Mapoe has 50% chance of playing
The MTN Golden Lions will be hoping that midfielder Lionel Mapoe passes a fitness test later this week if he is to be any part of the match day 22 for Saturday’s Absa Currie Cup semifinal against DHL Western Province.
Mapoe was stretchered off the field at the end of the 50-29 loss to the Vodacom Blue Bulls on Saturday and scans revealed he had a grade one medial cruciate ligament tear, and according to team manager Mustapha Boomgaard he is only a 50% likely starter for this weekend’s semifinal in Johannesburg.
The midfielder, who was called up to the Springbok squad before the final Castle Rugby Championship test against New Zealand, will be hoping he will be ready by Friday - the date set by team officials for his fitness to be proved.
Mapoe is seen as a vital cog in the team’s attack, and with the Currie Cup title defence on the cards, there is no doubt the Lions will look to give him as much time as needed to prove his fitness.
The same unfortunately cannot be said for Deon van Rensburg, who injured himself on Saturday in the same game, and is set to miss the rest of the season with a fractured fibula that possibly needs surgery. Van Rensburg will consult a specialist on Tuesday before making a decision on whether he will go under the knife.
While it is expected that Elton Jantjies will simply return to flyhalf, with Butch James and Alwyn Hollenbach making up the midfield, coach Johan Ackermann has a few other selection posers ahead of him this week.
“Loose forward and the front row are the toughest places to make picks,” Ackermann said.
“In the front row CJ van der Linde and Pat Cilliers (both Boks) played well, but Jacobie Adriaanse and JC Janse van Rensburg have done well for us all season. And we’ve got quality loose forwards, guys who put up their hands against the Bulls. Fortunately the backs take care of themselves even if we lose Lionel Mapoe and Deon van Rensburg.”
The Lions team is due to be named on Tuesday.