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By Sports Reporter

Journalist


Lions searching for answers after first URC defeat

One of the main criticisms of the Lions game plan was their propensity to kick to the corner instead of taking the points on offer.


The Lions are looking for answers after following up their opening United Rugby Championship bonus-point win against Zebre with a poor 36-13 loss against Scarlets in Llanelli on Friday night.

Despite having a number of opportunities from lineouts in their opponents’ 22m, the Lions consistently left without points, and after clawing their way back to within seven points in the second half, they proceeded to fall away in a dismal final 20 minutes.

“I felt we weren’t effective enough in the opponents 22m and we weren’t patient enough in our kicking game, and Scarlets managed to convert that into pressure and points,” said Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen.

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One of the main criticisms of the Lions game plan was their propensity to kick to the corner instead of taking the points on offer, particularly during the first half and early in the second, as a misfiring lineout saw them lose possession on attack in the opposition’s 22m on a number of occasions.

This while Scarlets played a fast-paced game that relied on using quick ball and attacking from broken play, with a number of their tries starting from outside of the Lions 22m, including one that started in their own 22m with the Lions defence fast asleep.

“It is always tough, but when we were chasing the game we tried to get seven points instead of just three, and we will have to look at that and maybe in the future take the points with the boot instead of trying to get the lineout,” explained Lions captain Burger Odendaal.

“They caught us off guard. We were really slow to set and I think that is something we can really learn from this game… but definitely not good enough. We can’t expect to compete at this sort of level if we bring a performance like that.”

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