Lions no wooden spoon contenders

Tue, 18 Mar 2014 08:19
Large richard graham

Reds coach Richard Graham says the Lions bear no resemblance to the perennial wooden spoon contenders the team was before their hiatus.

Reds coach Richard Graham says the new breed of Lions bear no resemblance to the perennial wooden spoon contenders the team was before their hiatus in 2013.
 
The Lions are sitting fourth on the Super Rugby standings, having won three of their five matches so far this season and defeated the Blues 39-36 last weekend - their first victory over the side from Auckland since 2006. 
 
Graham is certainly not underestimating the challenge his team will face on Saturday.
 
He said that his side had travelled to Johannesburg early to get as much preparation at altitude as possible before the game against the revitalised Lions, who he feels are nothing like the franchise which was dumped from the competition last year.
 
"The 2014 Lions side is unrecognisable to the side from 2012," Graham told AAP.
 
"They've made a raft of changes in their squad having being relegated last year. [They] have come back with a young group, full of energy and playing a good brand of rugby.
 
"You've got a young group that doesn't bear the scars of their previous history."
 
Graham has also been impressed by in-form Lions flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff, and knows his team will have to improve their discipline (after they conceded seven penalty goals in their 20-35 loss to the Sharks last week) with the threat of Boshoff's boot looking to punish them.
 
"You've got a 10 at the moment, whilst he's only four games into his Super Rugby career, [and] he's full of confidence and kicking goals from anywhere, - from 60 metres out," Graham remarked.  
 
The weary Reds, who shed over 60kg of combined body weight in the humid conditions of Durban in their loss to the Sharks last weekend, will have to adjust quickly to the altitude and unusually rainy conditions in Johannesburg for the clash with the Lions.
 
Reds flank Eddie Quirk echoed his coach's sentiments and said making the most of limited opportunities to prepare for conditions will be crucial.
 
"The altitude's probably the main thing training-wise that you have to adapt to and it's just a different place.
 
"The majority of the South African teams are big and physical. 
 
That's exactly what we expected from the Sharks and they gave us that. We've got to take the same attributes into this week against the Lions.
 
"Nothing really changes except we've probably got to perform better," Quirk added. 
There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 17h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9