Rainbow Cup

Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen 'hurt' by Sharks loss: 'We were good enough to win the game'

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Ivan van Rooyen (Gallo Images)
Ivan van Rooyen (Gallo Images)
  • Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen said they were good enough to beat the Sharks despite losing to them on Saturday at Kings Park.
  • The Lions were subjected to a second consecutive Rainbow Cup SA defeat when they were downed 34-26.
  • Van Rooyen conceded that they need to be better for the rest of the tournament.

Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen says they were more than good enough to beat the Sharks, despite their 34-26 loss to the Durban franchise at Kings Park on Saturday.

The loss was the Lions' second consecutive Rainbow Cup SA defeat after being downed by the Bulls in the opening round.

However, this defeat seemed to hurt more as Van Rooyen felt they had more than enough in the tank to get the better of the Sharks.

"We were good enough to win the game and we had enough opportunities to win the game and I think that's why it hurts so much," Van Rooyen said.

"The guys really got stuck in there for 80 minutes and I really felt we improved in the second half. We looked desperate and our execution improved and that adds to the frustration."

The game was pretty much lost in the first half where the Sharks raced to a 24-5 lead in the first 30 minutes before the Lions mounted a comeback of sorts.

That the Lions were inaccurate was displayed in the first 10 minutes of the second half where they were unable to pull the game back despite the Sharks being down to 13 men.

Van Rooyen agreed the first 30 minutes of the game let them down and the mountain to climb in the second half was too steep.

"The first 30 minutes was frustrating for us, but I felt we came back well in the last 10 minutes. The Sharks put every facet of ours under pressure in the first 10 minutes," Van Rooyen said.

"They started off well and we looked quite flat to be honest, but once we got the ball and once, we got playing, we looked and felt a lot better."

The Rainbow Cup SA moves from the coast to the highveld next week where the Lions will be hosting the equally winless Stormers at Ellis Park.

Van Rooyen said they need to improve in all facets as the Stormers again flattered to deceive, this time losing to the Bulls on Saturday evening.

"It's important that we keep on moving forward in all departments. We improved our maul defence from the Preparation Series and our defence fronted up," Van Rooyen said.

"If we can just cut down our error rate at vital times, I think that will make a big difference."

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