Golden Lions coach would rather avoid comebacks

Ivan van Rooyen (Gallo Images)
Ivan van Rooyen (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Golden Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen is happy with how his side have come back in their last two games but would prefer they don't get themselves in to that position in the first place.

The men from Johannesburg, who are the only unbeaten team in the Currie Cup, have had to come from behind in their last two games, against the Pumas and most recently Western Province at Newlands.

"We are happy with the two comebacks‚ yes‚ but would we like to be in that position to make those comebacks all the time? Then no," said Van Rooyen.

The Golden Lions take on the Free State Cheetahs on Friday evening and Van Rooyen is wary of the threat the men from Bloemfontein pose.

"This match will present a totally different challenge‚" said Van Rooyen.

"You can see they have played together as a team at a high level for the last year and a half‚" he continued.

"The players are used to playing different levels.

The Golden Lions mentor believes that the experience of playing in the PRO14 has resulted in the Cheetahs becoming a much-improved outfit and has allowed them to gel.

"They have a very good set-piece‚" said Van Rooyen.

"They have good attack from that as well. They threaten you with numbers and they threaten you with width.

"They are dangerous on attack and defence. They're a very good team."

Van Rooyen believes that the addition of 88-Test capped Ruan Pienaar, who is set to make his Cheetahs debut on Friday, will significantly boost the side.

"You can't buy experience‚" said Van Rooyen.

"He is an exceptional player with experience. He has a great passing game and a great kicking game.

"He knows the culture there and the way they want to play. He'll be a great benefit for them."

Kick-off for Friday's match is at 19:15.


Free State Cheetahs


Golden Lions

15 Tyrone Green, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Jan-Louis la Grange, 11 Stean Pienaar, 10 Shaun Reynolds, 9 Ross Cronje (captain), 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Johannes Jonker, 2 Pieter Jansen, 1 Sti Sithole

Substitutes: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Leo Kruger, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 James Venter, 21 Len Massyn, 22 Dillon Smit, 23 Manuel Rass

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