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Fri Apr 25 10:09:05 SAST 2014

Lions fix their stare on retaining domestic title

CHUMANI BAMBANI | 09 July, 2012 07:040 Comments
2012 SupeRugbY: MTN Lions v Melbourne Rebels
Waylon Murray during the Super Rugby match between the Lions and the Melbourne Rebels at Ellis Park on July 07, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa
Image by: Lee Warren / Gallo Images

FOLLOWING their narrow win over the Melbourne Rebels at the weekend, the Lions have one eye on defending their Currie Cup title this season, despite a woeful Super rugby campaign.

In their last home match on Saturday, the Lions managed a last-minute win in a tightly contested match against the Australian side.

The Lions are set for a wooden-spoon finish in the competition but are certain they can improve in the domestic cup competition provided injuries do not wreak the same havoc as they did to the team's Super rugby campaign.

"We need to get our injured players back. We've shown some good signs in the Super rugby competition this season, but results have not gone our way," said Lions captain Josh Strauss.

The Lions have won only three matches this season and injuries have played a big part in the side using mostly inexperienced players this season.

"Communication between players and a lack of experience have been our biggest downfall in the Super rugby campaign. If we manage to play the way we play in the first 40 minutes for the entire 80 minutes then we can be a dangerous side, which can defend their title in the Currie Cup," Strauss said.

The Lions played like a top side in the first half of Saturday's encounter against the Rebels as they led into the break 24-7.

They didn't take the momentum into the second half as the visitors took the lead and seemed the possible winners before substitute Jaco Kriel scored the match-winning try five minutes before time.

Flyhalf Elton Jantjies sealed the match with a last-minute penalty to win the game 37-32.

This weekend the Lions travel to Loftus to face the Bulls, who will be anxious to take full points to guarantee a play-off spot.

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