Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
4 Jul 2014
11:00 am

Lions eager to regain pride

Rudolph Jacobs

It's not always about how you start, but how you finish, according to Lions captain Warren Whiteley, as he described tonight's clash against the Rebels at Ellis Park as a "massive" game for them.

Warren Whiteley during a Lions training session at the Johannesburg Stadium. Picture: Gallo Images

The Lions enter the penultimate phase of the competition against a team who went down 36-20 to the Reds last weekend, but are desperately looking for their first win on SA soil.

There is also huge confidence in the Lions side after surprising the Bulls before the Test break, and the Lions skipper is hoping they can carry the momentum with them.

“We enjoyed the break, but there is certainly no lack of motivation,” said Whiteley. “There was great energy among the guys in training this week.

“We are certainly not taking them lightly and for us, the focus has been to start the game well and we have been focusing on those crucial first 10 minutes.”

The Lions have only played the Rebels once before, in 2012 when the Lions won 37-32, but Lions coach Johan Ackermann said they are focusing on the bigger picture.

“After the break, these last two games are almost a campaign on its own, and in rugby you only get remembered for the last game you played,” said Ackermann.

“If we don’t do well in the last two games, the Super Rugby season will be remembered as not being too good.

“The opposite side of the coin is that if we win the games, we can look back on a good season with a few mistakes.”

After welcoming back their only current Springbok, flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff, their other two Boks – flyhalf Elton Jantjies and lock Franco van der Merwe – are nearing the end of an era at the Lions.

“We have high expectations so it is going to be a massive game for us.”

Kickoff: 7.10pm