Lions, Titans set for first Sunfoil Series derby

Dwaine Pretorius of the Lions during day 2 of the Sunfoil 4-Day Series match between bizhub Highveld Lions and Warriors at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on September 20, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)

Dwaine Pretorius of the Lions during day 2 of the Sunfoil 4-Day Series match between bizhub Highveld Lions and Warriors at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on September 20, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)

Multiply Titans assistant coach Mandla Mashimbyi believes they can take plenty of confidence from last week’s Sunfoil Series opener against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins when they host the bizhub Highveld Lions in their derby clash at SuperSport Park in Centurion from Thursday.

The hosts were in the best position of all six sides heading into the final day in round one, but had to settle for a draw after their opponents from Durban dug in on for a draw.

But Mashimbyi is adamant that the draw was not a bad result for Mark Boucher’s side.

“We took it as a winning draw because remember in recent seasons we’ve always struggled at the beginning, so this was a positive result,” he said. “We were in a strong position to win the game for most of the game and it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t pull it through.

“You have to commend the Dolphins for the way they batted, even though we deserved to win. That’s how things go sometimes.”

The Jukskei derby now awaits them and Mashimbyi says the approach will be like that towards any other game.

“We want to win every match we play,” he added. “The Lions will also be hungry to win and I think it will come down to the attitude that the players bring.

“We’ll need to make sure we’re ready and play the key moments better than them. That I think will be important.”

The Titans will have a completely changed team this weekend due to a number of players reporting for national duty, including new captain Aiden Markram. Heinrich Klaasen will lead the team in his absence.

Kagiso Rabada is the main player that misses out for the Lions, whose first game last week was a home draw against the Warriors.

Coach Geoffrey Toyana admits it was a good result for his side after they were put under pressure for large portions of the game.

“We were quite happy that we came out with a result,” he said. “It was a different wicket we used at the Wanderers and you could see it, bowling with the attack we had was quite difficult, so to come out of it with a draw was pleasing, especially the way the boys fought back.”

Looking ahead to this week, Toyana added: “It’s a big one this week, the derby against the Titans. We’ve trained well and we look forward to it.”

The Titans squad is: Andrea Agathagelou, Farhaan Behardien, Corbin Bosch, Henry Davids, Tony de Zorzi, Heinrich Klaasen (capt), Eldred Hawken, Heino Kuhn, Alfred Mothoa, Migael Pretorius, Rowan Richards, Malusi Siboto, Jonathan Vandiar, Shaun von Berg.

The Lions squad is: Stephen Cook (capt), Reeza Hendricks, Omphile Ramela, Rassie van der Dussen, Nicky van den Bergh, Dwaine Pretorius, Mangaliso Mosehle, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Craig Alexander, Ayavuya Myoli, Dominic Hendricks, Wiaan Mulder