VIDEO: 'Lions in a special place'
WATCH as Lions wing Sylvian Mahuza talks about the revolution of youth currently underway at Ellis Park.
Speaking ahead of of their Round Six Super Rugby encounter with the Sunwolves, in Singapore on Saturday, he said they are building “something great” in Johannesburg.
“This is a farely new, young squad,” Mahuza said, adding that the last few years they relied a lot on seasoned players – many who have moved on.
“The Lions are in a special place at the moment,” the 25-year-old flyer said.
“We are building something great.
“There’s some great youngsters coming through and putting up their hands.
“We are building and getting better with every game.”
He said some of the early season hiccups – losses to the Stormers (17-19) and Bulls (12-30) – were just a result of the new players not completely familiar with the system.
“It is the same brand we always play,” he said, adding: “It is just taking time because of the new guys coming in.”
Speaking about the trip to Singapore – 8,650 kilometres, a flight of more than 10 hours over six timezones – the wing said the Sunwolves have the same “mentality” about the game – a high-paced, expansive game and they never give up.
“I think they want to continue playing, putting pressure on teams.
“Sometimes when you have a 25-point lead, you ease off because of the big lead. I think that’s what makes them difficult.
“For a few seasons now they’ve been in Super Rugby settling down and they know what they want to do.”
The Lions know that they can ill afford the same slow start to last week’s encounter with the Rebels – which saw them trail 5-33 with 42 minutes played, before they stormed back to win 36-33.
“They have a lot of tricks,” Mahuza said of the Sunwolves.
“We have worked on some things in training this week.
“We need to also start well. I think last week everyone saw that we didn’t start well, so that’s a big emphasis for us.”
By Josh Isaacson, in Johannesburg