Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
2 minute read
5 Mar 2019
10:13 am

‘Feeble’ criticism on Lions’ depth ‘irritates’ Swys

Rudolph Jacobs

While the Lions coach says one has to be able to handle the critics, the pressure on the team seems rather tangible.

Malcolm Marx of the Lions and Coach Swys de Bruin of the Lions during the Super Rugby match between Emirates Lions and Vodacom Bulls at Emirates Airline Park on March 02, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)

They are not looking elsewhere for potential returning players who could bolster their side after their subdued Super Rugby defeat to the Bulls last week, Lions coach Swys de Bruin says.

While lock Andries Ferreira confirmed his surprise signing for the Hurricanes, lock Marvin Orie could return for the Lions this week after recovering from a groin injury and flank Cyle Brink might be back next week after his knee injury.

De Bruin said people who argued that they needed reinforcements were missing the point.

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“I don’t even want to go there, who might be back this week,” De Bruin said.

“I hate it when guys say I missed this guy and that guy. It’s feeble and it irritates me, but you take it on the chin and move on, otherwise you shouldn’t be in sport.”

It was imperative for the Lions to pick up positive results in their next two home games against the Jaguares and the Rebels, before playing away to the Sunwolves which is likely to be a tough challenge.

And while the Lions looked more confident when scrumhalf Ross Cronje replaced Nic Groom, De Bruin said it wasn’t quite as simple as one player being better than the other.

“Nic and Ross are both good players, but ironically Ross came on as we started to get a few go-forward balls,” he said.

“So you can’t say Ross made the difference. Nic never had a chance to play and fulfil the plan that was set out in the first half.”

De Bruin maintained that their game plan was not the problem, but rather the fact that they couldn’t impose it on the Bulls last week, and the sparks were set to fly at the Lions’ usual video session yesterday as they reviewed the match.

“If you give silly penalties away you are not going to win games,” De Bruin said.

“So all of us, and it starts with me, we must be man enough to identify the areas. And we can’t be happy whatsoever because it’s sport.

“I’ll always back the guys, win or lose, but we are not playing to win or lose. We are playing to score tries and two tries were simply not enough.”

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