Lions' spine has to improve and adapt
REACTION: Golden Lions coach Swys de Bruin refuse to blame torrential rain for his side's dismal performance in Durban
The Golden Lions suffered a 10-24 defeat to Sharks on Friday.
The defeat means that the Golden Lions remain fourth on the log with 25 points, just two points behind third-place Western Province and one point clear of fifth-place Pumas.
Friday's match was greeted with thunderstorms, which left referee Stuart Barry having to suspend the match after just 20 minutes of play due to lighting.
However, by the time the match was paused for 15 minutes, Golden Lions were already chasing a 0-11 deficit – courtesy of two penalties by Curwin Bosch and a try by Thomas du Toit.
Golden Lions nearly bagged some points before the break but a knock-on on the try-line kept their duck intact as they struggled to adapt to wet conditions.
Meanwhile in the second stanza, the Sharks, who also beat the Blue Bulls 18-5 in similar conditions a fortnight ago, managed to put in a solid performance and added 13 points before Anthony Volmink scored a consolation try.
"I knew it was going to rain, but at but at four o’clock [on Friday] I was hoping the rain would stay away," De Bruin told reporters after the match, adding: "The Sharks played the conditions really well. They had a dress rehearsal last week, so for them, it was a familiar feeling while we just struggled,"
De Bruin did not blame the defeat entirely on the wet conditions. The coach believed that his side should have altered the approached.
"The weather was not the only problem. The Sharks were just better than us - their decision-making was accurate while we played most of the rugby they're managed to get the points on the board.
"There have been a lot of focus placed on the centre pair [Harold Vorster and Rohan Janse van Rensburg] but in this type of weather conditions they take up the role as just the pressure players. I think in conditions like this, you need your aerial lock, hooker, your halfback pairing and fullback to dictate the game.
"Currently, our spine are playing for the Springboks, so it does place a lot of pressure on the young boys to fill that void.
"Having said that, I am not making excuses for the youngsters. It was a great learning curve and they will improve,"
Golden Lions next Currie Cup fixture is against the men from the Cape, Western Province in Johannesburg.