Lions want to arrest slump
Johannesburg – The Golden Lions Rugby Union wants to strengthen its coaching and playing staff as soon as possible in a bid to halt their continued slump.
Union president Kevin de Klerk believes this is possible and new sponsorships that the union are working on may well be crucial in paving the way.
De Klerk called the union’s management together again this week after the Lions were beaten 51-11 by the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
“We’ll always be keen to improve the process. We have plans with sponsors to improve our structures and we’ll bring in players to strengthen the team. I still have a lot of praise for the courage of our young players,” said De Klerk.
The defeat to the Bulls was the Lions’ 10th in as many games this year.
Supporters will be particularly nervous with the Southern Kings insisting that they be included in the Super 15 from 2011 onwards. Their inclusion may be at the expense of another South African team.
“We are obviously worried, but if you look at where their teams (Eastern Province, Border and SWD) lie in their league, I believe they still have a long road to travel,” said De Klerk.
“We’ll never look for excuses. But we are still very limited when you consider how few international players we have compared to the Bulls and Stormers. But we’ll make plans.”
De Klerk also believes the Lions were disrupted by injuries at critical times against the Bulls. Lock Franco van der Merwe and hooker Hans van Dyk left the field early. Prop Gert Muller and fullback Carlos Spencer were also replaced early on.
The Lions were trailing by only four points at half-time and it appeared as if their defence had improved significantly. Unfortunately the second half was a nightmare.
With games against the Blues (home), Western Force (home) and Cheetahs (away), Lions supporters will start fearing that it may be a season without a victory. Coach Dick Muir knows he has a huge task ahead.