Sat 16 Oct 2021 | 01:17

Frustration and growth in Lions camp

Frustration and growth in Lions camp
Sat 16 Oct 2021 | 01:17
Frustration and growth in Lions camp
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REACTION: Lions head coach Ivan van Rooyen was left frustrated by his team’s constant mistakes in their 10-26 United Rugby Championship Round Four loss to Ulster in Belfast on Friday.

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The Johannesburg franchise’s latest defeat means they will now head home to South Africa with six points from their four games on tour.

Despite being only 10-12 down at the break, the Lions struggled to build momentum in the game with handling errors and poor decision-making proving costly.

“We managed to build a lot of pressure and then when we get to 10 or 15 metres from the opponents’ goal-line there is a small error and that is the frustration,” said Van Rooyen.

“I think we were competitive for a long period and that probably makes it even more frustrating.

“There was some unbelievable work rate and physicality out there tonight [Friday]. It’s just about decreasing the errors and getting some more consistency.”

Story continues below…

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The Lions started their tour with a win over Zebre (38-26) in Parma before losing their next three games against the Scarlets (13-36), Glasgow Warriors (9-13) and Ulster.

Despite this, Lions captain Burger Odendaal believes there has been significant growth within the squad.

“It’s been a massive tour for us. It’s not the results that we wanted but I feel there was improvement,” said Odendaal.

“Other than the Scarlets, there was improvement every single week. I am very excited to go back [to SA] and some of these teams will have to come over and play us on the Highveld.

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“It is just another opportunity for us as a team to grow.

“We are not happy or satisfied, but I think we are starting to get that belief that we can put teams under pressure.

“Ulster are one of the top teams in the competition and I felt we gave them a run for their money tonight. There were glimpses of great moments and then a couple of errors crept in.”

@rugby365com

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