VIDEO: Lions fear the worst
REACTION: The Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen painted a bleak picture regarding one of their most talented players.
The Lions opened their Rainbow Cup campaign with a 9-24 defeat to the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Outscoring the Lions by three tries to none, the hosts looked the more composed of the two sides and the scoreline somewhat flatters the visitors from Johannesburg.
Referee Rasta Rasivhenge had three of his calls overturned – having overlooked transgressions by the Bulls, which resulted in possible tries.
For the Lions, there is more to be worried about than just the deprived standard of their game.
Already without a valuable kicker in the form of Springboks flyhalf Elton Jantjies, the Lions also suffered another setback in the kicking department.
Fullback Tiaan Swanepoel left the field with an injury after just 12 minutes. The 24-year-old limped of the field with a serious-looking ankle injury.
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Speaking to reporters after the match, Lions coach Van Rooyen said: “Tiaan’s injury sounds quite serious.
“We do have to wait for the official medical report but the doctor did say it is severe.
He added: “It’s a lower limb problem,”
When asked about the team’s overall performance, Van Rooyen admitted his team’s errors were costly.
“It was not a pretty game, it was an intense battle.
“The Bulls managed to pin us in our own 22 for the last 20 minutes. Our biggest Archilles heel was turnovers and penalties in our own half.
“However I’m proud of the guys who got their first caps, proud of the fight and how they wanted to perform
“But I’m not happy with the loss,”
For the Lions, it does not get any easier and the side travel to Durban to take on the Sharks next weekend.