Blues

Nucifora fears ‘new’ Lions attack

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The return of Andr’ Pretorius to the Lions’ starting XV has caused a measure of discomfort in the Blues camp, as the two sides gear up for their Round Six Super 14 encounter in Auckland on Saturday.

Blues coach David Nucifora believes Pretorius could make life tough for the Blues, especially on attack, at Eden Park on Saturday.

The Lions, written off as no-hopers before the start of the tournament, has won four games on the trot – including a first-ever back-to-back victories, against the Western Force and Reds. in Australia.

Pretorius, who missed the first three rounds of the competition through injury, came off the bench in the last two game and played a pivotal role in his team’s victories – also the first time the Ellis Park-based outfit had won in Australia.

Nucifora said that to beat the Lions the Blues will have to turn on their best performance to date.

“They have obviously played very well to get four wins on the trot. That’s a good effort in this competition,” Nucifora told Sportal.

“I think the threatening thing for us is during their second half performance against the Reds, their quality of attack increased dramatically with [Andre] Pretorius on the field.

“He adds a whole new dimension of their team.”

In a scenario many rugby pundits would have been reluctant to pick through five rounds of the competition, three of the top four places on the table belong to South African teams.

And this, says Nucifora, is largely due to a favourable schedule for the African teams that throughout the Super 14 have struggled away from home.

“I think it is the first time in a long time that they [South African teams] have started their season with three weeks at home for the majority of them,” he told Sportal.

“It has obviously made a difference and has gotten them off to a good start and gotten their confidence up.
“I think what we are starting to see now is they are bringing that on the road with them.

“The Lions hadn’t won a game in Australia for 12 years and now they have got two on the trot so they are going to be coming over here with plenty of confidence to play us.”

 

365 Digital

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