Marvin Orie backs Lions to purr after Currie Cup final
The Cheetahs have been sparking recently, but the Gauteng team has also had its tail up
The Free State Cheetahs may have delivered fast finishes in recent weeks but Golden Lions lock Marvin Orie is in little doubt his team’s chests will be out when the curtain drops on Saturday’s Currie Cup final in Bloemfontein.
The Cheetahs had a spring in their step in the final quarter against Western Province and last weekend against the Sharks, but the Lions have also had their tails up at the business end of their matches.
They won their first three matches, having faced a considerable deficit in all of them.
Last weekend Griquas kept snapping at the Lions’ heels but the hosts separated themselves decisively in the closing minutes.
“That is something we can definitely do as well. I have a lot of confidence in our team‚” Orie said.
“We’ve been doing well and we have a bit of momentum. We’ve won a couple of games against Griquas. We beat them at home, which is difficult, and we beat them at Ellis Park, so we have momentum.
“There is something special happening here at the Lions. There are lots of young guys and the future of the Lions is looking bright‚” said Orie‚ who has a healthy respect for the Cheetahs.
“They’re a good team. They’ve played in the Pro 14 for a couple of seasons now. That changed their style a little, but watching them of late in the Currie Cup, I think they are back to their old ways where they give the ball quite a bit of air. They have good outside backs that we are wary of.”
They also pose a significant threat in the tight exchanges.
Their Pro 14 exertions have necessitated sharpening elements of their game that did not come under as much scrutiny before.
Their scrum packs a punch‚ but it is not as if the players who operate at its coalface do not throw their weight around elsewhere.
Loosehead prop Ox Nché is a handful‚ while hooker Joseph Dweba’s star seems to rise with each passing week.
“He is a really good player. We’ve done a bit of research on him‚” Orie said about Dweba.
The lock, who came close to bagging a Currie Cup winners medal when he played for the Blue Bulls who went down to the Cheetahs in 2016, is desperate to get a gong.
Besides‚ for him the Currie Cup still means something. “Definitely. Given the history of the Currie Cup, it has always been the main competition locally. It is something that has evaded me for a couple of seasons. It is something I take seriously.”
Not that the thought consumes him. “There may be a trophy after the game, and there is more at stake, but at the end of the day it is just another game that needs winning.”
Asked whether being on standby for the Springbok Rugby World Cup squad plays on his mind, Orie was firm.
“It would be a really dangerous place for me to be. It would be disadvantageous to the Lions‚ especially going into this weekend. I have to be honest with myself and the coaches.
“It hasn’t played on my mind. My focus for the last couple of weeks since I returned to the Lions has been them. I’m 100% focused here.”
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