It serves no purpose if you ‘win the fight but lose the war’ Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse lamented after their narrow 32-28 loss to a young Lions side in their Preparation Series match at Ellis Park on Friday night.
Poor goal-kicking by flyhalf Eddie Fouche and a lack of discipline saw the Pumas lose their grip on the game after they had the Lions on the backfoot in the first half, controlling the set-pieces and territory.
“First we missed most of our kicks at goal – I don’t even know how many there were – and then we came out in the second half and conceded seven penalties in the first 10 minutes,” said Stonehouse.
“So we won the fight but lost the war.”
Trailing 29-28 in the last 10 minutes, Stonehouse felt they should have just kept ball in hand and worked for the penalty.
“It’s the same situation which happened in the Super Rugby Unlocked, and we worked hard on our composure, but it looked like the devil had raised it’s ugly head again.” he said.
Though there was no trophy on offer in the warm-up series, Stonehouse said the Pumas were under pressure because they did not have the luxury of resting some guys while playing others.
“We have to work with these guys, and they must reach a level where they can compete on Currie Cup level in a double round,” he said.
“If there’s not pressure on the guys now and they still make mistakes, what will they do in the Currie Cup?”