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
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 17h05 Kingspan Stadium
Sun, 22 April 2018
Brumbies v Jaguares 06h05 Canberra
Racing Metro v Munster 14h15 Paris
Fri, 27 April 2018
Munster v Ulster 22h00 Thomond Park
Kings v Cheetahs 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Treviso v Zebre 22h00 Stadio Monigo
Dragons v Scarlets 22h00 Rodney Parade
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Myreside
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Connacht v Leinster 22h00 Sportsground
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 22h00 Sixways
Wasps v Northampton Saints 22h00 Ricoh Arena
London Irish v Saracens 22h00 Madejski Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 22h00 Welford Road
Gloucester v Bath 22h00 Kingsholm
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 22h00 Sandy Park
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 7 4 0 3 21
Brumbies 7 3 0 4 14
Reds 8 3 0 5 13
Sunwolves 8 0 0 8 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 6 0 2 29
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Blues 7 2 0 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 30
Bulls 8 4 0 4 19
Sharks 9 3 1 5 18
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14
Jaguares 6 2 0 4 8
RELATED ARTICLES