Lions want to roar in playoffs

Henry

If the official United Rugby Championship (URC) standings can be compared to a parking lot, you will either have to park very close to the entrance of the shopping center or you will have to be prepared to walk a little.

Because there is not much stopping place available in the middle.

The Lions are currently 11th with their 39 points after 15 games, but the Johannesburgers are only six points away from the Stormers in fifth place.

And with the play-offs around the corner, the Lions have a place among the top eight teams in their sights.

“We need to get full points in our next two games (against Cardiff and the Glasgow Warriors). Our top eight dream is still alive and it is something we are working very hard for,” said Barend Pieterse, assistant coach.

The Johannesburgers can undoubtedly hang with the top teams in the series, but their consistency is constantly holding them back in the tournament.

For example, they settled with Leinster at a trot a few weekends ago, only to fall behind against Munster the following week.

“Variability is one of the characteristics of our season. Then we fire on all pistons and then we play poorly again. This is something that needs to be urgently corrected; especially when you want to play in the Champions Cup.”

Pieterse is keeping his fingers crossed that the Lions will play better against Cardiff than they did in the defeat against Munster.

“Our game in the fixed facets will have to improve and we must not leave them alone for one moment. When we’re in their goal area, we simply have to score.”

This weekend’s fixtures for the South African teams:

Friday:

20:35: Stormers v Dragons

Saturday:

14:00: Bulls vs Glasgow Warriors

16:05: Sharks against Benetton

18:15: Lions v Cardiff

HRK standings (after 15 matches):

  1. Glasgow Warriors: 58 points
  2. Leinster: 54 points
  3. Munster: 53 points
  4. Bulls: 51 points
  5. Stormers: 45 points
  6. Connacht: 44 points
  7. Ulster: 44 points
  8. Benetton: 44 points
  9. Edinburgh: 43 points
  10. Ospreys: 40 points
  11. Lions: 39 points
  12. Cardiff: 25 points
  13. Sharks: 23 points
  14. Scarlets: 17 points
  15. Dragons: 16 points
  16. Zebra: 15 points.