Rugby

Lions scrum ready to pack down against Ospreys in URC clash

The Lions scrum has been its shining light in the United Rugby Championship this season, demolishing a number of teams over the course of the…

The Lions scrum has been its shining light in the United Rugby Championship this season, demolishing a number of teams over the course of the competition so far, and the team’s forwards will look to continue that trend against Ospreys on Friday night.

Their last two matches, however, have seen the starting front row of Sti Sithole, Jaco Visagie and Carlu Sadie almost nullified, while the replacement front row of PJ Botha, JP Smith and Ruan Dreyer have come on and dominated straight away.

It is a bit of a change-up since it has been the starting three who have been the stars so far this season, and while they aren’t smashing the opposition, the scrum is stable and solid.

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“It has been encouraging to see the guys coming on and bringing that extra energy, not only in the scrums but in the loose as well. It is always a team effort,” said Lions scrum coach Julian Redelinghuys.

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“When you have six really good players (two front rows) they can strengthen each other on the day, which helps if the first front row is nullified, then the second front row can come on and do the job. So that was good to see.

“There are some things that we have picked up in our analysis that are not hard to fix for the starting front row and we will see the end product this weekend.”

The two wins over Cardiff and Munster over the past two weekends sees the Lions head into the Ospreys match with plenty of confidence.

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Having started the year with a five-match losing streak, they now seem to have turned the corner in terms of their form, though Redelinghuys cautioned against that thinking.

“Two games is too early to say. What we are trying to do now is stay positive, stick to the processes, keep working hard and do everything we can in the week to make sure we put ourselves in a position to get a result,” he said.

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“So we are looking at the things we are doing well and we want to keep improving on that, while we are also trying to improve on the things we aren’t doing well.

“The whole vibe and energy is better after a couple of wins, and I think the comeback we produced (last week) was something we haven’t experienced in a while, so it was really good and you could see the guys’ excitement.”

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