Lions gave Sharks perfect practice for semi's says Mongalo
REACTION: The Lions have given the Sharks the best possible preparation for the semifinals, says Joey Mongalo after his team won a hard-fought battle in Durban on Saturday.
Mongalo was clearly a relieved man after the Sharks were trailing 0-14 early in the first half, but he praised the leadership in the team to pull things together and grind out the win.
“It was the best possible practice we could’ve asked for. It was highly stressful but they gave us the perfect preparation for the play-offs.
“I don’t think it can be tougher than 14-0 down and playing against a very desperate team that was playing to stay alive in the competition,” the Sharks coach said.
He praised captain Reniel Hugo for staying level-headed when the chips were down.
“[Hugo] is probably one of the best leaders I’ve ever met. When things get tough on the field, I know that he and I think alike and he has a way – with his quiet leadership – to get the team going.
“Luckily we have a few guys who help him lead the team,” Mongalo said.
Referring to their theme for the season, Desperate Men, Mongalo said the team showed desperation to get the victory.
“We didn’t play much rugby in the first half and we still managed to get the score to 14-14.
“At halftime, I gave the players the challenge to decide how they wanted their season to go.
“So it was in their hands to decide the right thing.”