Only time will tell whether Swys de Bruin is ready to take over at the helm of their Super Rugby squad again, according to interim Lions coach Cash van Rooyen.
Head coach De Bruin returned home early from the Lions’ recent tour of Australasia, but a decision had not yet been made about Van Rooyen’s role in a part-time capacity.
“My kind of personality as a coach is to learn and then move forward, and I had a little bit of a taste of that when I was coach of the Currie Cup side last year,” Van Rooyen said.
“But at the Lions we have systems and structures in place, and my job is just to facilitate that at this stage. I don’t know yet how long I will stay on as coach.”
The Lions returned from their tour Down Under with one win and two defeats, and they were handsomely beaten 36-10 by the Crusaders in Christchurch in their last game at the weekend.
“It’s a tough place to win down there, but as long as we have learned from that, our time will come,” Van Rooyen said.
“We have a bye this week and we will let the tired bodies rest a bit and get ready for our next game against the Waratahs at home.”
It was never their plan, Van Rooyen insisted, to deliberately mislead the Chiefs by naming Elton Jantjies and Malcolm Marx on the bench, and then starting with both players.
“The plan was to put them on the bench and to manage them for the World Cup, but with the week we had we just felt we couldn’t have started without them,” he
With some young props on their bench, Van Rooyen felt they had managed to disrupt the Crusaders’ scrum and stop their mauls, though it was not enough to get the job done.
“If you make a mistake against a team like that they will punish you, especially down there,” he said.
“There were quite a few lessons learned.”