JOHANNESBURG – What’s important is the Lions got a win.
And it came as no surprise afterwards when head coach Ivan van Rooyen said he was “relieved, to be honest.”
For long periods of Saturday’s round two Super Rugby match against the Reds at Ellis Park, the Lions looked like they were going to buckle and hand the game to the visitors. But they hung on, scored four tries to the Reds’ two, and walked off after 80 minutes with a 27-20 win. It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t very encouraging, but it could have been worse. It could have been a loss, and that a week after the Lions copped a 38-8 beating by the Jaguares and a week before the Stormers visit Ellis Park - this weekend.
The Cape side have produced some freakish stuff in the first two weeks of this year’s competition - keeping the Hurricanes and Bulls pointless, in their two matches at Newlands. This weekend’s clash between the Lions and Stormers in Johannesburg may be a home game for Van Rooyen’s team but if the last two weekends’ results are used as a measure, then it’ll be the Cape side wearing the favourites tag.
With four away games in Australasia to come for the Lions after this Saturday’s match, the four points bagged from the Reds is very welcome indeed.