The Stormers can leapfrog the Lions into a playoff position with a win at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday.
Lions v Stormers
1 June 17:15
Emirates Airline Park
Lions (-2.5) 9/10
Stormers (+2.5) 9/10
The sides are currently level on 30-points with the hosts ahead on points-difference. The Lions have also managed one more win, but should be weary of a Stormers outfit that have begun to hit their straps this season.
The men from the Cape followed up a solid 19-all draw with the Crusaders a fortnight ago with a dominant 34-22 display over the Highlanders. With two home matches to come after the weekend, there’s every chance Robbie Fleck’s men could still sneak into the playoffs.
The Lions will look to avenge their 19-17 February defeat with an improved showing this week. Their recent 27-17 defeat to the Sharks would have knocked their confidence somewhat, but their playoff destiny remains in their hands. With a match against the Hurricanes and an away clash with the Bulls to come, Saturday’s game could prove pivotal to their hopes.
After reportedly breaching team protocol, Elton Jantjies has been omitted from the Lions’ matchday squad in a big blow to his side’s hopes. They are boosted by the return of Malcolm Marx to the run-on team, though the ever-unlucky Warren Whiteley continues to miss out, this time with kidney stone trouble.
The Stormers are set to be without Siya Kolisi and Pieter-Steph du Toit after the duo picked up knocks last week.
Verdict: Stormers by six
With both sides missing key men this could be a closely-contested matchup. However, the Stormers’ form should carry them over the line.