Lions need to return to winning ways

May 16, 2018 - For the first time since the 2015 Super Rugby season, the Lions lost three matches in a row. Saturday they are back at Ellis Park and need a win desperately.

The 2016 and 2017 Super Rugby seasons were massively successful for the Lions, where the team lost a handful of matches in the regular season (just one in 2017) and qualified for the final in both years, unfortunately falling at the final hurdle both times.

It's as if these two good seasons spoilt the Lions fans, as all of a sudden, many fans are starting to question if Swys de Bruin was the right choice to take the Lions forward after the departure of Johan Ackermann, and some fans even going so far as to say that we are back where we were in 2012.

I agree that we should have done better than the 6 wins from 12 matches up to this point, but I still believe that Swys is the right man for the job, and that the team will win the South African conference and qualify to play a quarter-final at home. The two losses against the Blues and Reds, who are both bottom dwellers on the current log, were costly slip-ups, and the one win from four overseas also doesn't make for good reading, but the team is now back in South Africa, and with a seven point lead in the conference, still have the luxury of controlling their own destiny.

The Brumbies are currently 2nd last on the log, and the Lions must make very sure that they take 5 points from this match. In order to do this they need to fix the small things that hampered the team up to now. Defense is a big head-ache, and surely it will be a focus point this week in the lead-up to Saturday's match. In the match against the Highlanders, the opponents scored most of their five tries from turnovers, so I think we should also try and look after our ball a bit better. If you don't turn the ball over, the opponents can't score tries!

The last thing that is concerning, is that the backline hasn't been firing this year like it did in the previous two seasons. It will help a lot if Swys could identify the cause of this and rectify it before Saturday.