Loffie slams players

Lions coach Loffie Eloff is fuming at some of his players’ lack of commitment in the wake of their mauling at the hands of the Stormers.

Although the Stormers produced their best display of the campaign so far, they were aided by a woeful Lions unit. Eloff questioned the bravery of some his players, as the visitors missed 17 tackles in the opening 57 minutes at Newlands.

“The players must take responsibility for what they do on the field,” said Eloff. “If one player misses a tackle, it means another guy has to make two.

“Some guys didn’t show the necessary courage. I take my hat off to those who did, but I was disappointed in others. I want to watch the video tonight and chat with the players to determine how we can play so well in the first half and then do so badly in the second,” he said.

The Lions led 12-3 early in the first half and were down 23-18 at the break. However, 33 unanswered points were conceded to the Stormers in a slack second stanza.

“I told the guys we must keep up the good start, but then we turned over possession, loosened up play and the Stormers capitalised on that. Our backs were against the wall as they put us under pressure.

“We panicked, then went away from our structures and played as individuals and not as a team.”

Two early Stormers tries were the result of Lions mistakes, and captain Baywatch Grobbelaar rued their elementary nature.

“We made too many unforced errors in our own half and they scored tries by putting us under pressure,” said Grobbelaar. “We couldn’t get out of our own half.”

Scrumhalf Jano Vermaak was sin-binned late in the first half and this yielded 10 points. Eloff believed the decision by referee Craig Joubert was harsh as it was a first offence.

“If you don’t roll away, you get a penalty and not a yellow straight away, but it was in our red zone,” said Eloff.

Despite the 56-18 hammering, Eloff remains upbeat as the Lions now face the Brumbies at Ellis Park.

“We’re not going to lie down, we can come back. We have to look at the reasons we did so badly and fix them.”

By Grant Ball