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By Athenkosi Tsotsi

Sports Reporter


Lions will need no motivation to tame the Dragons

A bonus point win on Saturday against the Dragons could take the Lions into the top half of the United Rugby Championship points table.


Lions forwards coach Barend Pieterse says the team won’t need any motivation ahead of their crucial United Rugby Championship showdown with the Dragons on Saturday at Ellis Park (5pm).

The Johannesburg-based franchise is on the hunt for a second successive victory at home after winning 61-19 last weekend against Zebre.

The Lions are currently in 10th place on the table with 14 points. A bonus point win on Saturday against the Dragons could be enough to take them into the top half of the table.

Getting into the top eight will give the Lions a platform to build on as they aim to make the URC playoffs for the first time.

No motivation needed

Given what’s at stake for the weekend game, Pieterse says his charges won’t need any motivation to tame the Dragons.

“We want to win games,” Pieterse told the media this week.

“It hasn’t been difficult to motivate them after any game; all our losses were so close at the beginning Of the competition), and one of the positives we took out of all those games was we got points out of every single game we played.

“After a close loss, there was never a point where we had to motivate the guys. I think it’s more about keeping their energy intact so they keep that energy for Saturday,” he said.

Dangerous Dragons

Pieterse warned that they should not underestimate the Dragons, who are in 15th place on the points table; because through their analysis they have picked up the visitors to Joburg have a good set-piece.

“The Dragons are not in a good place on the log, but they do have quality players, they have a good system in terms of set-piece, and they have a good lineout system so it’s going to be a tough game.

“It’s not a 3pm game either where we can bargain on the sun and the heat; it’s a little bit cooler, and we just have to rock up and do what we have been doing in training,” he said.

Tries from forwards

The Lions forwards mentor wants his talented pack to be influential on the scoreboard on Saturday, calling for them to score tries, something they aimed at achieving at the start of the season.

“From a forwards point of view, something we set ourselves out to do at the beginning of the season was to score more tries,” Pieterse said.

“I think we started well, and we are a little bit behind where we want to be on that.

“In saying that, the teams we play against, you can’t just go there and score a maul try, you have to work hard. So, that from a set-piece point of view is where we want to improve a bit,” he said.

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