Sport24.co.za | Lions coach puzzled by score drought just after half-time

2020-03-25 19:24

Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen is puzzled by his team’s inability to score points in the 20-minute period after half-time this season.

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In six Super Rugby matches in 2020, the Lions have failed to trouble the scorers in this crucial period after the breaks and the coach told Netwerk24 that they will use the time during the coronavirus lockdown to seek answers.

“In all my years of being involved in rugby I’ve never experienced something like this. It leaves me dumbfounded. We’ve scratched our heads over it as a coaching team but can’t come up with an answer. It’s strange,” Van Rooyen said.

The Lions have won only one out of six matches this season and lie a lowly 13th on the overall standings. Their solitary win was a 27-20 scrap against the Reds at Ellis Park on 8 February.

“In all our games we were still in it at half-time, but that first 20 minutes of the second half cost us.”

Van Rooyen added that once they start training again they may “take a break every now and then for five or 10 minutes and then see how we perform when we restart training”.

The Lions recently returned from Australasia and the team’s spokesperson confirmed to Sport24 on Monday that their squad, including management, all tested negative for the coronavirus and immediately went into self-isolation for 14 days.

The Lions lost 43-10 to the Blues in Auckland on 14 March and were set to finish their tour against the Highlanders in Dunedin the following week. They lost 29-17 to the Waratahs and 37-17 to the Rebels in their first two tour games.

Earlier in the season, they also lost to the Jaguares (38-8, Buenos Aires) and Stormers (33-30, Johannesburg).

– Compiled by Herman Mostert