Emirates Lions Prepared For A Brutal Battle Up Font Against Vodacom Bulls


The Emirates Lions head coach Ivan van Rooyen selected a six/two bench in anticipation of the massive battle up front when they make the trip across the Jukskei this Saturday for Round 9 of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship against the Vodacom Bulls on Saturday at 15:00 (SA Time).

A win for the men from Johannesburg this weekend could see them shift into the play-off spot zone in the URC, something head coach Ivan van Rooyen hopes could build confidence ahead of a gruelling local derby calendar.

“It’s been a 6-day turnaround for us, so it’s been quite a short week preparation-wise. It was important for us to seek alignment and clarity as quickly as possible. A short week also forces us to make quick decisions and effective training,” he explains.

“Our synergy has been good this week. We had a good review of what went well and what didn’t work last week.”

Van Rooyen and his troops will take confidence into Saturday knowing that their last trip to Loftus was a successful one, beating their Pretoria rivals 25-29. However, the Lions boss understands the physicality that comes with a local derby.

“We know that if you’re not physical against the Bulls, they’ll get momentum, he warns. With momentum, comes quick ball and offloads. So we know we going to have to front up physically as well be aware of their kicking game and set piece play. The focus therefore for us defensively was to work hard, set quickly and make decisions from there.”