Lions wary of Canes
The MTN Lions are preparing themselves for a tough encounter against a young Hurricanes side at Coca-Cola Park on Friday night.
While the Hurricanes were soundly beaten by the Stormers, there is no doubt they had their chances in the game, so much so that coach John Mitchell isn’t taking the challenge lightly.
But by the same token he is looking for his charges to take a step up in hunger and accuracy ahead of the game.
Mitchell shrugged off the criticism of his team’s narrow win against the Cheetahs and said he expected a better response this week against the Canes.
“We showed character in getting the win and our rugby will improve this week. We will be even hungrier than last week and more accurate. Naturally our performance was not to the standard that we wanted to be and I would like to believe there would be a response,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell warned that the Hurricanes, despite losing a number of stars in the off-season, were a dangerous team and one that could not be taken lightly.
“They are going through team integration more so than us and that will probably take them a bit longer. They will have huge desire though and it is important that we outwill that desire. They weren’t far away in that contest against the Stormers and they will take a lot of heart out of that performance. It will be a good contest because both teams will be extremely hungry,” he added.
“The competition will settle down and I know that teams will become more accurate in their execution. There is no way in round one that you can take an indication for any team – if a team wins, its not an indication they are in it, and likewise, if a team loses it isn’t an indication they are out of it.”
Lions captain Josh Strauss added his voice to the caution, and underlined the concern the Lions have ahead of the game.
“They started off slow, but once they got going, they showed they are a very dangerous side. I think a lot of teams struggle in the first week but like any team, they learn from their mistakes and we expect them to come hard at us this weekend,” Strauss said, “They started slow, but they ended well, so we have a tough game on our hands.”
The Lions' win over the Cheetahs was their first home win since 2009.