VIDEO: 'I did not panic'

Sun, 22 Oct 2017 09:58

WATCH as Golden Lions coach Zacharia de Bruin reacts angrily to a suggestion he 'panicked' when he made a rash of first-half replacements in the 5-19 loss to Western Province.

It is the second consecutive year that the Lions were soundly beaten in a Currie Cup semifinal, despite bringing in a host of Springboks for the knock-out match.

However, it was De Bruin's decision to change his entire front row just on the half-hour mark - having already done the smoke-and-mirrors routine with his pre-match team announcement - that raised the eyebrows.

When De Bruin announced his team last Thursday, to play on the semifinal, he had Jacques van Rooyen, Malcolm Marx and Ruan Dreyer as his starting front row. Robbie Coetzee, Dylan Smith and Jacobie Adriaanse were on the replacement bench.

In the hours before kick-off De Bruin released a new starting XV that had Van Rooyen, Coetzee and Smith starting - with Marx, Dreyer and Adriaanse on the bench.

However, when the teams ran out onto the field the Lions' front row had again changed.

Van Rooyen, Coetzee and Adriaanse started - with Smith, Marx and Dreyer on the bench.

On the half-hour mark - with the Lions' scrum under constant pressure and the visitors trailing 5-6 - Smith, Marx and Dreyer took to the field in a move that raised more than just a few eyebrows.

A bitterly disappointed De Bruin said the changes were prompted by injury, rather than any mid-match jitters or a lack of composure, on his behalf.

"[Ruan] Dreyer had a bit of a rib [injury] that he battled with," the coach explained, when asked about the front row shenanigans.

"We had to inject him [with a pain killer] and I didn't want to put him under that pressure. Malcolm [Marx] was an absolute folk hero for South Africa. The plan was to see how it goes and just bring him on a bit later.

"It wasn't a case of trying this or trying that."

When it was pointed out to him that the changes resembled a bit of panic, his response was curt: "That is your opinion.

"There was definitely no panic whatsoever. I just explained why I did it."

De Bruin did not explain why an injured player was sent on as a replacement, if he was already doubtful to start with.

With Province having also made a mockery of the Lions' line-outs, a by now agitated De Bruin said: "They were good in the line-outs.

"On the day we were beaten by a very good, hungry side. All credit to them.

"They showed an upwards curve [in the win] against the Sharks last week."

He also expressed his disappointment in the Lions' inability to convert the opportunities they did create, especially in the final quarter when the visitors dominated territory.

By Jan de Koning
@king365ed
@rugby365com

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 25 November 2017
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 12h45 Welford Road
Bath v Harlequins 12h45 Recreation Ground
Italy v South Africa 13h00 Rome
Scotland v Australia 14h30 Edinburgh
England v Samoa 15h00 Twickenham
Wales v New Zealand 17h15 Cardiff
Ireland v Argentina 17h30 Aviva Stadium
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 17h30 AJ Bell Stadium
France v Japan 19h00 Paris
Sun, 26 November 2017
Kings v Scarlets 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Liberty Stadium
Zebre v Munster 13h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Allianz Park
London Irish v Wasps 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Fri, 01 December 2017
Kings v Edinburgh 17h15 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Glasgow Warriors v Cardiff Blues 18h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Dragons v Ulster 18h35 Rodney Parade
Worcester Warriors v Sale Sharks 18h45 Sixways
Northampton Saints v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26