Valke fodder for Lions

Valke coach John Williams has named a strong team to play the Lions in an Absa Currie Cup encounter in Brakpan on Friday night.

The Valke have come close to upsetting some of their more fancied opponents on more than one occasion this year, but the only two wins are against fellow minnows – the Pumas and Griquas.

In the very first match they came within one score of defeating th eVodacom Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld and then also gave the Lions a tough time at Ellis Park.

In that first round match, the Lions won 32-19, but had to dig deep for every point. Since then, the Lions have gone from strength to strength and are surprisingly knocking on the door for a spot in the competition’s semi-finals.

The best the Valke can hope for is to overhaul Griquas in sixth spot, but that would require an upset win tomorrow night, which is highly unlikely against the form team of the competition.

Bosman Stadium is never a nice place to go, but the Lions are firm favourites to take this one. Standing in their way is an impressive pack that has finally settled as the year has gone on, while the halfback pair of Sarel Pretorius and Louis Strydom is capable of igniting their fellow backs.

The match kicks-off at 7pm on Friday.

Valke team to play the Lions: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Jovan Bowles, 13 Riaan Hefer, 12 Hanno Coetzee, 11 Mpho Matsaung, 10 Louis Strydom, 9 Sarel Pretorius; 8 Mike Vermaak, 7 Jacques Nieuwenhuis, 6 Piet Krause (captain), 5 Ryan Strudwick, 4 Dewald Senekal, 3 Philip Lemmer, 2. Piet Grobler, 1. Zane Killian.
Replacements: 16 Gavin Whittingham, 17 Attie Pienaar, 18 Nico Luus, 19 Sean Plaatjies, 20 Morne Adams, 21 Bosman Grobler, 22 Dean Okkers.

By Andrew Hollely