Lions opt for ‘conservative’ approach against Bulls
REACTION: Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen is not taking any chances against the table-topping Bulls on Wednesday.
The Lions are currently third on the log following their valuable 33-25 win over the Pumas in their Currie Cup Round Six match in Nelspruit on Saturday.
The result saw the Lions book a semifinal spot, however, the side needs to pick up a win over the Bulls at Loftus on Wednesday to put themself in contention for a home semifinal.
While the Bulls enjoyed a bye, the Lions will have to put in another strong performance in a space of four days following their outing against the Pumas.
*Article continues below…
Despite the win being the Lions’ fifth consecutive victory, the team’s performance was far from pleasing revealed head coach Ivan van Rooyen.
“I’m proud of the result and the character but disappointed with the performance,” Van Rooyen told reporters after the win in Nelspruit.
“We struggled with continuity and the Pumas did well to break our rhythm – so lots of lessons to learn.
“I think it was an ideal occasion to try to be a bit abnormal and to be innovative in terms of our style.”
The set-pieces were a particular area where the Pumas proved to a major threat.
“We expected the set-piece was going to be tough, given that [the former Lions age-group player] Darrien Landberg knows our system quite well while Morgan Naude has had an excellent season for the Pumas.
“Having said that, our set-pieces is one of our strengths, so we have to take a good look at it.”
While the Lions coach admitted it was ideal opportunity to play more adventurous rugby against the Pumas, he revealed that he will opt for a pragmatic approach against the Bulls team.
“If things went a bit different, we might have changed the plan for the Bulls, however, the result has forced us to be a bit more conservative and hopefully we can tire the Bulls.”