Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
2 minute read
21 Feb 2019
9:03 am

Who said the Lions can’t tackle?

Rudolph Jacobs

Defence coach Joey Mongalo questions the "massive (wrong) perception" as they aim to inflict further pain on an admittedly hurting Stormers side.

Defence coach Joey Mongalo of the Lions during the Emirates Lions Mixed Zone at Johannesburg Stadium on February 19, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)

The Lions can take a few pointers from the Bulls’ defensive pattern against the Stormers last week, defence coach
Joey Mongalo believes, when the side travel to Cape Town this weekend.

They do not expect to face the same lethargic Stormers team who were thumped at Loftus, however, and Mongalo expected the Capetonians to have fire in their belly.

ALSO READ: Lions show bite on defence

“We know how South Africans react to tough times and their ability to bounce back,” Mongalo said.

“We expect the enthusiasm they will play with, especially in the first 20 minutes of the game, in front of their home crowd.

“We will pick up a few things from Loftus Versfeld, but we’ll do what we believe in. In every game there’s always a few things you can pick up on.”

Their own effort against the Jaguares last week was pleasing, Mongalo felt, after the Lions were asked to make 200 tackles and achieved a 93% success rate.

“There is a massive perception that we were poor defensively last year, which doesn’t make sense because we were fifth in the competition and first in the SA conference,” he said.

“So it’s always an emphasis, like any other part of our game, to make it better.”

Lions wing Madosh Tambwe – who is waiting to get a run with Springboks Aphiwe Dyantyi and Courtnall Skosan starting and Ruan Combrinck on the bench – expects the Stormers to come out firing.

“We know the Stormers would like to start the game like a house on fire,” Tambwe said.

“After last weekend they will want to prove a point, especially at home. So it’s going to be a really tough game for us, but we are looking forward to it.”

The 21-year-old Tambwe, who has scored nine tries in just 12 Super Rugby performances for the Lions, said they would take the same approach to the Newlands clash as they would any other match.

“The plan is to play our own game,” he said.

“Hopefully if it’s dry we can see some running rugby and stick to our DNA, which is playing the best we can, and not complicating anything.”

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