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Rugby

Lions hot, but not too bothered by Sunwolves

24 March 2019 - 00:00 By LIAM DEL CARME

Before and after their game against the Sunwolves, the Lions complained about the humidity but in the end it was the heat they applied in the second half that earned them a bonus point Super Rugby win in sticky Singapore yesterday.
"We knew the heat would be terrible," sighed coach Swys de Bruin.
The Lions had to depart from their normal helter-skelter brand, this time inviting the Sunwolves to run themselves into trouble.
"When the conditions are like they were, it is hard to play running rugby. Sometimes you don't want the ball. At halftime I think the Sunwolves had 377 running metres and we had 120. I was happy with the state of affairs.
"You don't want to play," De Bruin added. "You want them to play and live off the mistakes. We stand for scoring tries but you can't do it all the time. It was very humid. Tactically I have to commend Malcolm (Marx) and Elton (Jantjies) because they stuck to the plan.
"The message at halftime was stick to the structure and plan until the two young loose forwards come up. Then we can move a bit more. I must say when they came on it was at the right time and they made a big difference," he said about Hacjivah Dayimani and James Venter. "In saying that, our starting tight five, in particular our captain, was good today. They laid the platform. I'm very proud of them."
The Lions delivered a ruthless second half as they maximised their opportunities. The undoubted highlight came when Lionel Mapoe went over for a well-crafted try to put the visitors out of reach.
Captain Marx again proved influential. He was a forceful ball carrier and he defused a few hairy moments by exacting crucial turnovers at the ruck. Moreover, he scored two tries from driving mauls.
"I have to say thank you to the team. I just stand at the back of the maul, to be honest. It is a team try, a forwards try," said Marx.
He acknowledged the effort of the Sunwolves, who proved feisty throughout. They looked in danger of dropping their bundle in but they continued to play with pluck.
"It isn't easy to prepare for them," Marx admitted. "If you stick to your structures you will be okay but then there's the organised chaos so it is hard to prep. You never know what is going to come and when it is going to come, where they are going to run the ball from, when are they going to kick. You have to be switched on for 80, 85 minutes in order to beat a team like this."
He said it was sad when news broke this week that the Sunwolves are to be culled from the competition.
"If you look at when they started to where they are now. How crazy their structure is and how well they play. They are here to take you on. Their rugby has just grown from strength to strength," said Marx.
Sunwolves(7) 24
Lions(12) 37
Sunwolves - Tries: Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco (2), penalty try. Conversions: Hayden Parker (2). Penalty: Parker.
Lions: Tries: Malcolm Marx (2), Nic Groom, Elton Jantjies, Lionel Mapoe, Hacjivah Dayimani. Conversions: Jantjies (2). Penalty: Jantjies...

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