'Injured' Lions looking for new attack

Tue, 01 Oct 2013 15:17
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Injuries robbed the Lions of two more of their most influential backline players, but coach Johan Ackermann is adamant his team will be just as effective on attack.

Injuries have robbed the Golden Lions of two more of their most influential backline players, but coach Johan Ackermann is adamant his team will be just as effective on attack.

Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies has ben ruled out for three to four weeks with an ankle injury sustained in the 25-31 loss to the Sharks last wee.

Ackermann was hopeful the Bok would make a speedy recovery, but said it is only 50-50 that he will play again this season.

Centre Dylan des Fountain damaged the Meniscus in his knee and will be sidelined for four months.

"At centre we are a bit thin in terms of our resources," Ackermann told this website.

They are already without the services of midfielders like Alwyn Hollenbach, Nicolaas Hanekom, Robert de Bruyn and the Under-21 centre JP du Plessis, who have featured in the senior team this season.

"We are being tested a bit in that department," the Lions coach said.

However, at flyhalf he has a bit more cover.

"We still have Lionel Cronjé and Bossie [Marnitz Boshoff]," Ackermann said, adding: "He [Boshoff] has been having a great season at flyhalf and fullback - at least we some depth there."

However, it is in the midfield where he has to dig deep into his pool of resources.

"We are trying out a few combinations," he said.

"Ruhan Nel is there, Deon Helberg played at centre the [past] weekend and we have played Lionel Cronje at No.12 before - which we are considering," he said of the vital Currie Cup Round Nine encounter with Western Province at Newlands on Saturday.

"Kobus de Kock [normally a fullback] has played No.12 before and we are training with him there as well.

"I will make that call on Thursday.

"We have had a look at - both on attack and defence - who fits in best.

"Whoever gets the job, will not have played there for a while. Lionel Cronjé would have been the most recent [to have played for the Lions at inside centre]."

Ackermann admitted the backline changes will require "some adjustment".

"However, we are full of confidence that should we play Lionel [Cronjé] or Kobus [de Kock] in that position it will give us a different dimension on attack."

By Jan de Koning

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