Lions boss Kevin de Klerk has decided his under-performing team is in more desperate need of psychological assistance that his motivational talks and called off his planned trip to New Zealand.
Jan de Koning reports for rugby365.com last Friday the Golden Lions Rugby Union President, De Klerk, revealed that he was planning to fly to New Zealand this week in the hope that he can help coach Dick Muir salvage a sinking ship.
De Klerk had planned join up with the team in Christchurch ahead of the final leg of their marathon five-match Super 14 tour.
However, on Monday De Klerk said in a statement that he will not be joining the Lions in New Zealand.
“After reviewing the current situation over the weekend, I have decided not to undertake the trip to New Zealand, but instead to send our team psychologist, Henning Gericke, in my place,” the GLRU boss said.
“I have full confidence in the coaching staff and in Henning’s ability to lift the team, and I am certain that they will bounce back over the next weekend.”
De Klerk felt that his time would be better spent attending to the many commercial and other commitments that requires his attention – both at the Union and within his own business.
“Again, after careful thought, it has become evident that the 12 days away from the office could not be sacrificed,” De Klerk said.
“I wish to reiterate that I have full confident in the coaching staff and the team to do this turn around,” he added.
He dismissed the notion that the time had come for some drastic measures – despite the latest stream of records being scored against the under-performing Lions franchise this season.
It is the second time this year that they have conceded more than 70 points – 72 against the Chiefs in Week Two and 73 on Friday; giving them a total amount of 228 points conceded in just five games.
At the same time, the Lions have now conceded 29 tries – an average of six tries per game.
Against the Chiefs there was some measure of pride in the record loss – as the Lions also scored nine tries in an 18-try feast.
In Sydney, on Friday, the Waratahs racked up the following records in their one-sided romp:
* Drew Mitchell scored four tries – the most tries in a game by a Waratahs player in Super Rugby
* Berrick Barnes kicked nine conversions – the most conversions in a game by a Waratahs player in Super Rugby
* The 73 points the ‘Tahs scored are the most points in a game by the Waratahs in a Super Rugby match
* The 61-point winning margin is the highest in a game by the ‘Tahs in Super Rugby
* The 11 tries are also the most team tries in a game by the ‘Tahs in Super Rugby
* The nine conversions are the most team conversions in a game by the ‘Tahs Super Rugby