Late blow for Baywatch

Baywatch Grobbelaar will be replaced by Johan van Deventer in the Lions’ team to face the Crusaders.

Grobbelaar hasn’t played since the Lions’ loss to the Chiefs, but was originally named in the side for tomorrow’s clash at Ellis Park.

‘I had a fitness test on Wednesday,’ Grobbelaar told keo.co.za. ‘Everything was fine and I was cleared to play as I could sprint and do everything necessary to start.

‘But this morning I couldn’t sprint and I knew I wouldn’t be 100%. Johan will be able to give his best for the team and that’s why he’ll start.’

The Saders have had similar problems with captain Richie McCaw ruled out with concussion. Jonathan Poff, like former SA U20 opensider Van Deventer, will make his run-on Super 14 debut.

Poff is the Saders’ third-choice fetcher, as George Whitelock has undergone knee surgery.

‘We don’t know much about Richie’s replacement, but if he’s with the Saders he must be good. It’s the same with us, I know once Johan puts on that Lions jersey he will step up to the standard of Super Rugby,’ said Grobbelaar.

The Saders may have scored the least tries (18) in the competition, but they do have the best defensive record. Grobbelaar believes the battle between the two opensiders will be crucial in the Lions trying to break the Crusaders’ line.

‘We know most teams struggle on defence when you get quick ball from the rucks, so that’s what we need to strive for,’ said Grobbelaar. ‘That will help create mismatches outwide, while we need to take the ball flat and use runners at angles.’

Jaque Fourie will return and will resume in his role as captain after leading the team out against the Blues.

Lions (revised) – 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 Jaque Fourie (c), 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Deon van Rensburg, 10 Andre Pretorius, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Willem Alberts, 7 Ernst Joubert, 6 Johan van Deventer, 5 Jannes Labuschagne, 4 Anton van Zyl, 3 Lawrence Sephaka, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Subs: 16 Hans van Dyk, 17 Gert Muller, 18 Gerhard Mostert, 19 Robert Kruger, 20 Chris Jonck, 21 Earl Rose, 22 Michael Killian.

By Grant Ball