Lions looking to regain their bearings

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 07:36
Large strauss and vd merwe630

The Lions, fresh from their upset of the play-off chasing Sharks, will use the next three weeks to "find their bearings".

The Lions, fresh from their upset of the play-off chasing Sharks, will use the next three weeks to "find their bearings".

In an injury-riddled season and ongoing uncertainty over their Super Rugby future, the 38-28 win in Johannesburg at the weekend came as a welcome relief

However, with three more rounds of league action remaining after the break for the June internationals, the Lions will be looking for more upsets - over the Stormers, Rebels and Bulls - to ensure the Lions not only finish well clear of the last place on the table.

That will give them some decent leverage when they go back to the negotiation table to decide the way forward for South Africa in Super Rugby.

Having won just once, in Round One, before this past weekend's shock of the Sharks, all their detractors claimed the Lions don't belong in Super Rugby and the Southern Kings deserve a chance.

However, the Lions showed they are not the easy-beats most have labelled them to be and it is a point they would like to drive home after the three-week mid-season break.

"Most of the players who have been playing all season will look forward to this break ... we've been taking knocks all season," Lions captain Josh Strauss told this website.

He said the break will allow the men from Johannesburg a chance to rest their wary bodies.

However, they don't have all three weeks off.

"The second week we return," Straus said, adding: "A one-week break will do the guys good end get them refreshed."

The other big positive is that they will also get a few of their injured players back.

"For the Lions this could be a timely and good break," Strauss added.

While some teams like momentum if they win, the Lions use the break to take a step back and re-evaluate their season.

"It is a great chance to get our bearings again," Strauss told this website, adding: "I don't want to make excuses, but we've had a lot of injuries in the early stages of the season.

"It is a tough knock if you can't keep established combinations together, and get continuity.

"To get some of those injured players back and allow them to train with us again, as well as get some of the more established combinations will be good for us.

"Obviously teams that win enjoy the momentum, to keep going, but for a team like the Lions who have taken plenty of knocks it is a good thing [to have a break].

Injuries have been a major contributing factor for the Lions this season, with as many as 13 of their Currie Cup-winning squad from last year missing any number of games through injury.

"I don't think people realise just how serious the injury situation has been at the Lions," Strauss told this website, adding: "Not just 13 players from the Currie Cup, but 19 players who were part of the [training] group at the start of the season were ruled out.

"After weeks four and five we had to call up players from the Pumas and from our junior ranks.

"Those were guys who did not even train with us in the pre-season - it was a massive blow for our team."

By Jan de Koning

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28
RELATED ARTICLES