Lions prowling to storm the Stormers’ gate

Lions prowling to storm the Stormers’ gate

Andries Coetzee of the Lions during the Emirates Lions mixed zone at Johannesburg Stadium on February 11, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)

The Capetonians haven’t conceded a point yet in 2020’s Super Rugby tournament, but their latest opponents want to change that.

Though the Stormers have been impressive in keeping their opposition scoreless after two games, the hosts are planning to break through the visiting team’s defence in their Super Rugby clash at Ellis Park this weekend, Lions fullback Andries Coetzee warns.

“We did discuss it and it’s a massive achievement by the Stormers. There’s not a lot of teams in Super Rugby that could do it,” Coetzee said.

“So we are going to try to put them under pressure and hopefully we can be the first team toscore points against them.”

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While they were pleased to pick up their first win over the Reds last week, the Lions know there is a lot of hard work still to do in the early stages of the season.

“We are a young team who didn’t have the best of starts and we know this weekend is going to be one of our biggest challenges,” Coetzee said.

“Each week is a stepping stone and we want to be much better than last week.”

Coetzee, with 95 Super Rugby caps to his name, is one of the more experienced players in the Lions squad, along with the likes of wing Courtnall Skosan and captain Elton Jantjies.

And while he admits new combinations take time to gel, Coetzee believes they are finding their feet.

“It was slightly new for me with a few young guys after playing with Lionel Mapoe for eight or nine years,” he said.

“I had to get used to the new calls, but it’s under the belt now. I won’t say it was my best game (against the Reds), but not my worst either and I’m striving to be better this weekend.

“It is a local derby match. We are pumped up and we want to show that we are not a team that are struggling but a team who get better every week.”

The Stormers wil be without hooker Bongi Mbonambi, who has a torn hamstring and will be out for the rest of the season, while scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies could also miss this week’s game with a shoulder injury.

Coetzee, however, stressed that the Capetonians remained a powerful unit.

“The Stormers are a good team, yes, and top of the log. They may be the best local team at the moment,” he said.

“But as a unit we are also looking forward to the challenge and to measure where we are going as a team.”

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