The Blues handed the Lions an embarrassing 36-12 defeat in Auckland.
Loffie Eloff’s excuses shall be interesting. We’ll bring you these as soon as possible, but Loffie will give us the same old cliched crap.
Fatigue and jetlag? Sounds like a good one but won’t fly this week, the Lions were down 14-0 at half-time. And yes, they were lucky to get nought, with the missed tackles count at 18 and handling errors from the Blues at 12 – the rain an hour before kick-off can be thanked for that.
The Lions had literally no ball in the first half-time, but when they did it was seriously embarrassing as they didn’t know what to do with it. This is a team with no direction and somebody needs to take account for that.
The defence, as the stats will tell (35 missed tackles in all), was terrible. From No’s 10-13 the Lions kept on rushing up and the gaps were capitalised on from a Blues’ side that is nothing special.
The usually solid Lions tight five were hampered by tighthead Gert Muller’s inclusion as the scrum faltered. Lawrence Sephaka ‘wasn’t fit enough to start’, according to Eloff, but he did play the final half hour. That, like much at the union, doesn’t make sense.
Scrumhalf Jano Vermaak also made an impact when he came on, but why he was on the bench is another mystery.
The only way the Lions were going to cause an upset was via another inspirational Jaque Fourie performance, but when he injured his eye after defending for the opening hour their hopes were all but gone.
The Lions looked more interested in the second half, but that is more of an indictment as to why they weren’t up to it in the first is a mystery.
An out of form Joe Rokocoko created the gap for the third try to Rudi Wulf two minutes into the second half. That the pass to Rokocoko was blatantly forward isn’t really a consideration as referee James Leckie’s numerous mistakes couldn’t even have an impact as the contest wasn’t close.
The fifth try for the Blues came from a charge down off Andre Pretorius, who yet again had a shocker and calls for him to be in the Springbok squad are misguided.
The sooner the competition closes for Loffie and the Lions the better.
By Grant Ball