Lions to leave their 'x-factor' at home

Mon, 06 Mar 2017 15:02

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Lions coach Johan Ackermann will take his 'best available' team to Argentina, but his 'x-factor' player will stay behind.

The Lions, second on the Super Rugby standings after two rounds, head to Buenos Aires this week - where they will take on the very dangerous Jaguares on Saturday.

And the Lions coach said he won't repeat the 'mistake' made in the final round of league action last year - when he sent a B-team to Argentina to rest his frontline players for the play-offs.

However, Springbok centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg, who scored two tries in the 55-36 win over the Waratahs this past weekend despite his mother's death just three days before, will not make the trip across the Atlantic Ocean.

"Rohan has that x-factor," Ackermann told a media briefing, when asked about the young Bok's heroics in the win over the Tahs.

"We were humbled by what he went through and the way he conducted himself," Ackermann said, adding: "It was his choice [to play] and we never doubted his commitment to the team.

"To put those emotions aside and play like he did shows his character.

"We support him all the way and the players, before the match, said we are going to do it for mom as well."

However, with his mom's funeral on Wednesday, Janse van Rensburg will not travel to Argentina.

"We will let him have his time with his family and we must trust the rest of the squad to do the job," the coach said.

Ackermann said he will take the "best possible side" on tour.

"We have thought about it [resting players], but it is too early in the season.

"We haven't really built up any momentum yet."

Ackermann said they will have to 'reset' this week, because there is a different challenge that lies ahead - with the travelling and the quality of the opposition.

"The Jaguares are a different kettle of fish," Lions captain Warren Whiteley said.

"The Argentineans are a physical team - at scrum time, maul time and at the rucks.

"They are a team that play on passion.

"The first 20 minutes are going to be really important.

They are a team that comes out firing, especially at home.

"If you give them a sniff, they will expose that."

@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19