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Lions' to-do list as they create a winning culture

SPOTLIGHT: The Lions are fully aware of the work they have to put in to build a winning culture.

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The Lions have recorded just two wins after six rounds of the 2023/24 United Rugby Championship season.

However, the men from Johannesburg have delivered some impressive performances, claiming log points with each outing.

Last week they trashed Zebre 61-19 at Ellis Park giving them a timely boost ahead of the match against Dragons.

Ivan van Rooyen’s men will be out to secure their third win of the season, which will be another positive for the Johannesburg side.

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Speaking to reporters,  Lions loose forward Emmanuel Tshituka admitted his team is not getting too carried away with their latest result.

He added that they need to take it week by week and then gradually build the winning culture.

“We did well against Zebre but our main focus this week is just to tackle the Dragons and execute our game plan,” the loose forward said.

“Once we do that and we get the win, in three, four, five weeks’ time you realize that you’ve won a couple of games in a row and then you can take it from there.

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“I think to get ahead of ourselves and thinking we’ve developed a winning culture is not our immediate focus.

“We rather focused on what is working for us and taking each game at a time.”

The 23-year-old pinpointed the defence as the area that they need to rectify if they want to be a world-class team

“We conceded three tries against Zebre that we didn’t necessarily have to and I think it was a bit too easy,” Tshituka said.

” You know, our attack scored nine tries so that is always going to look good but we want to be world-class on both sides of the ball.

“If we can clean up defensively and just be a lot more competitive and resilient on defence against the Dragons then we will be in a good position.”

Another major work-on for the Lions is perfecting their maul, forward coach Barend Pieterse revealed.

“From a forward point of view, we want to score more maul tries,” Pieterse said.

“We started off well but we are a little bit behind as to where we want to be.

“But that is what we want to improve every week.

“The Dragons are not in a good space on the log. However, they have quality players and good systems.

“In terms of a set-piece, they have good line-out, so it going to be a tough game.”

The Lions will name their team to face the Dragons on Thursday.

 

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