LIONS COUNTDOWN: 3 lions with sharp teeth

Lions hooker, Malcolm Marx is a menace in attack and defence. Photo: Twitter

With only two days to go until the Lions host the Crusaders in the Super Rugby final, we have identified three Lions players the Crusaders will need to keep quiet. Because when these players roar, they roar loud.

Ross Cronje has performed consistently well all season. Photo: Twitter

Ross Cronje

While he is not always as explosive as his scrumhalf counterpart, Faf de Klerk, the man of the match in the Hurricanes semi-final has turned out consistent performance after consistent performance for the Lions, earning a spot in the Springbok side since June.

Cronje scored a sneakily beautiful try against the Hurricanes, and directed movements brilliantly, always keeping the Canes guessing. He has a sort of ‘I don’t want you to know I am here but I will still hurt you’ game plan against the opposition.

Cronje has shown he has big match temperament, so the Crusaders cannot discount him.

 

Lions stand-in captain, Jaco Kriel also plays for the Springboks. Photo: Jaco Kriel Facebook page

Jaco Kriel

Along with Cronje, Jaco Kriel is another guy pundits do not often rave about, especially in the South African camp. Yet he has been the backbone of the Lions defence, and often attacks, for years.

The flanker’s selection as stand-in captain whenever Warren Whiteley is injured, including for the final, shows he is more than just a great player. Kriel leads by example and inspires his teammates to go above and beyond.

While his performance in the Hurricanes game was nothing to write home about, his leadership and optimism is a bonus for the team and when the game is going against you, you would like players like him on your side.

Malcolm Marx

While Kwagga Smith, Jacques van Rooyen, Ruan Combrinck and Courtnall Skosan have been invaluable for the Lions this season, Malcolm Marx has been a level above – and for the Springboks too.

The hooker’s name would be right at the top of your list when you want solid front row players who can defend well. Against the Crusaders pack and elusive back-line, he is the perfect man to hold the line.

Seriously, Marx could stop any rugby player in his tracks. His ability to score tries and win penalties are bonuses.

ALSO READ: LIONS COUNTDOWN: 3 days to go

  AUTHOR
Nicholas Zaal
News Editor

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