Rugby 12.8.2017 09:00 am

Currie Cup: Lions aren’t under early pressure, says Swys de Bruin

Swys de Bruin isn't worried about the Lions' slow start in the Currie Cup. Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images.

Swys de Bruin isn't worried about the Lions' slow start in the Currie Cup. Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images.

Their Super Rugby success means they’ve made a slow start to the provincial competition but their new mentor remains calm.

The Lions don’t feel they are under early pressure after starting the Currie Cup with mixed results, believes coach Swys de Bruin.

The Lions have lost two of their first three matches but it was the 54-22 defeat to the Bulls last weekend at Loftus Versfeld which raised concerns.

Also read: Victor Matfield: Springboks legend, Lions rookie

But, said De Bruin, they see it as an opportunity ahead of hosting the Sharks at Ellis Park tonight.

“We really see it just as a challenge and no pressure. We have the backing from our CEO (Rudolf Straeuli), we don’t want additional any pressure on us.

“It would be unfair to start a competition behind on the system. We just want to continue playing the way we want to,” he said.

De Bruin in effect starts his reign only today and has strengthened his side considerably.

“The Sharks will bring a strong challenge. Watching them on Wednesday night, they beat the Bulls quite comfortably,” he said.

“They looked settled and played with a lot of their Super Rugby players, so we are seeing a tough game coming up.”

De Bruin said he doesn’t want to change everything at the union in the aftermath of Johan Ackermann’s departure.

“So not too many changes, but we’ll tweak here and there. We’d be foolish now to break the whole house down, maybe just add a new tint on one of the windows,” he said.

“We want to polish our brand even further and we are not going to deviate from that … you still need a good lineout and a very good defensive system and scrum and from there we’ll play our brand.”

De Bruin admitted though it has been a concern that the competition has been watered down.

“When I started with Griquas a few years back the Currie Cup was everything to us. The competition has probably been watered down but we don’t see it that way,” he said.

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