JOHANNESBURG – After a third straight come-from-behind win in this year’s Currie Cup, it’s back to the “drawing board” for the Golden Lions.
Captain Ross Cronjé said the team would have to improve in a number of areas if they are to challenge for the title in the coming weeks.
The Lions are sitting pretty in second spot on the standings having registered three wins from three.
But all of those victories have been edge-of-the-seat affairs, and was down to some determined play by the young Lions players in the second halves of their matches.
The latest win came in Bloemfontein last Friday when the Lions overturned a 19-0 deficit just before halftime to win 24-22, while earlier in the competition, they triumphed 38-37 against the Pumas and 30-28 against Western Province.
“We are making things hard for ourselves at the moment by allowing the opposition to score a few early tries,” said Cronjé after Friday’s win against the Free State Cheetahs.
“We’ve been on the back foot in all our games so far, so we need to figure out what has worked for us and where we need to change things.
“It’s back to the drawing board this week, so we can have a good look at ourselves.”
Cronjé, though, now one of the older players in a young Lions squad, said it was encouraging to see how well, and determinedly, the youngsters in the team had stood up in recent weeks.
“The fight in the guys has been unbelievable. They’ve brought some real energy into the team, and that’s been awesome,” he said.
The Lions, with a three-from-three record, are second on the log with 13 points.
Griquas are on top with 15 points, but from four games, while the Cheetahs are in third spot with 11 points, also from three games, and fourth are Western Province, with seven from three games.
Next up for the Lions are the Blue Bulls, who have had a nightmare start to their campaign.
They’ve won just once in four matches and prop up the points table in seventh position with a paltry five points.
Their only win came against the Pumas (25-17) two weeks ago, and they go into Saturday’s clash on the back of a 37-15 defeat by Griquas over the weekend.
Van Rooyen and his coaching team will hope for some good news on seasoned No 8 Warren Whiteley this week.
The regular captain targeted this weekend’s match as his possible comeback game following a long spell on the sidelines with a knee injury.@jacq_west