Composure key for late-surge Lions

Lions coach Eugene Eloff believes his charges have the mental abilities to achieve the improbable and make the playoffs.

The Johannesburg side were successful for the fifth consecutive week, coming away from Brakpan with the five points in a solid 32-17 win. It was a tough game, and Eloff confirmed that the Valke were a more than competent prospect on their home track.

“They are underrated, and differ from a few of the other smaller sides in that they play positive rugby,” Eloff told “It was very hard for our guys to play in Brakpan, but I was impressed with the way we kept to our structures and maintained our composure.”

The Lions scored five tries and so obtained a very valuable bonus point. They currently sit on 31 points on the log, which is only four points shy of the fourth-placed Vodacom Blue Bulls. Their three remaining games include Griquas and Vodacom Western Province at home, and the Pumas in Witbank.

“I’m impressed with how far we’ve come in terms of where we were at the beginning of the season, but I reckon there are still a few areas where we could improve,” said Eloff. “We need to win every game from hereon in, and so no match will be seen as too small.

“We have a good mix of youth and experience in the side, and the guys are really gelling and playing for one another. I was happy with the way we attacked against the Valke, and believe that we could have scored a couple more tries.

“I could not isolate one thing that has lead to this winning streak, it’s more of a team thing. Right now it’s about keeping our focus, and although we have improved, the job is not over and we are not yet where we would like to be.”

by Jon Cardinelli