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VIDEO: 'We can't rely on altitude anymore' says Fourie

VIDEO: Jaque Fourie, defence coach of the Lions, is adamant that his team cannot rely on the altitude against a tough side like Glasgow Warriors at Ellis Park this weekend.

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Fourie said the Warriors are one of the top attacking sides in the competition and the Lions need to play for a full 85 minutes to clinch this vital United Rugby Championship clash.

Their bonus-point win over Cardiff last weekend kept their hopes of making the Top Eight alive, but the second-half lull almost cost them as it allowed the visitors to launch a late fightback.

“The Ospreys game we played here at altitude, we were ahead with a few points in the last 20 minutes and they just picked up the tempo,” Fourie said at training on Wednesday.

“We can’t expect altitude to take us through any game anymore.

“We have to play, we have to make sure we do outstanding basics, put teams under pressure for 85 minutes, otherwise it is going to be a long day.

“Especially at Ellis Park, you want to start well, you want to end well and then you’ve got a good chance,” Fourie explained.

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Talking about Warriors coach Franco Smith, someone Fourie knows well, and his charges, the coach was under no illusion about the challenge awaiting the Lions.

“They are probably one of the top attacking sides in the competition.

“We saw their quality last week against the Bulls, the last 20 minutes that they came back. So it’s a quality side with quality players.

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“Our defence in the last two or three games has gotten a lot better, we are forcing teams into turnovers, we just need to use those opportunities now,” the coach exclaimed.

He summed up the to-do list for the Lions come Saturday.

“We just need to man up, the opportunities will come for us to force turnovers and then we can play.

“We are going to have to look after our ball. We don’t want to defend for 60 or 70 percent of the game.

“Defensively it is waiting for the right opportunity, you don’t want to give them any penalties in your half, because they will punish you.

“I know Franco and the way he wants to play. If we are going to force them deeper and deeper and force them out of the way they want to play then any team is going to struggle.

“Our challenge is to get them out of their rhythm. Physically the first 20 minutes is going to be tough for us, but we just have to keep knocking and keep on working, forcing them out of the system and using our opportunities.”

Fourie said they have the next two games to change their season around, but after that, they will have to wait and see what the other teams do.

“We’ve had a few close ones during the season that we probably look and say we had to win those games.

“But coming back to the end of the season, and now you need to still qualify for the Top Eight, we can only control what we can control and that’s the next two games.

“We need to win this game, we need to win the Stormers game and then we must see where the chips fall.

“If it’s going to fall in our favour or not.

“We just know that we’ve given it our best the last few games and that’s all.

“You have to aim for the seventh spot on the table, you can’t be eighth except if the Sharks lose against Gloucester this weekend.

“That’s another thing, we will know next weekend. If they win they take the eighth spot and then you have to be seventh or sixth, you can’t play for that eighth position.

“We can only control the controllables and that’s the next two games.”

 

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