AUDIO: Lions eye Highlanders scalp
Lions coach Swys de Bruin said his team will target their final tour match, against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday, as the encounter where they can put their campaign back on track.
Despite still sitting second on the tournament standings, they are in danger of being caught by a vastly improve Jaguares team in the South African conference – with just five matches remaining.
The Lions, who started their tour with a 29-0 whitewash of the Waratahs in Sydney, has been bitterly disappointing in their subsequent matches – losing 22-27 to the Reds in Brisbane and 19-28 to the Hurricanes in Wellington.
The Highlanders, who will travel home from their two-match South African tour, also come off a disappointing loss – having gone down 12-38 to the Sharks in Durban this past weekend.
"[We are] disappointed, but I can't fault the players on their effort," the Lions' coach said.
"It was one of those games, [where] we showed much better effort than against the Reds [the previous week].
"[However,] it was a very strong [Hurricanes] team.
"We had opportunities, but did not convert them [into points].
"We will continue to fight and work hard – we will bounce back.
"We will work hard against the Highlanders and see if we can finish off the tour with a win."