Lions upbeat despite heavy stormers defeat
CAPE TOWN – Lions stand-in coach Mziwakhe Nkosi says they’ll play a brand of rugby that suits them during the Rainbow Cup, which kicks off next month.
The Johannesburg side took a 44-12 beating from the Stormers at Cape Town Stadium at the weekend, and while the hosts were in top form, the Lions will have no shortage of work-ons following their last Preparation Series game.
It would probably be easier to list what the Lions managed to get right than to state their shortcomings, because there were a lot of those.
But now, looking ahead to the Rainbow
Cup, Nkosi said it’s all about finding what works for them as they prepare to face their fellow former Super Rugby teams and European competition.
“We have to play a brand of rugby that will bring us results,” Nkosi said.
“We’ve experimented with a few things so we’ll look at the next month where we’ll take stock to see what works for us and play a brand of rugby that’ll bring us results.
“We haven’t seen the fixtures for the later rounds (of the Rainbow Cup), but if we’re looking at borders being opened, there’s a lot of excitement.
“We’re still waiting for more details to come out.”
The Lions only managed to get some points around the 70th minute on Saturday evening, while the Stormers wasted no time and led 24-0 at half-time.
Nkosi pointed out that they didn’t do themselves any favours with that poor performance.
“We lacked urgency and energy and it was a disappointing performance from us today.
“It is a warm-up game, but we put on a
Lions jersey, so we’re disappointed. We were the architects of our own demise as we gave the Stormers three tries from turnovers,” Nkosi said.
“For a team that has the ability to play rugby and that prides itself on a quality attack, this game was pretty dismal.”
While he made it clear that he was disappointed with their showing in Cape
Town, Nkosi also highlighted some positives, saying that he was impressed with some of the contributions of their youngsters and added that it served as a good learning curve.
“In terms of blooding youngsters ... that’s a great box that we’ve ticked. We needed to test our depth because we’ve got some youngsters who are talented.
“For someone like Asenathi Ntlabakanye to scrum against Steven Kitshoff, that’s a brilliant experience,” he said.
“In that regard, we’ve ticked a box, along with the couple of wins against the Sharks and the Pumas. We’re not unhappy with how the series has gone,” Nkosi said.