In one of the stranger chapters in South African rugby history, AJ Venter once argued his way out of his contract with the Lions on the basis that Durban uniquely offered the sea and sand training that he needed to take his fitness to a new level, and the Sharks indeed make use of their Indian Ocean natural resource as often as possible.
Mike Greenaway writes for IOL.
On Monday, conditioning coach Mark Steele put the squad through a gruelling session at North Beach that had many of the players panting with exhaustion.
Not among that number were Rory Kockott, Bradley Barritt or Steven Sykes, the injured trio who missed the trip to Loftus Versfeld and are still recuperating.
“They will join us this morning for training, and if they get through the session they will be considered for Friday’s match against the Falcons,” said coach John Plumtree.
Plumtree was reasonably upbeat about his team’s performance against the Bulls, despite the defeat.
“We put together some pretty good passages of play against a team I rate as the best in the competition,” he said.
“And we would have been more effective if there had not been so many lengthy stoppages. Our plan was to tire out the bigger Bulls players, but that obviously did not come off.
“I was proud of the way we hung in. We were undone, though, by some costly defensive errors, some incorrect tactics in the lineouts and a little inexperience. But there are number of positives that we can take from that game.”
Plumtree said there was no chance of his team underestimating the Falcons.
“We hopefully learned a lesson from the Boland game,” the coach said of his team’s disappointing showing against a plucky Cavaliers team a fortnight ago. “The leaders in our side have to ensure the mental side of our game is correct for this match, because the Falcons are proving to be a handful.”
The Lions almost lost to the Brakpan team at the weekend; they led Boland by 30 points before losing in the second half; and they beat Griquas.Tweet