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No room for complacency in Lions camp

NEWS: The Lions cannot go into their United Rugby Championship clash with the Sharks at Ellis Park on Saturday being complacent knowing that their rivals are bottom of the log at the moment.

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That is the view of forwards coach Barend Pieterse although the Lions are five places higher up on the log and there are 14 points between them.

“Had we won our two previous games against the Bulls, I probably would have said yes, one can be a little complacent. But where we are in the season, we definitely cannot be complacent. We had two great training days this week and we also trained well last week,” Pieterse said.

“We took a long hard look at our two losses, what we did wrong and also what we did right, because I mean there were some good stuff as well. So no, I don’t believe the coaches or the players are worried about any complacency, because we just aren’t in a position to be.

“It is a very important game and we want to go out and win and perform well for the people at home after that wonderful support we got in our last game,” he said.

The Lions took time to analyse their opponents and according to Pieterse the Sharks are definitely on an upward curve.

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“Watching their game against the Stormers the previous weekend, I think they have already gotten better. It’s not a lot of teams that can come back against the Stormers like that.

I think they have already started with an upward curve. It’s going to be a very tough game. You look at who they can pick that is available.

“We can’t just think that it’s going to happen, we can’t just think playing at three o’clock is going to do it for us in the hot weather. It’s definitely not case anymore with any team coming to our side of the world,” he stated.

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“It will definitely be a close game in our minds again, the quality team that the Sharks are, and I think we all know, with the quality players they have and with the quality coaching staff they have, they actually should be in a better position at the moment.

“So I think it will always be a close game against them, it doesn’t matter if it’s in Johannesburg or in Durban.

“And it will come down to whoever does the small things better. We hope we are that team on the day.”

Pieterse also confirmed that there were no major injury concerns in the Lions camp but they were still waiting to hear about the availability of Manuel Tshituka, who was ruled out in the week leading up to the game against the Bulls at Ellis Park a fortnight ago.

“At the moment as we sit here, there are really no big injury concerns for us. All the guys that are coming back from injury are doing well in their rehab,” he concluded.

 

 

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