Lions' want to end on a high

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Lions_EllisPark2 Gallo Images The Lions are playing for pride.

With nothing but pride on the line, the log bottom Lions will want to send the Melbourne Rebels packing when the two sides meet in a Super Rugby clash at Ellis Park on Saturday.

It will be the first time that the Lions turn out against the Rebels since the Melbourne outfit joined the Super Rugby Series last year.

While the Lions have had an abysmal 2012 season, the Rebels have also struggled, with only four victories from 14 games.

While matches against touring teams lacked the physicality of local derbies, Lions skipper Joshua Strauss said they were still looking forward to a tough battle.

“It is always fun to play the overseas teams,” Strauss said.

“I think the South African games are just a bit more of a step-up in physicality.

“So we are looking forward to this one and we are not taking them lightly as they are a good side and they’ve caused a few upsets.

“They’ve shown that they do have quality in their team and we just want to concentrate on our strengths.”

Strauss said the Lions' forward pack hoped for another strong performance in the set-pieces.

“Our set-pieces were very good last week and we want to build on that and take that into this game,” he said.

He added, however, that they needed to be accurate at the breakdown area after they were penalised extensively at the rucks in last week's defeat to the Stormers.

“We haven’t specifically worked on our breakdown play, but we’ve done a lot of work in that area throughout the season,” the captain said.

“We can’t afford any penalties because on the Highveld you can kick a ball from anywhere.

“So we definitely will have to look at that this weekend.”

He said while the side's log position was disappointing, there were positives they could take out of the season as they prepared for their penultimate match of the series.

“We had a lot of disruptions and we did let ourselves down but I don’t think it is a train smash,” he said.

“We have a lot to build on and we have learnt a lot from this competition.”

Lions interim coach Johan Ackermann believed it was important for his side to finish the Super Rugby Series successfully ahead of the Currie Cup competition.

“We want to end the season well,” Ackermann said.

“It will be nice to build with positive momentum into the Currie Cup so two wins will be good.

“To me, personally, we just want to win this Rebels game first.” – Sapa


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