In a massive boost for the Lions, ace Springbok lock Marvin Orie should be ready to face the might of the Bulls in next weekend’s Currie Cup semifinal at Loftus.
Orie was doubtful after he suffered an
agonising shoulder injury in their match against the Bulls last week.
His control of the Lions lineout made the former Bulls lock a key player, however, to try and surprise his former side.
While a final decision would be made on Orie before the team announcement next Thursday, Lions coach Cash van Rooyen said the signs were promising.
“Marvin’s injury looks ok. He gyms well and received sound treatment so he should be ready to play,” Van Rooyen said.
Put on the spot after being questioned about what made the Bulls such a formidable unit at Loftus, Van Rooyen was quick to point out that Bok half-backs Morne Steyn and Ivan van Zyl were instrumental to their cause.
“Apart from the fact that the Bulls pride themselves on playing at their own field, it’s no secret that Morne Steyn and Ivan van Zyl are the drivers in their team,” Van Rooyen said.
“They have played a lot of big games and know exactly the surroundings at Loftus, and they are also a team that pride themselves in terms of their set-piece.”
After the Lions ran the Bulls close in their last encounter, ultimately losing 22-15, Van Rooyen said they had to reassess their approach and had identified where they had to pounce if they wanted to upset the applecart.
“I think for us to go and win there we will have to secure a more constant set-piece,” he said.
“It’s important there, both on our ball and their ball.
“We will have to be willing to come up with one or two surprise elements and think slightly out of the box.”
To be able to beat the Bulls, Van Rooyen believed they would have to come up with something that would surprise the home team’s superb defence, as a traditional slugfest might not do the trick for them.
“If you only think traditionally against them, they have the kind of players who know how to deal with those circumstances,” said Van Rooyen.
With captain and No 8 Duane Vermeulen set to drive the Bulls approach up front, they were also a team who had plenty of Boks across the board and had the composure to deal with certain situations.
“They have got Test mentality with sound Test players, so if you are going to do the same thing against them the whole time, they will be able to counter that.”