Lions coach Eugene Eloff is confident that his team will be able to redress his team’s line-outs woes ahead of their Super 14 Round Two encounter with the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.
Despite a thoroughly entertaining and at times sublime performance in beating the Cheetahs 34-28 last Saturday, the Lions’ line-outs were a lottery.
Eloff’s men put the ball into 20 line-outs against the Cheetahs. Of those they lost 11 and one was a skew throw. Of the eight that they did win, two were quick throws.
That left them with a meager return of only won six successful line-outs out of 18 – or a poor 33 percent return.
They did manage to steal tree from the Cheetahs, but it still remains a poor performance in one of the game’s key areas.
That they managed to score four tries and wrap up the bonus point inside the first 50 minutes, is testimony of how well they used their opportunities.
However, Eloff readily acknowledges that there is work to be done – especially for a game against a Sharks team that has one of the best line-out units in the country.
“Yes, we’ll have to work on our line-outs,” Eloff told rugby365.com’s Jan De Koning.
“We certainly conceded too many of our own throws,” the Lions coach said, adding: “It can be attributed to rustiness and most of it was timing.
“But there’s nothing else that’s a major concern or that we’ll pay special attention to this week.”
Eloff was also happy to reveal that there are no major injuries in the squad as he starts building for the trip to Durban.
The Lions mentor said he was pleased with what he termed “the ideal start” to the competition, although there is concern about the lapse in concentration between the 50th and 65th minutes.
“We played well for about 50 minutes and then for 15 minutes we went to sleep and went into a defensive mode,” Eloff told rugby365.com.
“I think the players just wanted to protect the [28-14] lead, and it is natural for players to want to play safe when you have a big lead.”
He said his team may not necessary employ the same expansive game plan against the Sharks, as they are a very different team to the Cheetahs.
“It [the game plan] depends who we play against,” Eloff said.
“We’ll study that game [their 20-15 win against the Stormers], but it is a totally different game to what we faced against the Cheetahs.”
Eloff said even though he will make a careful study of the Sharks, the key is still for his team to focus on what they need to do, rather than trying to stop the Sharks play.Tweet