The Golden Lions have suffered an injury setback with the news that lock Hendrik Roodt is likely to miss the rest of the season.
Roodt dislocated the AC joint in his shoulder in the Currie Cup champions' victory over the Cheetahs on Saturday, and coach Johan Ackermann confirmed to this website that he should be out for at least a month.
"We will have to assess it but it looks like it is going to be four to six weeks. It is not good to lose him because he was in good form but obviously injuries are part of the game," he said.
With Stephan Greeff also sidelined with a long-term injury Ackermann could elevate replacement Etienne Oosthuizen into the starting line-up, but he also has the option of calling on SA Under-20 stars Ruan Botha and Paul Willemse.
Although both Botha and Willemse played for the Lions U21 side last week, they have also both signed with different unions, with Botha set to join Western Province and Willemse leaving to join the Bulls at the end of the year.
There were minor injuries to Jaco Taute (wrist), Willie Britz (wrist) and Deon Helberg (ankle), but Ackermann is confident that they will all be available to face the Sharks in Johannesburg this weekend.
The Lions coach said that although there were many positives to take out of their victory over the Cheetahs, which saw them secure a bonus point whilst living off scraps of possession, he believes that they can be far more accurate.
"We had limited opportunities but the guys did really well to score and defensively we were much better at keeping the Cheetahs out, but there are still a lot of work-ons.
"Every time we got into certain areas we gave away a penalty and that kept the ball away from us and then the few times we had the ball we lost it in contact so we need to work on that as well," he said.
One area that the Lions certainly cannot be faulted in is their team ethic, and Ackermann admitted that the two away victories since their loss at home to the Griquas have really lifted spirits in the camp.
"Everybody is doing their bit and the boys are enjoying each other's company, the spirit is good in the camp. I suppose winning also helps and it is always good to come in on a Monday having won two games in a row.
"At this stage it looks like the team is settled and they are enjoying playing the game," he said.
By Michael de Vries