Lions stick to basics

If the Lions want to stay in the race for an Absa Currie Cup semi-final spot they simply cannot afford to lose against the Valke tomorrow night.

The Lions are aiming for a fifth consecutive victory as a possible semi-final spot remains a possibility. A shock defeat will see them slip out of real contention as the Vodacom Blue Bulls and Sharks are virtually guaranteed of picking up a win against the Pumas and Griquas respectively.

“We are only thinking one game at a time at the moment,” Lions captain Wikus van Heerden told “If we make sure we can continue building on the momentum we have a good chance of making the play-offs.”

“The pressure has been on us for a long time now so we are getting used to the feeling. That doesn’t necessarily make it any easier. Every weekend for the last month has been like playing a quarter-final for us.”

Indeed, if the Lions stay unbeaten then they have a good chance of sneaking into the top four. The have four matches left, three of which are against teams they should beat – the Valke (away), Griquas (home) and Pumas (away). The match against Western Province in the penultimate round is already shaping as a make-or-break clash.

But tomorrow they face a Valke team that are no pushovers. At the same time fellow contenders the Bulls play the hapless Pumas, a match they are certain of securing five log points from.

“It’s important to win these games that we are expected to win. In the first round we let ourselves down when we were in a position to go for victory. I think we have learnt from those mistakes. We have also learnt how to win,” said van Heerden.

“Tomorrow we will not be doing anything fancy. First we will secure the win and then we will look to get the bonus point. We are not going to get caught up in what the Bulls are doing.”

By Andrew Hollely