Lions not dropping everything

Sun, 23 Feb 2014 13:35
Large marnitz boshoff 1st drop

The Lions are hoping that flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff's deadly drop-goals will give them a chance to run the ball more in the coming weeks.

The Lions are hoping that flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff's deadly drop-goals will give them a chance to run the ball more in the coming weeks.

Boshoff contributed 29 of his side's points in their 34-10 routing of the Stormers at Ellis Park on Saturday.

This was the Lions' first victory over the Stormers in 10 outings and the first time in seven years they have won two consecutive matches.

While the 25-year-old snatched victory at the death with a drop goal against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein a week before, the side's defensive efforts, coupled with Boshoff's kicking, won the game.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann said that it had not been a set plan to kick drop-goals, but explained that Boshoff has a licence to have a go if he feels that nothing else is on, which paid off well against the Stormers defence.

"It is still up to Bossie (Boshoff). He knows we're a team that likes to run and if he feels it is not on to run and he wants to have a go for it at least the pressure will stay on the opposition and we will receive the ball back," Ackermann said.

The Lions coach added that it could create better attacking opportunities for them in the future as team's look to counter Boshoff's drop-kicking.

"While we are not chasing the game it is an option and if you have a guy that has the quality with the boot like Marnitz then you can use it, so hopefully teams will try and counter that and it will give the team an opportunity to run again," he said.

Speaking of his dream debut in Super Rugby in which he had raced to 50 points after only two matches, Boshoff remained humble when he faced the media after the game.

"The forwards made it easy for me tonight, same as last week. They have a good work ethic and I am just proud of Warren (Whiteley, Lions captain) and the boys," Boshoff said.

"I don't think it was the plan (going for three drop goals) but the thing is if there is nothing on, you either put it up or go for the drop goal, so luckily it paid off tonight."

Ackermann was full of praise for his charges for the character they showed, particularly in defence.

"I am very humbled by what I saw out there. The guys played out of their skins and showed a lot of guts and character," Ackermann said.

"I don't know what else to say more than how proud I am of all the guys for the effort they've put in there. The way they played, the character they have shown, the commitment with 14 men in 20 minutes. They didn't let the Stormers in, so from that point of view it must be one of the best games I've been involved in."

Ackermann said while the team would celebrate the victory, they were well aware it was still early in the competition.

"It is an amazing feeling but we must realise that it is still only the second game and you must take it while you can but there is still a lot of hard work for us," he said.

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