Lions hungry for more success
LIONS captain Warren Whiteley has warned their opposition that the Lions have tasted success, and now want more.
The Johannesburg side achieved a small milestone when they beat the Cheetahs in their Super Rugby match in Bloemfontein on Saturday, recording their eighth win of the season and passing the best the franchise have done in previous years.
But now with the defending champion Waratahs looming, as well as a chance to make the playoffs, Whiteley believes his side are even more hungry for success.
The inspirational captain played a blinder in his 50th Super Rugby game on Saturday and said the record of eight wins was a “nice thing” but it only served to make his team want more. “It is nice to know, especially as we always knew that we are a better side than we were last year. It is always nice to know we got more wins,” Whiteley said after the Cheetahs win.
“It feels like we’ve got more in the tank, if you know what I mean. It feels like we’ve got more to achieve this year. We’re not going to rest on our laurels now and think ‘we’ve got eight wins’, give ourselves a pat on the back. We’ve still got two big games left, especially the next one which is our last home game, against a quality side. Our supporters have been fantastic throughout the year, so we will definitely want to give them something back. We owe it to ourselves especially after last week’s showing against the Brumbies.”
Whiteley also downplayed the playoff mantra, repeating coach Johan Ackermann’s assertion that the team haven’t spoken about it yet, saying rather that the team’s performance was one “in the right direction”.
“As coach said we haven’t even spoken about that. Our biggest goal was to put together an 80-minute performance and I think we’ve definitely improved on that. Probably not as we should have, up to 65 minutes. It was still our most clinical performance of the year and we will still be in search of improving, of getting better as a side and this was a step in the right direction.”
Ackermann added that while the performance against the Cheetahs was good, the Lions need to be better this coming week against a top team.
“If we get that performance it will be good, but we need to be better. If you look at our lineout problems, we will play against a side that has a massive pack. There was the tighthead scrum against us — those little things that happen when you are leading and you can afford them, but need to tighten them up.
“We have to up our game as we’re playing a side looking for a home semi-final now, as they’ve overtaken the Brumbies. The only thing they need to do is keep on winning, they don’t have to catch the Brumbies, it’s in their own hands.”
Still the Lions have already shown they can give as much as they get, and if they’re on song at home and have half a chance, you can expect them to take it. — SuperSport