Swys breathes sigh of relief
REACTION: Golden Lions coach Zacharia de Bruin can breathe a little easier after his side's narrow 29-28 Currie Cup win over the Pumas at the weekend.
The win ensured the basement dwellers, the Lions, end a four-match losing streak.
" The win is a huge relief," De Bruin said, adding "We needed it.
"Our young guys did really well and I’m pleased with them,"
The Golden Lions' first-half performance saw them take a 22-14 lead at the break, but as the second half commenced errors started to creep in.
"In the second half, the tempo just deteriorated. [It] felt like I was watching local club rugby.
"Everything just took forever; the scrum was slow, the reset was long, everything was just slowed down. It made it challenging, [as] we want to play a high tempo game and that is really something we have to work on.
"Our line-out was also a concern in the second-half. We won a lot of ball, but the use of [our] line-out at specific times was not that good.
"Our biggest problem was our ability to exit. We score a great try, they restart and then we knock the ball on or make silly errors,"
There are still five fixtures and with only a three-point deficit between Golden Lions and the Blue Bulls in third place, De Bruin's troops do have a chance to leapfrog into the play-off zone.
However, the mentor was quick to silence any semifinal assumptions.
"The semifinals are not even crossing our minds. We literally have to take it 20 minutes by 20 minutes with this group.
"We have a very interesting group, we have guys like [captain] Jacques [van Rooyen], who is very experienced, and then there are guys who are just starting - there is no middle order.
“Therefore, we should focus on gelling before even thinking of semifinals,"
When asked about Victor Matfield's absence in the coaching booth, the coach said: "He is just a consultant at this time - as we told the media in the opening press conference - he will only be with us from time to time,"
By Leezil Hendricks