JOHANNESBURG – New Lions skipper Malcolm Marx has copped a fair amount of criticism in recent times for failing to find his lineout jumpers, but he has been spot-on in this year’s Super Rugby competition.
In fact, after three rounds of action, Marx is number one on the list for hitting his targets.
So far, the 24-year-old has made 42 throws and missed his jumper on just three occasions, for a 95 percent success rate.
It’s no surprise then that lock Marvin Orie is among the most prolific lineout ball winners so far this year.
And it will be hoped he has recovered from a small niggle that kept him out of last week’s match against the Bulls and will come into consideration for this week’s outing at Ellis Park against the Jaguares.
After going down with hardly a fight against the Bulls last week, the Lions need some grunt and experience upfront, and Orie being available will go a long way in fixing the inexperience problem in the pack.
But Marx’s quality lineout-throwing won’t be the only crucial aspect of his play that will be needed against the men from South America this Saturday.
His breakdown work will also need to be top notch again if the Lions are to bounce back from two defeats in a row – to the Stormers and Bulls.
Marx was a key figure in helping the Lions register their first ever win in Buenos Aires against the Jaguares in round one (a 25-16 win) by winning three turnovers, and it will be hoped he can produce the same kind of form this weekend.
— Emirates Lions (@LionsRugbyCo) March 5, 2019
Besides the Lions registering a first ever win against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires in round one, they have most recently lost to the Stormers and Bulls – the last time they came unstuck in consecutive games against local teams being in 2015.
Lions coach Swys de Bruin is expected to make some changes for this week’s match, with alterations likely in the second row and among the loose forwards.
Ross Cronjé could also start again at No 9, having recovered from injury and played off the bench last week.