After last weeks match against the Cheetahs being called off this weekend’s clash against Griquas has become even more important for the Lions.
They have lost their two opening matches against the Sharks and the Stormers which leave them with not much on the log. The chances that the Cheetahs game will be played on a later date is also unlikely which means the teams will only get 2 log points.
The Griquas is also not looking good on the log with a close loss against the Bulls in round 1 and then the Pumas came to Kimberley and upset the apple cart a bit for them.
Griquas coach, Mathie has made nine changes to his starting lineup for Friday match in Johannesburg. Only six players that start against the Pumas has remained in the team.
Griquas will also be without Anthony Volmink, Victor Sekekete and Ian Groenewald as they have all moved to other unions.
In the midfield Klaasen and Swartz keep their places as well as the halfbacks in Whitehead and Burger.
Verity-Amm will move from the wing to fullback for this weekend. Carl Els also move from the flank to the number eight jumper.
Andrew Beerwinkel, Adre Smith, Mzwanele Zito and Gideon van der Merwe will get their chance after they played from the bench the last time.
This means that the big men that started against the Pumas, John-Roy Jenkinson and Mox Mxoli will get their chance from the bench.
The Lions will welcome back their captain Elton Jantjies who was set to miss last weekend match.
Gianni Lombard will start at 15 with Stean Pienaar and Skosan on the wings. In the midfield we have Simelane and Kriel, which will be and exciting combination to look out for.
MJ Pienaar also got the nod on the side of the scrum for this clash against Griquas.
There is some experience players that will come of the bench for the Lions in PJ Botha, Ruan Dreyer, Jannie du Plessis, Reinhard Nothnagel, Jaco Kriel, Ross Cronjé, Burger Odendaal and Tiaan Swanepoel.
The Lions have been unlucky in both their matches against the Sharks and Lions loosing just out. They create plenty of opportunities but was just unable to convert all of them into points.
This should be an exciting fixture and one that will provide plenty of action. The clash of the big men is always exciting, but the Lions may be able to start the domination right there.
The game will be broadcast live on SuperSport on Friday at 19:00
Predictions: Lions is due for a win and there bench may just bring that knockout punch at the end of the match, Lions by 12
Emirates Lions: Gianni Lombard; Stean Pienaar, Wandisile Simelane, Dan Kriel, Courtnall Skosan; Elton Jantjies (captain), Morné van den Berg; Len Massyn, Vincent Tshituka, MJ Pelser, Marvin Orie, Ruben Schoeman, Carlu Sadie, Jaco Visagie, Sti Sithole.
Replacements: PJ Botha, Ruan Dreyer, Jannie du Plessis, Reinhard Nothnagel, Jaco Kriel, Ross Cronjé, Burger Odendaal, Tiaan Swanepoel.
Tafel Lager Griquas – 15 James Verity-Amm, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Harlon Klaasen, 12 Andre Swarts, 11 Eduan Keyter, 10 George Whitehead (c), 9 Zak Burger, 8 Carl Els, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Adré Smith, 4 Mzwanele Zito, 3 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 2 HJ Luus, 1 Andrew Beerwinkel.
Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Mox Mxoli, 18 John-Roy Jenkinson, 19 Johan Momsen, 20 Ewan Coetzee, 21 Theo Maree, 22 Tinus de Beer, 23 Masixole Banda, 24 Bandisa Ndlovu, 25 CJ Velleman, 26 Jonathan Francke.