Semi Final Rants and Raves: Lions can’t afford slow starts

My rants and raves for Independent Media’s IOL, following the Super Rugby semi-final weekend which saw wins for the Lions and Crusaders.

TOP RAVE

Fijian and Montpelier power wing Nemani Nadolo tweeted: “Kwagga Smith is a machine. He reminds (me) of that kids that play in an Under-7s game. The Smallest guy on the field, but always aim for the big islander kid! No fear! #nofear”. Smith scored two tries, made 99 metres, eight tackles and forced two turnovers. He may just have played himself into the Springboks’ Rugby Championship squad.

TOP RANT

The Lions, consistently the most potent team on attack, can’t afford the slow starts of the semi-final and the two previous matches in New Zealand this year. Already everything is factored against them for the final, but to give up 14 points in the opening quarter, as they did against the Waratahs and earlier this season against the Highlanders and Hurricanes, will turn the potential of a 20-point defeat into a horror show in Christchurch. The Lions have to find greater balance in their game management, and there has to be more emphasis on defence.

visit iol.co.za to read the rest of my highlights and frustrations from the past weekend’s games