The Citizen (Gauteng)

Lions much too slow out the blocks

- Rudolph Jacobs

In a battle for survival the Lions and the Stormers will be heading to Ellis Park this weekend to stay alive in the Rainbow Cup SA competitio­n.

They are both winless after two rounds, with the Lions going down 34-26 to the Sharks in Durban at the weekend, while the Stormers 20-16 defeat to the Bulls was their second straight home defeat.

Lions coach Cash van Rooyen said their slow starts had cost them for the second week, although both their defeats had come away from home.

“What is disappoint­ing is that we were good enough to win the game and that’s what hurts the most,” he said.

While both teams scored four tries, the Lions fourth by flank Vincent Tshituka on the stroke of full time served as a consolatio­n, to at least earn them their first point of the competitio­n.

“The guys really got stuck in and in the second half, especially the last 10 minutes, we really looked desperate,” he added.

Van Rooyen said however they had about seven senior players who picked up niggles in the last two weeks and were unavailabl­e.

“So now we have a bunch of them who could come back,” he said.

“The first 30 minutes were really frustratin­g for us and the Sharks managed to put our setpiece under pressure. They started well and we looked a bit flat to be honest,” he said.

Sharks coach Sean Everitt said their win over the Lions had been a better performanc­e than the previous week against the Stormers, but said poor discipline was still holding them back.

“Every week is vitally important and the pressure is on. In a short competitio­n like this, you cannot really afford to drop any points.”

“So to be unbeaten after two games and getting maximum points is pleasing for us, but the big test will be this coming week at Loftus,” he said.

“In the first round we only got one home game but then it levels out later on,” Everitt pointed out.

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