Lions seek knockout punch

Eugene Eloff has urged his Lions side to finish the job against Vodacom Western Province on Saturday.

The Lions blew a 22-7 lead at Newlands earlier in the competition, eventually going down 28-30. However, that gusty defeat sparked a Lions revival that has seen them win six matches in a row and stay in semi-final contention.

“That game was a turning point for us,” recalled Eloff. “At the beginning of the season we went back to basics and as soon as we started believing in ourselves the results came. We have improved since that Newlands match, and I believe we can win on Saturday. In saying that, Province have also improved.”

Eloff said the Lions would have to dominate possession in order to gain revenge over the Cape side.

“We have to deny them the ball, it’s as simple as that,” he said. “The game could be won by the team that makes the least mistakes. It could even be decided by a bad bounce of the ball.”

The Lions struggled against Griquas last weekend, coming away with a 34-32 victory.

“The big unions often make the mistake of relaxing against the smaller unions, and that’s what happened at Ellis Park,” said Eloff. “Your mental preparations should be the same, whether you’re playing the Bulls or the Pumas. In the end, I was just pleased to get the five points.”

Eloff also discussed the touchy subject of the Lions’ participation in next year’s Vodacom Super 14.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen or when the decision will be made [if the Spears will play]. That’s up to the administrators. All I know is that the Lions will prepare to play in a competition next year, whether it’s the Super 14 or something else,” he said.