Jake not taking Lions lightly
Gavin Rich, SuperSport
Durban - The Lions supporters may be down in the doldrums as a result of their team’s first home defeat, but Cell C Sharks coach Jake White is not taking too much notice of the Johannesburg side’s loss to the Crusaders.
The supersport.com website reports that the Sharks travel to Ellis Park for their return derby against Warren Whiteley’s team, with White probably right to take on a cautious tone ahead of the trip.
The Sharks won fairly comfortably against the Lions in Durban, but then they were even more emphatic winners against the Bulls on the opening weekend, only for it to go pear-shaped for the Sharks when they went to Pretoria a few weeks ago.
Regardless though of whether he is just trying to keep his players’ feet on the ground after their big win over the Waratahs that preceded the bye week, White makes a good point when he says that the Crusaders, even though they have struggled this season, are still not a strong enough team for it not to be seen as a train smash if you lose to them.
"People will say the Lions should be disappointed to lose to the Crusaders, but the Crusaders are a team that has won the title seven times," said White.
"They are generally also a team that starts late, they tend to hit their straps later in the competition, and the worst time to play them is in the middle of the tournament.
"So I don’t think we need to read too much into the fact that the Lions lost to the Crusaders.
Yes, they’ll be disappointed because they lost and they had been going along nicely before that, but I don’t think that losing to the Crusaders is necessarily doom and gloom for anybody."
The Sharks have reported that none of the players who took the field against the Waratahs last time out suffered any kind of injury, and with Paul Jordaan coming back from a lay-off, the team could even be strengthened for the trip to Johannesburg.
Cobus Reinach, the scrumhalf who was injured against the Bulls, is two or three weeks away from returning and White hopes to have him back in action before his team leaves for tour.
The Sharks play the Brumbies and the Cheetahs at Kings Park before heading off on their overseas tour.