Lions activate 'pre-season mode' at Ellis Park
REACTION: The Lions coaching team is a little more than just ‘excited’ about the pre-season programme – following their 38-32 win over the Sharks.
The Lions, already out of contention for a Currie Cup semifinal spot, headed to Durban with nothing but pride at stake.
The Johannesburg-based franchise delivered a great performance to record their second win of the season – after a horror start that saw them suffer a record 10 successive defeats.
However, coach Ivan Rooyen took over the Currie Cup team’s reins from Mziwakhe Nkosi and broke their duck with a win over Western Province in their penultimate match.
The Lions followed it up with another Currie Cup win over the Sharks at the weekend.
“The last two weeks were great in regards to this young group moving forwards,” Van Rooyen said after the win in Durban.
“We have a couple of weeks off and then we have to start with pre-season.
“There is a joke in the team that the coaches are more excited about pre-season than the players.”
He added that the players will have three weeks for some much-needed R&R.
“After that, they will come in for two weeks to do base works, followed by a week off and then it is 14 to 15 weeks of action.”
He pointed out it will be their first ‘pre-season’ in two years.
“We are looking forward to it,” Van Rooyen added.
The Lions clawed their way back into the game against the Sharks at the weekend, after trailing 14-22 at half-time.
The team from Johannesburg produced a dominating second half to secure their second win of the season.
“It was a very tough win,” Van Rooyen admitted, adding: “This was an important win for us as a group.
“I think it was a real good performance from a desperate Sharks team.
“We could see how much it meant to them, to get points from the Currie Cup game.”
Commenting on the standout performers, the coach said: “I don’t want to single out any individual.
“However, Henco van Wyk [who scored two tries in Durban] delivered quite an impressive performance, and there were a couple of other youngsters.
“We are so proud of the developing system and the young men putting their hands up away from home.”
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) June 5, 2022