AUDIO: 'Our own fault, not Rasta's'
REACTION: Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen admitted his team has no one to blame but themselves after the 21-26 defeat to the Bulls.
It was the Lions’ third defeat to the Bulls since the domestic season kicked off last October after a long coronavirus-induced delay.
Both teams scored three tries in the match, but it was the visitors’ ill-discipline that proved to be the difference in the game.
Van Rooyen’s men conceded 21 penalties compared to the Bulls’ 10.
To make matters more challenging locks Marvin Orie and Willem Alberts were yellow-carded within two minutes of each other during the second half, reducing the Johannesburg outfit to 13 players.
While many Currie Cup fans were fuming with the officiating of Rasta Rasivhenge – and his team – at Loftus Versfeld, Van Rooyen was very poised and measured afterwards, stating: “First off, I don’t think you will win any game with 20 penalties against you.
“What happens when you concede penalties of that nature is that you give opposition momentum and when that occurs, the referee tends to be a little bit harsher, which is normal.
“That’s our own fault, not Rasta’s”
When asked about the two yellow cards Van Rooyen said: “I have to review Marvin’s incident and Willem wasn’t back 10m.
“But to be honest, I can sit here and tell you it was harsh or it wasn’t, it’s not going to make a difference. However to play with 13 guys, you are definitely up against the wall anyway,”
Despite the semifinal disappointment, the Lions coach was proud of his team’s domestic season.
“The last ten months were very interesting and looking where were in Super Rugby, I can safely say we really improved.
“We understand how we want to play. Our defence is much improved, our set-piece is good and we’ve grown and played good rugby and that’s why this defeat hurts
He added: “But we will be stronger”