Lions defence coach Joey Mongalo admits they only had to tweak their mindset slightly for Saturday’s big Super Rugby showdown with the resurgent Bulls at Loftus.
Under Mongalo, who has taken over the defensive duties from JP Ferreira, the Lions have conceded six tries in their first two games against the Sharks and the Jaguares while scoring 11. facot
That would seem to suggest that the system remains a work in progress though nothing changes despite magnitude of the weekend’s occasion.
“The mindset for an away game remains the same. The reason we play this game remains the same,” said Mongalo after one of the team’s training sessions at the Johannesburg Stadium.
“About 80% of the stuff will remain the same. Only about 20% will be tweaked because we’re playing an away game.”
Mongalo’s portfolio is notoriously difficult nowadays because it has become more difficult to break down defensive systems.
Most of them are well organised.
And one of those teams are the Bulls.
Mongalo said the Lions have taken notice of the revival in Pretoria.
“The Bulls played some great rugby last weekend against the Hurricanes, exiting at times and a bit different to the way they used to play. They are in a good space, so we know a tough game is headed our way,” he said.
“How Loftus will look and how many people will be there is out of our control, so internally we remain focused on our own strategies.”
“Obviously it’s a different challenge to play away from home as Ellis Park is a special place for us, but we also have to have the ability to perform away from home.”
Loftus has indeed been a fruitful hunting ground for them in the recent past.
But will that remain the case?