Currie Cup

Lions' brand excites Whiteley

2014-10-22 12:30
Warren Whiteley (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Golden Lions captain Warren Whiteley believes his team is finding a great balance between attack and defence.

While Western Province finished the Currie Cup league stage on top of the log, according to the competition statistics, the Golden Lions were the most effective team. The men from Johannesburg scored the most points (162) and tries (44), while they boasted the best defence (conceding 206 points and 21 tries).

The Lions went on to thump the Sharks in the semi-finals, surging to a 50-20 victory over their coastal rivals at Ellis Park.

Whiteley believes that it's been a collective effort, involving the players and management team.

"First and foremost, you have to credit coach Ackers (Johan Ackermann) and his team. They have set the necessary structures and the players are thriving because of it," Whiteley told

"We are very happy with the brand of rugby we're playing. Everybody is playing their role on attack and defence, and the results emphasise this. I do think we've been lucky that we haven't lost too many players to injuries, which has allowed a lot of continuity, but don't take anything away from the overall effort."

Whiteley added that the Lions will look to build on this momentum against Western Province in the final at Newlands on Saturday.

"Western Province have proven to be a very dangerous side, especially on attack," explained Whiteley. "They have some exciting players, especially among their back three with Cheslin Kolbe and Seabelo Senatla making an impact with ball in hand.

"But we will be focused on our own game, making sure we execute our game plan effectively on the day. We have to be clinical on attack and defence if we hope to pick up the desired result."

While the Golden Lions will be focused on their Currie Cup final in Cape Town, Whiteley did express his excitement ahead of the team's 2015 Super Rugby campaign.

"We're very proud of the brand of rugby we're playing right now," said Whiteley. "But we're not the finished product yet. As a team, we want to be even better going into Super Rugby.

"We gained a lot of confidence after recording our most successful Super Rugby campaign this season, but the reality is that we went through a disappointing slump midway through the tournament.

"We did very well to finish strongly and winning those three last games against the Bulls (32-21), Melbourne Rebels (34-17) and Cheetahs (60-25). If we can be more consistent, we could surprise many people next year."

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