Lions coach De Bruin surprised at how WP easily beat the Sharks in Durban
He was most pleased with his team’s latest win which resulted in qualification for the Currie Cup semi-finals‚ but Golden Lions coach Swys de Bruin was left incredulous at Western Province’s easy win over the Sharks in Durban.
The Cape side’s 31-20 victory in their last league match denied the Lions the chance to host a semi-final even before the Jo’burg team kicked off in their 44-17 victory over the Free State Cheetahs at Ellis Park.
Instead the Lions have to travel to Cape Town for their semi‚ while the Blue Bulls will make their way to Durban where they’ll confront the Sharks.
“How did they beat the Sharks so easily?” De Bruin demanded to know of Western Province’s win in Durban.
“We didn’t watch that game. I would love to see what happened there because to beat the Sharks in Durban like that is something we have to watch‚” De Bruin said‚ consciously stopping just short of suggesting he smells a rat.
The Lions beat Western Province at Ellis Park in a league match last weekend‚ but De Bruin expects them to be “a different animal” this weekend.
“They are a competitive side‚ they are an established side.”
Cheetahs coach Rory Duncan believes if the Lions play to their potential in the semi-final they will be hard to put down.
“If the Lions play at the standard they played against us‚ they will be a difficult team to stop. I believe Western Province also put their hand up and showed that they are quite capable. It’s a very exciting run into the finals. I don’t think the South African rugby supporters will be disappointed with what they’ve got.”
What was especially gratifying for De Bruin was that his hugely inexperienced side had transformed itself in the second half of the Currie Cup. They were last on the log before they kicked off in their penultimate game but they will take momentum to Newlands having won four of their last five matches.
“We said after the first four games that we want to go from last to the semis and hopefully to the top. It is a great feeling‚ especially to see (Rhyno) Herbst‚ (Len) Massyn and Hacjivah (Dyamani) there.
“The youngsters did well again. The Springboks played like Springboks‚” he said with special mention for hooker Malcolm Marx.
“That was vital. They gave a lot of confidence to the rest of the team. There is definitely a belief creeping in. You can sense it‚ you can feel it. We had it in Super Rugby as well where you have to hit the rock. You hit it‚ and hit‚ it until it breaks.”