- Lions coach Mziwakhe Nkosi said they’ll find a brand of results-orientated rugby for the Rainbow Cup despite losing to the Stormers on Saturday.
- They were thoroughly beaten and could not find their way back into the game after trailing 21-0 in 20 minutes.
- Elton Jantjies limped off during the game, but Nkosi said it was precautionary.
Lions coach Mziwakhe Nkosi said they’ll still be in good shape for the Rainbow Cup despite their 44-12 drubbing at the hands of the Stormers at the Cape Town Stadium
While Nkosi was visibly disappointed by his team not rocking up against a fiery and well drilled Stormers unit, he said they’ll settle on a brand of rugby that’ll work for the tournament.
As things stand, the four South African franchises in the Bulls, Lions, Stormers and Sharks will play against each other in the first three rounds when the Rainbow Cup kicks off on April 24.
“We have to play a brand of results that’ll bring us results. We’ve experimented with a few things so we’ll look at the next month where we’ll take stock to see what works for us and play a brand of rugby that’ll bring us results,” Nkosi said.
“We haven’t seen the fixtures for the later rounds, but all things equal, if we’re looking at borders being opened, there’s a lot of excitement. We’re still waiting for more details to come out and I hope there are more details to come.”
What didn’t make Nkosi happy was a performance from his team that saw the Lions trail 24-0 at half-time.
The Stormers ran in 21 points in the first 20 minutes before the Lions could put together a semblance of control. Nkosi wasn’t pleased with how his team rocked up at the Cape Town Stadium.
“We lacked urgency and energy and it was a disappointing performance from us today. It is a warm-up game, but we put on a Lions jersey, so we’re disappointed. We were the architects of our own demise as we gave the Stormers three tries from turnovers,” Nkosi said.
“For a team that has the ability to play rugby and that prides itself on a quality attack, this game was pretty dismal.”
The Lions also lost Elton Jantjies to what looked like an ankle injury, with Fred Zeilinga replacing him. Nkosi said taking off Jantjites was a precautionary measure.
“We were a bit cautious with Elton. He rolled his ankle in a collision, so we thought it better to bring him off and give Fred a run. It is early days, but the medical staff will have a look and will give us an idea in the next few days,” Nkosi said.
Nkosi was impressed by how their youngsters excelled in the preparation series and how it served a depth testing purpose.
“We needed to test our depth because we’ve got some youngsters who are talented. For someone like Asenathi Ntlabakanye to scrum against Steven Kitshoff, that’s a brilliant experience. In that regard, we’ve ticked a box, along with the couple of wins against the Sharks and the Pumas. We’re not unhappy with how the series has gone,” Nkosi said.