With the United Rugby Championship taking a hiatus, the Currie Cup returns this weekend with some great matches, including the Lions hosting the Sharks at Ellis Park on Saturday.
It’s a huge encounter for the home side as they are at the bottom of the table after two games without a win, while the Sharks have won both games and are one of the form teams in the league.
Adding to the pressure on the Lions is the fact that the union has failed to take a win in any competition this year, with the URC side also losing their four games.
“It’s kind of mixed feelings for us. The boys are excited to be back on the pitch, but there are also some nerves,” admitted Lions Currie Cup captain Asenathi Ntlabakanye.
“Obviously we know the state the union is in, we didn’t win a game this year. So the guys are excited and looking forward to the game against the Sharks, but we’re also really eager to win to get our campaign going. “
After a promising away game against Western Province in their opening game of the Currie Cup, the young and inexperienced Lions were exposed in their second home game against the Pumas, where they went down badly.
However, it was arguably the perfect experience for the young guns as they were able to judge where they are in terms of other teams in the league and they’ve had a good three week break since then to deal with some of those issues. to solve and prepare for the match. upcoming challenges.
“It was three very good weeks for us as a team. I think we really needed the time together on and off the field. It was phenomenal on the training ground and we worked on a few things that we needed to address,” explains Ntlabakanye.
“It was good to bring in those two early games before this break to see exactly where we are as a team. Hard as those losses were, I think they were very good lessons for us and prepared us well for the sharks that are coming this weekend.
“I think the mentality of the guys has completely changed and we are all set for the challenge.”
In other Currie Cup games over the weekend, the Griquas host the Western Province at Kimberley on Friday night and the cheetahs on the table travel to Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit) to take on the Pumas on Saturday afternoon.