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Van Rooyen: 'We need to be better'

REACTION: A desponded Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen used the words ‘bitterly disappointed’ and ‘need to be better’ in his post-match interview after his sides’ 21-36 loss to Ospreys in the United Rugby Championship on Saturday.


The Lions’ dashed their hoped of a URC playoff and slipped out of the top eight.

There are still five rounds to the playoffs, but the Lions are now in survival mode.

Looking back at the match, Van Rooyen identified the areas where Ospreys overpowered the men from Johannesburg.

“We started quite passively, Ospreys managed to really disrupt our breakdown,” he commented.

“I think the moment we cleared that up later in the second half and got some momentum and front foot ball, we looked very different.

“Obviously bitterly disappointed.”


According the coach the main reasons their opponents got away from them, was because the Lions could not capitalise on their opportunities, especially in the first half.

“Even in the first half there were three, four clearcut opportunities, and maybe impatience from our side.

“But one or two more phases or one or two more rucks, we could’ve created that opportunity.

“We didn’t clean the breakdown out too nicely, we allowed them to get in there.”


The Lions now switch to the Challenge Cup and travel to Italy where they will face Benetton, a side brimming with confidence and sitting at the top of Pool 2 after three wins from four outings.

“We weren’t good enough today from our side, we will have a good look and focus on us. We need to be better,” an honest Van Rooyen said.

“When we got it right, we looked formidable. It’s just being more consistent in that areas.”

Lions No. 8 Francke Horn shared the same sentiments as his coach after the loss but hailed his teammates for the fightback they showed.

“Everybody is very disappointed. It felt like we let ourselves and the fans down after a really good performance last week,” Horn said.

“I just think it didn’t go our way and we struggled to find a foothold” he added.

“I think what was positive was that last fifteen minutes, the fightback of the guys, the impact that the bench brought. We know this is not our standard, we want to be better, we want to play better and we will be better next week.”

He viewed the upcoming fixture against Benetton as another opportunity to bounce back.

“Playing Benetton, it’s another competition, it’s a knock-out rugby so it’s something new to look forward to.

“I have no doubt that the guys will get together, we will go and check what we did wrong.”

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