Lions’ thumping 'irrelevant'

2011-10-19 14:24

Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town – Western Province coach Allister Coetzee appears to have avoided being suckered into any belief that a climate of despondency has enveloped the Lions camp ahead of the Absa Currie Cup semi-final at Coca-Cola Park on Saturday (17:00).

The Lions, fielding a starting XV at less than full strength, were trounced 53-9 by the Sharks in their final round-robin fixture in Durban last weekend, although their table-topping status was already guaranteed.

Nevertheless, the score-line may not have been quite what coach John Mitchell had in mind, and there could be a case for suggesting, if the Lions fall at the semis hurdle, that it represented a knock to confidence at the business end of the season.

Coetzee, however, is reading nothing into the magnitude of the reverse at Mr Price Kings Park.

“I don’t see too much in that,” he told Sport24 on Wednesday. “I think under the circumstances John wanted to give some other players an opportunity for game-time, and view the playoffs as a completely different entity to the round-robin competition.

“We’re talking knockout phase now, and he’s got his first-choice side to play against us.

“We did spot a few things we could take on board from that game, though, which could help our cause.”

Asked if the various Springboks returning from the World Cup to domestic duty had flushed out their disappointment of exiting at the quarter-finals, captain Schalk Burger replied with a twinkle in an eye: “Yes, I hope so. There have been one or two nightmares, restless nights, which maybe we can attribute to jetlag ...

“Of course there’s the sore-heart aspect (from RWC 2011) but luckily there’s a fantastic opportunity to play in a semi-final here for Province and I look forward to the weekend.

“We’ve worked ourselves into a position over the past three years or so to be competitive in the (knockout phases) and this game isn’t any different – we’ll have to play well at their home venue; the Lions didn’t top the log for nothing.”

The hosts beat WP 42-25 in Johannesburg very recently, but in mid-August Province did briefly arrest their surge to top place with a hard-fought 28-26 triumph at Newlands.


  • Brannas - 2011-10-19 14:49

    Die Lions gaan julle moer boetie, lang trane in die Kaap die naweek.

      Juan - 2011-10-20 07:12

      Die wp is al klaar so seker van n wen ek hou daarvan die arrugansie, LEEUS gaan moer hulle laat die weer probeer op hulle gat gaan sit.

  • goyougoodthing - 2011-10-19 15:06

    Sharks v WP Final in Durban.

      goyougoodthing - 2011-10-19 16:31

      Yes :-)

  • Hennie - 2011-10-19 15:53

    Vertel hulle Brannas, Ek stem saam. Die kaap gaan die kaap van groot trane wees die Saterdag.

      Dawie - 2011-10-20 07:03

      Mag die beste span wen !

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