It’s just a matter of time before the Golden Lions start firing on all cylinders again, according to their seasoned scrumhalf Ross Cronje.
Cronje remains upbeat ahead of Saturday’s Currie Cup opener against Griquas in Kimberley following a Super Rugby Unlocked campaign where the Lions managed only a single victory and had two matches called off.
“Once everybody is on the same page and the boys are combining well, the team will roar again and I definitely think we are in a great place as a union at the moment,” said Cronje.
“Now it’s just a matter of the results going our way,” said the 31-year-old, who has 10 Springbok caps, and 91 Super Rugby and 57 Currie Cup caps for the Joburg franchise since 2012.
The Lions will start their campaign in the revised domestic competition five points adrift of the fourth-placed Cheetahs, but Cronje said they wouldn’t put undue pressure on themselves by trying to close the gap at all costs.
“It’s exciting times and I don’t think we need to think too much about catching up to anybody. It’s purely about our own focus,” he said.
“Winning is a habit and once you start winning and everybody starts believing in themselves 100%, that’s when you start seeing changes and the results start going your way,” added Cronje.
Having completely recovered from an ankle injury, Cronje provides a trio of options to head coach Cash van Rooyen alongside Morne van den Berg and Andre Warner, who are all competing for a start in the No 9 jersey.
“From the Lions point of view we are really just focusing on one game at a time. I think that’s the best way to approach things going forward.”
Having suffered three narrow losses in the Unlocked series against the other three traditional Super Rugby franchises, Cronje said Griquas and the Pumas should not be underestimated.
“Every game is important no matter who you play, whether it’s the ‘big’ unions or the smaller ones. Griquas are performing quite well at the moment and will pose a big challenge,” he said.
Cronje said it was vital to focus on their own processes and systems and what t worked best for them and said it had been one of the main points of discussion the past few weeks.
“It’s paying off and it’s just that one pass or one penalty that needs to stick for us. I thought we were a little bit unlucky this year against the bigger unions but things will change with time,” he said.