Lions go to Durban to meet Sharks cold turkey

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Joined: Nov 2016

Scheduling matches with receptive holiday crowds at the coast makes sense for tournament organisers. This time, however, the Lions determined their own festive cheer.

“It was good to get away and spend time with family and friends. Mentally it was good for us. The timing of the break was perfect,” Loubscher said.

“We can’t speak on behalf of the coastal teams. For us getting a break mentally, from experience, was important over the festive season. Get away from rugby and spend time with family and friends. This week is about reset, prepare well and tick the right boxes.”

Last year’s defeat in Durban in the corresponding fixture will rankle with the Lions. They have a poor record in KwaZulu-Natal, but this time they have more reason to travel to the coast with optimism.

After the Dragons edged the Scarlets earlier this week the Sharks are the bottom team on the URC points table. They have shown greater resolve and resilience in the past few matches, but results have continued to go against them.

A win over the Lions will be much needed. It won’t just lift them off the bottom of the log, but should be regarded as essential, considering their next match in the URC will be against the Stormers, the team that has dominated the South African Shield since the inception of the competition.

After this weekend’s clash in Durban the URC will yield to the Champions and Challenge Cup competition before the Bulls and Lions resume hostilities on January 27.

The Bulls are sixth on the points table, but having played a game less than the five teams above them. Should they beat the Lions in that match they could go to third.

The Stormers are level on points with the Bulls and Sharks, but have played one game more than their Pretoria rivals.


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