Super Rugby

Whiteley wants Lions to start far better


Cape Town  - Lions captain Warren Whiteley has called on his side to improve on their poor starts to matches ahead of the Super Rugby final against the Crusaders.

The Lions have had to come from behind in their last three matches against the Bulls, Jaguares and Waratahs. All three matches were at home and the Lions will know it won't be easy to replicate this feat away, especially at the mighty Crusaders.

Having booked a final place for a third year in a row with a 44-26 come from-behind victory over the Waratahs at Ellis Park on Saturday, Whiteley knows his side can ill-afford to start poorly again.

“We’d like to improve on that, to be honest with you,” Whiteley told Reuters.

“We were under pressure, we had to go back to the drawing board, tighten up a bit, we went to our rolling maul and our scrums and I think it worked well. That’s been our strength all season.”

Meanwhile, head coach Swys de Bruin says it was a case of his side not having any possession in the opening ten minutes.

“Honestly, go look back at the game, we never had the ball!,” he told reporters at the post-match news conference.

“We had to defend and they cleverly outsmarted us. But once we had the ball, the game changed.

“It’s amazing, even with the Springboks against England (in June), it was the same. It seems we have to allow the opposition to run away with the score early and then we catch up.

“It gives me grey hairs and it’s not good for the spectators, but you know what? It builds character in a way. But we are going to have to fix that before we meet the Crusaders.”

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