Hidden heroes carry Lions


Tighthead props are not often observed. They typically go about their work unnoticed and unappreciated. They will even shrug off questions from outsiders concerning the entrance-row play, preferring to debate arcane issues like power-versus-method with fellow practitioners of the darkish arts. And do not point out referees of their presence.

Redelinghuys, the Lions tighthead, is a member of this circle. His physique is ideal for the position. At 5-9 and 18 stone (rugby dimensions for 1.75m and 113kg) he’s constructed just like the proverbial water closet of brick and mortar. He’s snug binding low and straight towards opponents and would have loved a beer on Saturday night time with Pauliasi Manu, the revered Chiefs loosehead, who took the brunt of Redelinghuys’s scrummaging on the weekend.

It has been to males like Redelinghuys that Lions coach Johan Ackermann has turned for the platforms that took the workforce to successive victories over the Sunwolves and the Chiefs. The latter was achieved, astonishingly, in Hamilton, fortress of Waikato rugby and as soon as residence of the well-known Clarke brothers Don and Ian, and the good Wilson Whineray. In Waikato they do not simply concede residence-floor benefit.

You may say that the Lions’ spectacular cost of attacking rugby, particularly within the second half on Saturday, was the results of their scrum beachhead, established by males like Redelinghuys, together with others, particularly his left-hand man, the excellent Malcolm Marx at hooker.

This allowed Jantjies, courtesy of an outstanding scrumhalf service from Faf de Klerk, to function on rugby’s tightrope, the benefit line. The flyhalf’s confidence in enjoying flat, within the faces of the opposition, is one other indication of how Ackermann has moulded this group of additionally-rans into critical contenders. Jantjies can play this manner as a result of he is aware of these round him, like Lionel Mapoe and Ruan Combrinck, know exactly find out how to play off him.

After a dismal opening spherical of Tremendous rugby, the Lions lifted their recreation and, with it, our spirits again house.

The Stormers weren’t dangerous both. They shed their Bloemfontein bogey, beating the Cheetahs, whereas the Sharks struggled towards yet one more show of enterprise by the Jaguars, whom the rugby media – all the time prepared to toe the road of selling head prefects – insist on inserting an “e” into the workforce’s identify the place there is not one in English; it is solely there in Spanish. This Jaguar may be quick, however it’s not an e-sort.

Whereas we’re on motoring, the Sharks performed like Cape City drivers making an attempt to barter a Joburg rush hour and the referee in that recreation, Jaco Peyper – all taken out in his new sponsored Outsurance livery – appeared like a pointsman on the intersection of Rivonia and Katherine the place the lights are all the time out. Besides that the pointsmen there have a really feel for the visitors, in contrast to Peyper on Saturday night time. He put two Jaguars within the sin-bin. He was extra visitors cop than referee. Regardless of being given two yellow tickets, the Jaguars raced to a attempt by their left wing, Emilliano Boffelli, who have to be the quickest man in Tremendous rugby.

The Sharks clung on to win 19-15, however for an excellent a part of the sport they have been 15 males towards thirteen. They may want some panel-beating earlier than they tackle the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday.



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