Lions no wooden spoon contenders

Tue, 18 Mar 2014 08:19
Large richard graham

Reds coach Richard Graham says the Lions bear no resemblance to the perennial wooden spoon contenders the team was before their hiatus.

Reds coach Richard Graham says the new breed of Lions bear no resemblance to the perennial wooden spoon contenders the team was before their hiatus in 2013.
 
The Lions are sitting fourth on the Super Rugby standings, having won three of their five matches so far this season and defeated the Blues 39-36 last weekend - their first victory over the side from Auckland since 2006. 
 
Graham is certainly not underestimating the challenge his team will face on Saturday.
 
He said that his side had travelled to Johannesburg early to get as much preparation at altitude as possible before the game against the revitalised Lions, who he feels are nothing like the franchise which was dumped from the competition last year.
 
"The 2014 Lions side is unrecognisable to the side from 2012," Graham told AAP.
 
"They've made a raft of changes in their squad having being relegated last year. [They] have come back with a young group, full of energy and playing a good brand of rugby.
 
"You've got a young group that doesn't bear the scars of their previous history."
 
Graham has also been impressed by in-form Lions flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff, and knows his team will have to improve their discipline (after they conceded seven penalty goals in their 20-35 loss to the Sharks last week) with the threat of Boshoff's boot looking to punish them.
 
"You've got a 10 at the moment, whilst he's only four games into his Super Rugby career, [and] he's full of confidence and kicking goals from anywhere, - from 60 metres out," Graham remarked.  
 
The weary Reds, who shed over 60kg of combined body weight in the humid conditions of Durban in their loss to the Sharks last weekend, will have to adjust quickly to the altitude and unusually rainy conditions in Johannesburg for the clash with the Lions.
 
Reds flank Eddie Quirk echoed his coach's sentiments and said making the most of limited opportunities to prepare for conditions will be crucial.
 
"The altitude's probably the main thing training-wise that you have to adapt to and it's just a different place.
 
"The majority of the South African teams are big and physical. 
 
That's exactly what we expected from the Sharks and they gave us that. We've got to take the same attributes into this week against the Lions.
 
"Nothing really changes except we've probably got to perform better," Quirk added. 
There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
Lions v Bulls 51 | 14
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 18 | 16
Sunwolves v Sharks 17 | 38
Force v Highlanders 6 | 55
Hurricanes v Cheetahs 61 | 7
Fri, 19 May 2017
Leinster v Scarlets 15 | 27
Stormers v Blues 30 | 22
Chiefs v Crusaders 24 | 31
Sat, 13 May 2017
Jaguares v Force 6 | 16
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19