Sport / Rugby

Ross Roche
Senior sports writer
3 minute read
7 Oct 2021
4:11 pm

Five key areas where the Lions must improve against Glasgow

Ross Roche

The Lions will need to be keenly aware of their opponents' attacking threat and make sure they do not turn their backs again.

Andre Warner in action for the Lions against Scarlets. Picture: Getty Images

The Lions have had a tricky start to their United Rugby Championship campaign, picking up a bonus-point win against Zebre before being comprehensively outplayed by Scarlets.

They will need to put in a much better showing this weekend if they are to pick up a win against Glasgow Warriors in Scotland.

Here are five key areas they need to improve on.

Lineouts

Against Scarlets the Lions lineout misfired disastrously, which was made more evident by their constant decisions to kick to the corner instead of going for poles during the match.

On at least seven occasions the Lions kicked into the Scarlets 22m without picking up any points from the visits.

A number of overthrown lineouts, as well as jumpers not being lifted, led to some easy clearances for Sarlets who didn’t have to do much work to stop the Lions.

That will need to be fixed if they are to put the Glasgow Warriors under any sort of pressure.

ALSO READ: Lions trying to adapt to variety of styles in Europe

Game awareness

A very embarrassing moment for the Lions came in the 70th minute of the Scarlets match when they were penalised at a ruck in the opponents 22m.

With most of the Lions players then turning their backs on the opposition, Scarlets winger Tom Rogers indicated the team should take a quick tap which they did, running the length of the field with Rogers rounding off a try that started in their own 22m.

The Lions will need to be keenly aware of their opponents’ attacking threat and make sure they do not turn their backs again.

Discipline

The lack of discipline at the breakdown was also of particular concern against Scarlets.

They were unable to defend their own ball effectively, particularly on attack in the opponents 22m, which saw them surrendering their attacking position on a number of occasions.

They were also punished by penalties in their own half, which allowed Scarlets to slot four penalties to go with their four tries.

Improved discipline will be key in not putting them on the back foot against Glasgow.

ALSO READ: ‘Off-loading rugby might be way to go for SA teams in URC’

Defence

Half of Scarlets’ tries were scored from moves starting within their own half, with the Lions just unable to handle the broken play running, leading to a number of tackles being missed.

This was in contrast to some great try-line defence that initially held out Scarlets before they scored their first try, and the Lions will need to improve on their one-on-one tackling if they are to stop the Warriors from running away with the match.

Variation on attack

The Lions were very one dimensional on attack in their match against Scarlets, which led to them being worked out relatively quickly.

Scarlets were thus able to defend their line with relative ease, allowing the Lions in for only one try during the match.

The visitors will need to change things up against Glasgow and decide when it is more beneficial to kick or run the ball, so as to keep the hosts on their toes while giving them the best chance of scoring points.