AUDIO: Lions face leadership shakeup
LISTEN as Lions coach Swys de Bruin speaks about the problems that resulted in his team’s heavy loss to the Sharks at the weekend.
De Bruin admitted he will have to make some tough calls about his leadership group, including new captain Malcolm Marx, when they head off on a three-match Australasian tour this week.
The Lions will face the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday, before heading across the Tasman Sea where they will play the Chiefs in Hamilton and the Crusaders in Christchurch.
It is the tame nature of their capitulation in the 5-42 loss to the Sharks that concerns the coach most.
He admitted it was similar to the 12-30 loss to the Bulls – physical teams that find it easy to dominate his young charges.
And the quality of the opposition they face on tour means De Bruin urgently has to find answers and those may lie in the absence of a true leader like injured skipper Warren Whiteley.
“I have to sit with my management and really have a deep look at the leadership group,” the coach told a media briefing.
“I’ll start with myself and go and have a look what did I do wrong, what happened.”
He admitted his team’s tendency to allow the opposition a head start and then play catch-up.
However, in some games – against physically imposing outfits like the Sharks and Bulls – they fail to get back into the contest.
“That is the biggest work-on at this stage,” the coach said.
“It is really disappointing, I must say.
“I’m not here for winning and losing. I’m here for effort, character and guts.
“I didn’t see that [against the Sharks]. That’s a bigger concern.
“I’ve lost before in my life, many times, but you can lose if you give effort. I didn’t get effort, honestly.”
De Bruin said going on tour might be good for the struggling Lions.
“It will take the pressure of the guys a bit,” he said, adding: “We don’t know the guys really well.
“It almost feels like back in 2014 – there are a lot of guys I have to get to know and work through.
“The tour will be a good thing, I think its perfect timing.”