Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
2 minute read
17 Feb 2015
3:48 pm

Q and A with Lions flanker Jaco Kriel

Rudolph Jacobs

After going down 22-8 to the Hurricanes last weekend, Lions flanker Jaco Kriel was prepared to face a few telling questions on Tuesday at the Johannesburg Stadium.

Flanker Jaco Kriel. Picture: Gallo Images

After the Cheetahs beat the Sharks in Durban, do you believe the Lions can repeat the feat this weekend?

“It just shows one there’s no easy game in Super Rugby, if you look at the stats, only one team at home won, so it’s anyone’s game, but the Sharks have a quality team, full of Springboks, so it’s going to be a difficult game for us.”

How do you rate the Lions’ performance last weekend?

“I don’t think we did that badly last weekend, our game plan worked out for us, we created a lot of opportunities and we just didn’t convert those chances into points.

“The senior players send out the message for us to recognise those opportunities, know when to take them, and know when to go for touch for example or to go for poles.”

How do you fix it before this weekend?

“I think we all can help each other in that regard, but our game plan has certainly created a lot, we will just have to learn to use them. That’s how will grow as a team.

“It maybe could come down to decision-making but the whole team plays a part in that, I think it is difficult to leave it up to two or three players, we all have to contribute.”

The Lions loose trio have been impressive, is it a big part of the team’s strategy?

“Our loose trio combined well but we always face new challenges, if you look at this weekend, Marcell Coetzee, Jean Deysel, they are all Springboks.

“We only have Warren Whiteley (as a fully-fledged Bok) so we look up to Wazza, and it will be a massive challenge to play against some of the best players in the world.”

But you, (and Robbie Coetzee, Ruan Dreyer, Ross Cronje and Julian Redelinghuys) were also part of the Bok squad last season?

“It was nice to be part of the Bok squad, get the feel, not playing but wanted to, but you really get that hunger to play for your country, so you can challenge yourself against guys currently playing there.

“It can only get better for us, it was a tough lesson we learned last weekend, the entire team learned something from it so going forward we can only improve.”