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Lions content to be underdogs in big URC clash against Stormers

The Lions will head to Cape Town for a United Rugby Championship date with the Stormers on Saturday as the underdogs to win the game and qualify for the quarter-finals, but that suits the men from Joburg just fine.

As things stand the Stormers are fifth in the standings and already secure of their place in the last eight, but the Lions, who’re ninth, have to win the game and then hope a few other results go their way for them to make the playoffs.

Winning at the Cape Town Stadium, where the Stormers have won the URC title before and also played in the final last season, won’t be easy for the Lions, but according to Jaque Fourie wearing the underdogs tag suits his men.

‘We’ve got confidence’

“Any team would prefer to be the underdogs,” said Fourie, the Lions‘ defence coach on Tuesday.

“When you go into a game with most people writing you off, not giving you a chance, that’s when you’re at your most dangerous … we all know what it’s like when you have nothing to lose, when your back is against the wall.

“We don’t mind going in as the underdogs. The way we have played recently, in our last three games, has given us confidence, and hopefully we’ll continue with that confidence this Saturday and build on it.”

Scrumhalf Morne van den Berg added: “If we’re labelled the underdogs then so be it, but in the camp we don’t feel that way.”

Must-win game

Fourie stressed it would be important however to not let the situation facing the Lions get in the way of them playing their brand of rugby and seeking a win above all else.

“We’ve got our plan in place, we just have to go and implement it,” said Fourie, who turned out for both the Lions and Stormers in his playing days.

“We know what’s at stake, and that winning with a bonus point will be better, but we’re only human, and there will be thoughts of it being a must-win game.

“But, we’re a process-driven team, and we know that if we do the basics and stick to the stuff we’ve done in the week, 90% of the time we’ll come out victorious
“Yes, it’s a big occasion for us on Saturday, but the end result will take care of itself, what will happen must happen.”

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