There’s no reason to hit the panic button just yet after their massive 65-38 Currie Cup defeat to Western Province at Ellis Park over the weekend, according to Golden Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen.
The Lions were played off the park in the first half as tournament favourites Province stormed to a commanding 39-10 half-time lead, and Van Rooyen said they would reassess the situation on Monday.
“We normally have an honest coaches’ briefing on the Monday morning where the coaches come up with a plan,” Van Rooyen said.
“Losing a home game like this is obviously a tough one, but we’ll put on the boots this week and deal with it before facing the Sharks this weekend in Durban.”
In front of a stunned home crowd of nearly 10 000 spectators, Province scored nine tries to five, with the Lions scoring 28 points in the second half to give the final scoreline more respectability.
“They were very clinical and applied the pressure, and we didn’t start well,” Van Rooyen said.
“They kept the pressure on us for 80 minutes.”
Thrilled Province coach John Dobson said they had executed their game plan well.
“I do think there were a couple of turning points in that first half when we scored an intercept and they could have scored too,” Dobson said.
“That was a 14-point turnaround which would have put a young team like the Lions under pressure.”
Dobson said the scoreline was “an absolute reverse” of what they had experienced at Ellis Park in recent years.
“The Lions play with such belief and enthusiasm that we had to use the rolling subs well, but we played to our plan,” he said.
“The Lions put us under pressure defensively with their steppers and it’s exciting for our rugby when you’ve got that attacking talent.
“There are days when the bounce of the ball goes your way and we had one of those days.”