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Thu Apr 17 12:13:58 SAST 2014

Lions' focus moves to Currie Cup

LIAM DEL CARME | 17 August, 2012 06:130 Comments
Absa Currie Cup: MTN Golden Lions v Toyota Free State Cheetahs
JC Janse van Rensburg of the Lions is a happy captain during the Absa Currie Cup match between MTN Golden Lions and Toyota Free State Cheetahs at Coca Cola Park on August 11, 2012 in Johannesburg
Image by: Duif du Toit / Gallo Images

EVEN before the Lions were shown the Super rugby exit yesterday, caretaker coach Johan Ackermann could not dodge questions about the unthinkable.

"Players have a certain market value. If they play well they are going to increase their value," said Ackermann.

His team plays the Sharks in the Currie Cup in Durban tomorrow.

While their Super rugby departure may lead to uncertainty, it can also inspire.

Retaining the Currie Cup is now their only order of business.

"We have two-and-a-half months to achieve something as a team. That's it," said Ackermann.

The Lions made a positive start last week in defence of their title, beating the Cheetahs, but the Sharks also hit the deck running against Western Province.

"They have incredible game-breakers like Paul Jordaan and Craig Burden and now they get three Super rugby players back.

"They play with confidence and know how to get out of a tight spot. They will be a very difficult team at King's Park," said Ackermann.

In Bloemfontein tonight the Cheetahs have much to improve on against the Blue Bulls. The Cheetahs were poor in the scrums in their opener - an area the Bulls will try to exploit. The Bulls will also want to boss the breakdown, with the speed of two fetchers, Deon Stegmann and CJ Stander.

The Cheetahs have moved Riaan Smit to right wing to make room for the creative gifts of Sias Ebersohn.

In Kimberley tomorrow, Griquas and WP will hope to atone for their sins last week. WP have back No8 Duane Vermeulen, who has been absent since April. They have potency among the three-quarters, with Gio Aplon at fullback and Gerhard van Heerden on right wing.

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Lions' focus moves to Currie Cup

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