Mon 10 May 2021 | 07:33

Lions get serious Bok muscle back for Stormers

Lions get serious Bok muscle back for Stormers
Mon 10 May 2021 | 07:33
Lions get serious Bok muscle back for Stormers
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INJURY UPDATE: The winless Lions received a timely boost ahead of the arrival of an equally desperate Stormers team at Ellis Park.

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Having lost convincingly 9-24 to the Bulls and 26-34 to the Sharks, they are in desperate need of a massive lift in morale.

It came in the form of confirmation that burly, veteran utility Springbok forward Willem Alberts is fit enough to be considered for selection.

A calf injury had ruled Alberts, 36, out of the first two rounds.

In the absence of Elton Jantjies, who is currently on loan to French club Pau, Alberts would also have taken over the team captaincy.

His return, apart from his experience, comes when they are in desperate of a physical presence among the forwards – especially with confirmation that Wilhelm van der Sluys has suffered a serious injury.

Van der Sluys, 29, has been ruled out for six months with a shoulder injury.

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Ruben Schoeman and Reinhard Nothnagel, along with Alberts, are the Lions’ second row options.

Other injury news from the embattled Lions camp is that the likes of Jaco Kriel (ankle surgery), Gianni Lombard (knee surgery) and James Mollentze (ACL, MCL and meniscus knee injury) are still on the long road to full recovery.

Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen admitted his team looked a bit ‘flat’, especially in the first half, against the Sharks last week.

(Article continues below the tweet…)

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“I thought we were good enough to win,” the embattled coach said, adding: “We had enough opportunities. That adds to the frustration.”

The coach felt “composure at vital stages” is what is still lacking and cutting out the “costly errors”.

Van Rooyen continued to punt the young players they are bringing through, suggesting the team will continue to improve as they gain experience.

“We played against a [Sharks] team featuring six Springboks,” the coach said, adding: “Several players in our team are in their first season of senior rugby.

“It is an amazing experience for them and now they realise what it takes to play at this level. We are a very young group and every match is invaluable for the team.

“I feel we are improving significantly every week.”

@rugby365com

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