Refreshed Lions head to Newlands

Mon, 10 Apr 2017 10:53

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Lions will return to action this week, refreshed from their bye week. I the break came at the perfect time.

The Lions head to Newlands to tackle the table-topping Stormers, a team that beat the mighty Chiefs this past weekend.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann admitted that the timing of the break - after a tough opening six weeks - was 'perfect'.

"It was a tough few weeks," he said of the first six rounds - which have them in third spot on the table, three points behind their compatriots.

"It looks like the season will go down to the wire again, like last year."

Ackermann said his team had lots of "bumps and bruises, with sore bodies" after Week Six.

But it is more the quality of the opposition this week than anything else that is of concern.

"If you look what the Stormers did [beat the Cheetahs 53-10 and Chiefs 34-26 the past two weeks] that [the game at Newlands on Saturday] will be another huge challenge," Ackermann said about the trip to Cape Town.

"It doesn't get any easier," the Lions coach said, adding: "After that, we ply the Jaguares [April 21 at Ellis Park].

"We all know what they can do.

"[And] after that we have to jump on an aeroplane [for a three-match tour of Australia - against the Western Force, Rebels and Brumbies].

"The bye came at the perfect time."

@rugby365com

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Hurricanes v B&I Lions 07h35 Westpac Stadium
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 13 6 0 7 33
Waratahs 13 4 0 9 19
Force 13 4 0 9 17
Reds 13 3 0 10 17
Rebels 13 1 1 11 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 14 14 0 0 63
Hurricanes 14 11 0 3 54
Chiefs 14 11 1 2 53
Highlanders 14 10 0 4 46
Blues 14 7 1 6 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 30
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
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Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19