Johannesburg - Lions coach Dick Muir will try and follow the Reds blueprint at Loftus Versfeld this weekend – keep the ball away from the Bulls and force them to chase the game.
Muir was a very interested party in seeing the Reds overcome the Bulls in Brisbane over the weekend but won’t be lured into a false sense of security in the trip across the Jukskei.
The Lions produced flashes of brilliance, but their defensive frailties early on forced them to play catch-up rugby for most of the game.
However, the way they rallied to almost beat the Sharks will have given the Johannesburg side a lot of confidence ahead of Saturday’s game.
The Bulls, however, are likely to be hurting from the loss, and will want to assert their former dominance in the competition and take another step towards defending their Super 14 title.
“The Bulls are a great side, we’ve seen what they’ve produced on tour but it's a new challenge for us. We’ve played against some of the best in the competition and done pretty well. We will have to get the guys up for the game and we will need to front up at Loftus on Saturday,” Muir said of Saturday’s game.
But the Lions coach was disappointed in the way the team failed to capitalise when they had the Sharks on the rack last weekend and believes if they can finally get over the mental block to win a game this weekend, it will mean the world to his team.
“The loss was probably similar to all the other games in that the progress has been there but other aspects haven’t. We’ve made some gains in certain areas, but unfortunately it has been hard for us to get a win.
“If you have a look at some of the sides who have struggled to get their first win, but when they did, it happens from there. For us it hasn’t happened yet, so maybe next week.”
Muir was interested to see the way the Reds kept the ball away from the Bulls so successfully that they rattled the defending champs for most of the game. Still, while the game is in the past, Muir believes his side will be up for the challenge.
“The Reds did well, they kept the ball and wore the Bulls down. We watched those games in detail and analyse the opposition all the time and we certainly will have a much closer look at the Bulls game.
“But there is no motivation needed for us to face our neighbours.”