Lions struck by injuries
Potchefstroom - While the Lions left Potchefstroom with five points on Friday evening, they will be licking their wounds as they contend with injuries in critical positions.
Lock Johan Snyman and scrumhalf Michael Bondesio both left the field injured during their 43-23 Currie Cup thumping of the Leopards, and coach John Mitchell will be nervously awaiting the assessments from his medical staff.
"We're not sure what's wrong with Michael Bondesio, it could be a calf injury. Johan Snyman, too, I'm not sure," Mitchell said.
Snyman's injury adds to the Lions' concerns at lock, with Wikus van Heerden having picked up an injury the week before, and the runaway log leaders look to be running low on resources in the second row.
Mitchell was pleased with his side's performance, although he was disappointed that they let the Leopards back into the match in the last quarter.
"I thought for 65 minutes we controlled the game pretty well," he said.
"We dominated territory, we executed well and I just thought in the first half we didn't build enough pressure with the ball.
"The only thing that disappointed me was the last 15 minutes. We were a little bit disjointed with reserves coming on."
The Lions gave away a number of penalties, but Mitchell said he would not lose sleep over the issue.
"I think you're going to concede quite a lot of penalties, and at the end of the day you've got to defend, so it's not something you can always control," he said.
"We just take it one week at a time. Nothing has changed.
"We looked after our performance well tonight [Friday] and we got the job done. It's not easy to play here."
The good turnout in support of the visitors at Olen Park bore testimony to the brand of rugby the Lions have played this season, after struggling in the domestic competition in recent years.
"You have to start somewhere, and good performances create this type of atmosphere," Mitchell said.
"It's nice to come to country areas and play rugby. This is where I was brought up, in this type of setting.
"It's something that is quite special and it's good for the game.
"It's also good for the players who come from the city to see just how much rugby really means to the people in the country."