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Lions steel themselves for another Super Rugby bone cruncher against Jaguares

By Liam Del Carme | 2017-04-21 14:08:08.0

The Lions have steeled themselves for another Super Rugby bone cruncher when they clash with the Jaguares at Ellis Park on Friday night (7pm).

Last week they absorbed everything the fired up Stormers threw at them at Newlands‚ but scrumhalf Ross Cronje was yesterday quick to remind that this was a reality teams have to deal with on a weekly basis.

“We have prepared for another tough physical battle‚” said Cronje of a Lions team that will start with a reshaped front row.

In full anticipation of the enduring physicality the Jaguares will direct at them the Lions will start with their first choice from row Jacques van Rooyen‚ Malcolm Marx and Ruan Dreyer on the bench.

“The Jaguares is a tough side. They are an improved team‚” noted Cronje. “They have matured as a team. They have now become used to travelling and they better understand the demands of playing Super Rugby. We have prepared for a very physical challenge‚” said the scrumhalf.

 The Lions can solidify their position at the top of Super Rugby’s Africa conference with victory over the only team that has beaten them this season.

The Jaguares‚ perhaps predictably‚ downed the Lions in Buenos Aires last month‚ but now they face a Lions team in the ascendancy and on their Ellis Park home turf.

Victory for the Lions won’t just firm their grip in the Africa conference but it will potentially deliver a killer blow to the Jaguares’s aspiration in this year’s tournament. The tourists have lost three matches this season and another slip up may well leave them with too much to make up in the second half of the season.

The one area the Jaguares will want to improve as they negotiate the second half of the league stages is their attack. While their defence has been the best across both African conferences‚ their attack has been blunt.

 They have let in 17 tries to the Lions’ 18‚ but where they have lagged well behind the Johannesburg based team is that they’ve only scored 20 tries.

The Lions by comparison have run in 35 tries and only the Hurricanes with a whopping 48 have scored more.

The most common theme likely to emerge from tonight’s match will be how the Jaguares defence cope with the Lions’ rampant attack.

 - TMG Digital/TMG Sport

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