Lions make just one change for clash with Bulls

Liam Del Carme Sports reporter
The Lions players during the Emirates Lions training session at Johannesburg Stadium on May 06, 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Lions players during the Emirates Lions training session at Johannesburg Stadium on May 06, 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

The spirited nature of their agonising 39-37 Rainbow Cup SA defeat against the Stormers last weekend convinced Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen to keep changes to a minimum for their clash against the Bulls at Ellis Park on Saturday.

He was forced into one change with Len Massyn replacing Francke Horne at No8. Massyn has been a regular starter for the Lions but Horne delivered an energetic performance in a losing cause against the Stormers last weekend.

Van Rooyen is hoping the personnel that did everything but win the game last weekend‚ when a last gasp converted Dan du Plessis try and Tim Swiel penalty broke Lions' hearts‚ can deliver similar output against the Bulls.

“Consistency is the main thing for us‚” said Van Rooyen. “Consistency in training‚ consistency in attitude and consistency in team selection. We are facing the team at the top of the log and it will be tough. We have a lot of respect for the Bulls‚” said Van Rooyen.

They ought to. The Bulls have started to dominate the trans-Jukskei derbies‚ although the Lions ran them close in the semifinal of the Currie Cup earlier this year.

Playing well without sealing the win has however become a recurring theme for the Lions who this weekend go in search of their maiden win in the Rainbow Cup SA competition. They have lost to the Bulls‚ Sharks and the Stormers.

The Bulls by contrast are riding the crest of the wave with stellar performances since the game returned from lockdown last year.

Lions team to play the Bulls - EW Viljoen; Rabz Maxwane‚ Wandisile Simelane‚ Burger Odendaal (captain)‚ Courtnall Skosan; Jordan Hendrikse‚ André Warner; Len Massyn‚ Vincent Tshituka‚ MJ Pelser; Reinhard Nothnagel‚ Ruben Schoeman; Carlu Sadie‚ Jaco Visagie‚ Sti Sithole. Substitutes: PJ Botha‚ Ruan Dreyer‚ Asenathi Ntlabakanye‚ Willem Alberts‚ Emmanuel Tshituka; Morné van den Berg‚ Fred Zeilinga‚ Manuel Rass.