The Lions are looking to build on their spirited performance against Leinster in last weekend’s United Rugby Championship, as they head home and prepare to face foreign opposition in the next few months.
It was a worry going into the game in terrible form against the form team in the competition with some expecting a heavy defeat, but the Lions took the lead and put on a great show to push the table toppers all the way.
They will now be happy to use that feat as a springboard to a successful home run of games against foreign opposition.
“We will never be happy with a loss, but this game is something we can work on and make progress,” said Lions captain Jaco Kriel.
“I really think the team can build on this and we will believe we are good enough. I told the team before the game that it’s 23 men against each other, so if you can compete with the man in front of you, you’ll be fine.
“It is also very good for the young boys to gain these experiences. At the end of the day they are the kind of guys who need to be with this union for the next 10/12 years to keep it moving forward.
“Over the next few weeks it will be them who will bring the energy and we just have to work on that and build on that and get closer as a group.”
Kriel added that it was critical for the team to get more consistent and get into good form if they want to improve their results.
“For me the most important thing is to be consistent. We played a shock against the Bulls, then came back and then played badly against the Stormers, before we did well here. So we can’t go on with good, bad, good, bad,” Kriel said.
One area that the Lions have struggled with in recent games is the lineouts, but they had to play without six locks, which were injured. However, some of these second-row forwards will be back in the next week or so.
“As soon as we get back Reinhard Nothnagel should be fit, ready and selectable. Simon Dionisio is also a big five-lock and now plays in the Currie Cup, he was out for two or three weeks and was therefore not selectable,” explained Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen.
“Unfortunately, Willem (Alberts) and Pieter (Jansen van Vuren) have been injured for a long time, but when we get home, reinforcements will be waiting.”