continuity would assist them in the play-offs.

“It’s always nice picking the same side in terms of continuity,” he said.

“It’s three days longer that they have trained together, if you look at the bigger picture, and it hasn’t happened that often in this Currie Cup.”

With Griquas coach Brent Janse van Rensburg announcing his decision to step down after the competition, Van Rooyen believed the surprise move could give their opponents more reason to shine.

“It is what it is from our side,” he said.

“They are a senior team and they have been playing together the whole year, so I don’t think it will have an effect on them.

“If anything, it will motivate them more. There will be reason for it and whatever it is will be fair.”

Golden Lions: Tyrone Green, Madosh Tambwe, Wandi Simelane, Duncan Matthews, Stean Pienaar, Shaun Reynolds, Ross Cronje (c), Hacjivah Dayimani, Cyle Brink, Marnus Schoeman, Marvin Orie, Ruben Schoeman, Jacobie Adriaanse, Pieter Jansen, Sti Sithole. Bench: Jan-Henning Campher, Dylan Smith, Johannes Jonker, Wilhelm van der Sluys, Len Massyn, Dillon Smit, Jan-Louis la Grange, Jamba Ulengo.

Griquas: Anthony Volmink, Ederies Arendse, Michal Haznar, Andre Swarts, Eduan Keyter, George Whitehead (c), Christiaan Meyer, Zandre Jordaan, Sias Koen, Gideon van der Merwe, Victor Sekekete, Ian Groenewald, Ewald van der Westhuizen, AJ le Roux, Khwezi Mona. Bench: Wilmar Arnoldi, Mox Mxoli, Johan Momsen, Niell Jordaan, Chriswill September, Chris Smit, Bjorn Basson, Ruan Kramer.

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