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VIDEO - 'We don’t feel inferior': Underestimate Lions at your own peril

SPOTLIGHT: The Lions head to Cape Town for the final round of the league phase with the underdog tag firmly hanging around their necks.

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However, it will be disastrous to underestimate them.

On Saturday, the Lions take on the Stormers in the United Rugby Championship Round 18 match at the Cape Town Stadium.

The Stormers are fifth in the URC standings and have already secured their place in the play-offs.

In contrast, the Lions, who are currently ninth on the table with 49 points – level on points with Edinburgh (seventh) and Benetton (eighth) – head into the Round 18 match with a lot on the line.

A win in Cape Town will mean that the team from Jozi will secure a place in the play-offs for the first time.

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“We know what is at stake, we have to get a win and a bonus point win will be even better,” Lions defence coach Jaque Fourie said when asked about the magnitude of the fixture.

“We have our plans and like all the other weeks, we have shown we have a good plan we just need to go implement it on Saturday.”

Fourie’s confidence stems from the Lions’ recent form, which includes a win over then log-leaders Glasgow Warriors.

“With our players and this season we have had this far, we have shown that we are a process-driven team.

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“We know that if we do the basics and stick to the stuff we’ve done in the week, 90 percent of the time we’ll come out victorious

“It’s a big occasion for us on Saturday, but we just need to stick to our structures and the result will take care of itself.

“What will happen will happen.”

Scrumhalf Morne van den Berg shared the coach’s sentiments, emphasising that the buy-in from the players is vital.

“As the coach said, we have a plan, we prepared well this week.

“It’s just about pitching up on the day, knowing your job and doing your job.

“We should not let external factors play a role and just focus on ourselves.”

Van Den Berg added:  “The Stormers are very good at broken play.

“They have very good X-factor players and they can bring magic.

“It’s really about closing down their time on the ball and expecting that [kind of play] and being in the moment. Their biggest threat is their X-factor.”

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Heading to Cape Town and securing a win will not be an easy task for the Lions as they will try to become only the second team to beat the Capetinonas at home in this season of the URC.

However, the Lions are used to being the underdog.

It is a label that makes them more dangerous.

“Any team would prefer to be the underdog going into this game.

“Most of the people are writing you off and not giving you a chance,” Fourie said.

“We all know that whenever your back is against the wall and you’ve got nothing to lose then you’re a dangerous team.

“We don’t mind going into this game as underdogs [but] the way that we’ve been playing the last three or four games, we’ve got a lot of confidence and hopefully we just continue with that confidence on Saturday.”

Despite being content with the tag, Van den Berg conceded the camp feel far from ‘inferior’.

“I have not felt like the underdog this week,” the scrumhalf said.

“If we’re labelled the underdogs then so be it, but in the camp, we don’t feel inferior.”

The Lions will travel to Cape Town on Friday.

 

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