Lions still need 'fixing'
REACTION: The Golden Lions will have to fix some tactical issues ahead of their semifinal match against the Griquas says head coach Ivan van Rooyen.
The Golden Lions booked a home semifinal with a hard-fought 27-26 win over the Griquas in Kimberley on Saturday.
Both teams scored four tries, however, a successful penalty kick by Shaun Reynolds in the last five minutes of the match proved to be the difference.
The one-point win is a true testament of the young Lions team character. Throughout the season they fought back and have managed to secure comeback wins over the Western Province, Pumas, Cheetahs and now the Griquas.
However, the team’s tendency to allow teams to build a lead could have dire consequences and that was evident in their 28-30 defeat to the Sharks at Ellis Park in Round six.
Speaking after the match Lions coach Van Rooyen was hesitant to indentify the problem areas, however he is fully aware that there are work-ons that need to be finetuned ahead of the semifinals.
“We are very proud of the guys,” Van Rooyen said.
“The team showed great fight and character, certainly fortunate and bless to still be alive in the competition,”
He added: “There are some technical and tactical areas where we can improve on. We will have an in-depth review Sunday and have a great session on Monday with the guys to fix what we feel what we’ve done wrong.
“We also have to look at the opponents and produce a plan but there is always a lot to work on as a team and individually as well,”
The Lions have received a timely boost in the form of Cyle Brink. The flank, who returned from a lengthy lay-off due to a broken wrist, was a prominent figure during Saturday’s win.
Brink’s presence, along with Springboks Marvin Orie, adds the much-needed experience ahead of their semifinal clash.
“It’s always nice to get one or two senior players back.
“It was a big push to play Cyle for 80 minutes, we were unfortunately forced to do it but I was certainly happy with him,”
The Lions’ next assignments is a Currie Cup semi-final clash against Griquas in Johannesburg.