Assistant coach Ricardo Loubscher hopes to reap the benefits of a festive break for what promises to be a mouth-watering clash between the Lions and Sharks on Saturday.
Following two weeks off, the Lions face the Durbanites at Kings Park in a delayed round 8 Vodacom URC fixture, and are eager to pick up where they left off after a bonus-point win against Newcastle Falcons in the Challenge Cup.
The Johannesburg outfit are in 12th place on the URC standings, with three wins in seven matches, while the Sharks are languishing at the foot of the table after one win and seven losses in the competition.
Ivan van Rooyen’s charges have proven their competitiveness in the URC by securing seven bonus points this season, and speaking in a Lions conference on Wednesday, Loubscher emphasised the best strategy to gain ascendancy in humid conditions.
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“The timing of the [festive] break was perfect, and the main focus for us is making sure we’re ready this week to put in a good performance against the Sharks,” he told reporters.
“Mentally, to get that break… from experience the last year or so, those festive days and that time to get away with family and friends [were beneficial].
“This week has been all about resetting and preparing well, and ticking the right boxes.”
Loubscher added: “It’s not like we’re going to go [to Kings Park] this week and try something different, or make a big deal about whether it’s the Sharks or the Bulls.
“When you go down to Durban, a big part of your game is your game management, making sure you take your opportunities and hold on to possession.
“And if you don’t find yourself on the front foot and in your own half, you’ve got to think about plans about getting out of your half, and that’s where our kicking game comes into play.
“If we get that right, play in the right areas, and then when we get opportunities in their half it’s about making sure we build scoreboard pressure.”
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images