Cape Town – The Stormers will be looking to dominate the Lions at scrum time in their Super Rugby derby in Johannesburg on Saturday.
That is the view of the Cape side’s hooker Scarra Ntubeni, who addressed reporters at the team’s High Performance Centre in Bellville on Monday.
The Lions conceded several scrum penalties in their 27-20 win over the Reds last weekend, with South African loosehead prop JP Smith giving Springbok tighthead Jannie du Plessis a hard time.
“We’ve done our homework on the Lions. It (the scrum) is definitely an aspect of their game we’d like to target, but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, because we’ve also spotted lots of good things in their game,” Ntubeni said, as quoted by Netwerk24.
Ntubeni is currently the Stormers’ starting hooker with Bongi Mbonambi sidelined with a hamstring injury.
After beating the Bulls 13-0 in a bruising battle at Newlands, the Stormers are expecting another fierce South African derby.
“They (the Lions) also have Carlu Sadie who knows our structures. We’ll have to work hard.”
Ntubeni’s deputy, Chad Solomon, has struggled somewhat at the set-pieces and the former could be required to play for a long period at altitude on Saturday.
“If it’s required for me to stay on the field for long, then I’ll do my best. The Lions may try lift the tempo, but we’ll be out to slow things down.”
The Stormers will be eager to break their losing duck at Ellis Park – they havent won there since a 22-19 triumph in 2015.
Since then, the Lions have notched three straight wins over their Cape rivals – 29-22 (2016), 52-31 (2018) and 41-22 (2019).
Saturday’s clash is scheduled for 15:05.
– Compiled by Herman Mostert