VIDEO: Lions sweating over set-piece struggles
WATCH as Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen and captain Elton Jantjies unpack the good and the bad of their team’s 21-34 loss to the Stormers at the weekend.
It was obvious from the entertaining eight-try encounter at Loftus Versfeld that the Lions still favour an expansive game.
However, there were also some glaring shortcomings in the outing in Pretoria.
Van Rooyen admitted his team has “plenty” to work on, but said they are excited just to be back playing.
“Clearly the set pieces still need work,” the coach said.
“We were under pressure in the set pieces.”
He also spoke of the ‘soft moments’ which released the pressure on the Stormers when the Lions had good momentum.
“Our kicking game has improved,” he said of their lack of form before the COVID-19-enforced lockdown, adding: “On attack, we just need to retain the ball for longer periods.
“There was a number of errors on our side that resulted in a stop-start game,” he said, adding that it detracted from the Lions’ desire to keep the tempo high and allowed the Stormers to recover when fatigue started to set in.
“The mistakes and errors from us brought their [dominant] set pieces into the game.”
Van Rooyen added that the performance of the young players in the second half was pleasing, as it showed the potential and dept in the squad.
“A number of the players who feature in that 30-minute period [in the second half] did really well and it showed the guys are close [in standard].
“It is an advantage for us and there is nothing like some great internal competition.
“We are excited about the dept of our team.”
The skipper, Jantjies, said that while there is ‘work to do’, he was more excited about the young players that came on in the second half and grabbed the opportunity to put their hands up.
He added that the new recruits added really great value, especially former Bulls captain Burger Odendaal and former Lions skipper Jaco Kriel.
Then there is the experience of Springbok prop Ruan Dreyer.
“I loved the communication that Burger [Odendaal] and Jaco [Kriel] brought,” Jantjies added.