Golden Lions captain Lionel Mapoe saluted the character of his players, saying their 38-35 comeback win over the Blue Bulls, after trailing 35-24 going into the final quarter at Loftus Versfeld, showed they had the temperament to go far in the Currie Cup this year.
No 8 Hacjivah Dayimani scored twice to turn the tables on the home side, but the Lions also had to spend most of the last 10 minutes defending deep in their own territory, winning a crucial scrum off the Blue Bulls and a turnover
on their own line.
“Hacjivah’s tries lifted our spirits but there was never any panic, the guys showed their character and attitude. It showed we definitely have the BMT, Hacjivah was our matchwinner and we managed to pull through by a couple
of points after being behind. It showed the attitude of the guys.
“A lot of the players are still learning but they will just get better. It was good to see the calmness when we were down, the guys know what they have to do. There were a lot of opportunities wasted earlier though, so we will definitely work hard on our finishing.”
Blue Bulls coach Pote Human was bemoaned the lapses in defence and discipline that cost the home side.
AWKWARD BLOEM VISIT
The Cheetahs did well to take the visitors out of their comfort zone at the weekend, Sharks captain Chiliboy Ralepelle admitted after his side picked up a 33-29 Currie Cup victory in Bloemfontein.
Despite fielding a depleted side because of Pro14 duties, the Cheetahs surprised with the way they put the heat on the Durbanites, with a potentially runaway result never materialising.
“They disrupted us throughout the whole game and it felt like we just couldn’t get going,” Ralepelle said.
“We always knew going to Bloemfontein was never going to be easy, especially playing against a young side – inexperienced, but who had a point to prove – and they did just that,” Ralepelle said.
The Sharks would take any points away from home, however, according to the skipper, as it was vital for their campaign.
Cheetahs captain and scrumhalf Rudy Paige lauded his side’s efforts after they were handed a 32-0 whitewash defeat by Western Province the previous week.
“Obviously discipline cost us. We worked unbelievably hard but a lot of things were against us,” Paige said.