News24

Lions welcome rest period

2012-06-03 18:22

Johannesburg - Lions captain Josh Strauss believes the hiatus from Super Rugby will stand his team in good stead before they end off their disappointing season after the international break.

Strauss was speaking after his side's surprise 38-28 win over the Sharks at Coca-Cola Park on Saturday, lifting the Lions off the bottom of the table into 14th place.

"With the injuries that we've had we haven't had the luxury of being able to rest key players," Strauss said.

"So I think a lot of the players have been playing 80 minutes for the full 13 games and they need the break."

The Lions, who recorded only their second win of the competition, looked impressive against the Sharks - who are in the hunt for a playoff place - by scoring four first-half tries.

Though they lost concentration at the beginning of the second period, Strauss said he was pleased that his side were able to maintain their performance to the final whistle.

"For the first time in 13 games, we concentrated for longer than 60 minutes," he said.

"The backline players really put us on the front foot and our tactical kicking was excellent.

"I think our set pieces were good. Our contests in the line-outs were awesome throughout."

Strauss added that Butch James's return to the side had steadied the ship after the Sharks threatened to take the game to the hosts.

"You can't buy experience. He really helped Elton [Jantjies] out and you could see the confidence with him there," the skipper said.

"This game was a big confidence boost and exactly what we needed going into the break."

Strauss said he was disappointed with the season but injuries to the squad had prevented them from building momentum.

"It's always a tough feeling when people write you off. We work just as hard as any of the other unions," he said.

"The battle we had with injuries was a big blow so we are feeling a little bit of relief and reward after a tough season."

Meanwhile, Lions coach John Mitchell said he was proud of the way his young team performed against a far more experienced Sharks outfit.

"Nine out of those 22 players today never did the full pre-season and six of those boys in that group today haven't even played Currie Cup," Mitchell said.

"So that gives you an idea of the situation we're in."

"While people might be after results, which is what this competition is all about, we've been in a position where we've actually developed quite a lot of rugby players going forward, so its nice to see them getting rewarded."

SAPA

Comments
  • aubrey.gloster - 2012-06-03 18:55

    Lekker Lions waars Rob Scrowing nou? Shame waars die Stormers Bokke? Coach het gesien hoe help die refs die Stormers. Hy's nie stupid nie. He he he he

  • Thomas - 2012-06-03 20:38

    Well done Lions and Stormers!!! Everything clicked for the nothing to lose Lions, just as everything went pair shaped for the Sharks! My Bulls were clueless, with 70% of the ball they couldn't change the easy to defend against plan!!! Out of the backline players Meyer chose from the Bulls only Hougaard and Styen should be there! I think the big surprise is going to be when Meyer chooses Spies as captain, who also shouldn't be there!! Meyer obviously chose his squad before Saturdays games, because he wants Spies. I think Spies will work well of Kolisi who grafts in the mould of Kieran Read which will give Spies room to roam and be more explosive!! By not selecting Kolisi Meyer missed the plot I think. Our backline should be Lambie, Habana, Pieterson, De Villiers, Steyn, Steyn and Hougaard!! NOW WE ALL become BOKS and stand behind OUR TEAM even if it isn't our personal choice!!!!

  • Andrew - 2012-06-04 09:14

    Fantastic win on the weekend Lions, well done boys

  • Bert - 2012-06-04 12:42

    Dit was baie mooi rugby. Dankie LIONS!!!

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