Did The Lions u/20 Take Too A Big Risk For Trip To Durban?


The unbeaten Lions u/20 will play the Cell C Sharks u/20 this afternoon @ 13h00 in Durban today.

Their opponents will be looking for their first win of the SARU u/20 Cup, however, both their losses against Western Province u/20 and Vodacom Bulls u/20 were with less than 5 points.

The Cell C Sharks is a very physical and hard direct running team and if they get a bit of "luck" on their side they just as well could also have been undefeated.

This makes the decision by the Lions u/20 to make six changes to their starting line-up a bit questionable. The Lions u/20 is a very good team, however, if the Cell C Sharks get some luck on their side this could well prove to be the biggest upset this year.

Only Sihlalo Benge and Bronson Mills survived the cut in the backline. Upfront Nathan Lainis replaces injured Tiaan Wessels on the side of the scrum.

Cell C Sharks head coach Mike Vowles said that “Last week was another disappointing result for us, we went to Loftus with a lot of confidence and have prepared well, and although the result didn’t go our way, the guys played really well and we were very proud of their performance. There were times when we had to fight hard to get back into the game, and we did, and the character and attitude from the guys were outstanding.

“To lose in the manner we did was really hard for us. We had an opportunity in the last minute to score but we were held up over the line again for the second time in two games. So it could have gone our way in the end.

“We certainly played with a lot more confidence and we stuck to the plan which gave us direction in the game so we’re really chuffed with the performance.”

He admits that this week offers his side another tough game against worthy log leaders, but the challenge is one that excites him and his charges.

“The Lions are top of the table for a reason, they’re a good side, but we have prepared well and know what to expect. Coming down to Durban to play in this heat and humidity will be tough for them, but we will need to be on top of our game. We are looking forward to the challenge and this is almost a semi-final for us.

“We’re desperate and will throw everything we can at them, staying alive in this competition means this becomes a massive game but I’m confident we will put in a strong performance.”


Lions u/20: 15. K Smith 14. S Dlamini 13. Kelly Mpeku 12. Bronson Mills 11. L Maphisa 10. Sihlalo Benge 9. Nico Steyn 8. Sisonke Vumazonke 7. Joshua van Vreden ( c) 6. Nathan Lainis 5. Henk Gouws 4. Justin Kalamer 3. John Kelly Okonkwo 2. Ricardo Fourie 1. Heiko Pohlmann Replacements: 16. Sikholise Nanto 17. SJ Kotze 18. Stian de Bruyn 19. A Weideman 20. T van Wijk 21. Brenwyn Bosch 22. Josh Herold 23. N Shabanu 24. T van Wyk 25. D Botha 26. Ndinovuyo Holiday

Cell C Sharks u/20: 15. Hakeem Kunene, 14. Curwin Gertse, 13. Lloyd Koster, 12. Brandon Wilkie, 11. Banie Britz, 10. Jean Smith, 9. Bradley Davids, 8. Nick Hatton, 7. Enos Ndiao, 6. Damon Royle, 5. Corne Rahl (c), 4. Andrew Beyrooti, 3. Nash Mhere, 2. Jordan Mcloughlin, 1. Braam Reyneke. Replacements: 16. Jaques Marais, 17. Phatu Ganyane, 18. Dian Heunis, 19. Coetzee le Roux, 20. Renzo du Plessis, 21. Josh Miller, 22. Ethan Hooker, 23. Lloyd Koster.