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Waratahs vs Lions
Super Rugby, 20 April, 2018
|Fulltime - Waratahs 0, Lions 29|
|Referee: Michael Fraser|
|Touch judges: Damon Murphy & Graham Cooper|
|TMO: George Ayoub|
The Australian conference-topping Waratahs face perhaps their toughest test of the season when they host the Lions at the SFS on Friday night. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog from 7:45pm AEST.
In one of the clashes of the round, we’ll start with the home side.
Daryl Gibson’s men have won four on the fly, and look all the better for their handy off-season recruiting.
The backline is starting to fire on the back of solid front foot ball laid by their forward pack. They also have a genuine finisher on the wing in Taqele Naiyarovoro.
In the forwards, Tom Staniforth starts in place of Will Miller, who drops back to the pine.
It’s an otherwise unchanged starting XV for the Tahs.
Now, Swys De Bruin’s troops.
They are coming off a 52-31 demolition job of the Stormers last start, and will need to harness the attacking mindset they had in that fixture if they’re to get outside the first channel of Waratahs defenders tonight.
Their forward pack is one of the biggest in Super Rugby, and they have arguably the form player in the competition in Malcolm Marx packing down at hooker.
Andries Ferreira and Marvin Orie are two keys to the Lions rock solid lineout, and will be the target men in the lineout once again this evening.
In the backs, pivot Elton Jantjies has found his rhythm after a slow start to the season, and will like the dry, warm conditions presented to him this evening.
Andries Coetzee, as always, is a threat from the back. Expect plenty of counter-attack from De Bruin’s men.
Where the game will be won
Set piece. Daryl Gibson has made no attempt to hide the fact that he’s opted for size over speed in his piggies. Staniforth and Wells will shoulder a lot of the carrying load in general play.
With a 6-2 split on the bench, there’s no excuse for the Waratahs forwards not to run their legs out for the periods they play.
That being said, the Lions have a strong set piece when it fires. Nullify that, and the Waratahs can win.
It’ll be a belter.
Lions by 6 in an arm wrestle.
Join The Roar for live scores of the match, starting from 7:45pm AEDT.