Lions coach Swys excited about depth despite Currie Cup semi-final exit
Golden Lions coach Swys de Bruin believes that despite losing in the Currie Cup semi-final‚ his side developed crucial depth during the campaign.
The Lions went down 19-5 against Western Province at Newlands last Saturday which was their seventh loss out of 13 throughout the campaign.
But making the semi-finals was a decent effort by the Johannesburg-based side considering they played the first three rounds with a second string team while the ‘first’ team was still completing its Super Rugby obligations.
“When we started the Currie Cup campaign we were stone last four games in‚” De Bruin said.
“We had to catch up‚ so I say well done to my team. If we look at the big picture‚ we blooded eleven under-21s during the tournament so I’m really proud that we made it to the Currie Cup semi-finals.
“We had two goals‚ to blood youngsters and secondly we played to win at all times and reach the semis. I’ve been in the game for 34 years and someone has to lose for someone to win.”
De Bruin will lead the Lions in Super Rugby next season after the departure of previous coach Johan Ackermann who moved to Gloucester in England.
He believes that a foundation has been laid during the Currie Cup that will benefit his team in the long run.
“Next year’s Super Rugby is a great opportunity for me and the team and I’m looking forward to the challenge‚ De Bruin said.
“Apart from five years working with Johan Ackermann‚ I also spent years at the Sharks Academy and at Griquas‚ so I know what to expect.
“We have some really top quality players returning from Japan and some exciting youngsters such as Ashlon Davids (flyhalf) and Hacjivah Dayimani (looseforward) have come through as well. Another such as flank Len Massyn has also come through.
“I’m really excited and I remain optimistic.
“Warren Whiteley is recovering well and is ahead of schedule in teams of his return‚ specialists discovered a nerve problem in his groin and are treating it.”
The Lions are off until November 15‚ when they will start their Super Rugby pre-season campaign.