Lions rue Currie Cup season’s lost chances

The Xerox Lions, on a two-week break after their elimination from the Currie Cup competition on Saturday, will have a look at the soft tries they gave away when they regroup on November 3.

Coach Eugene Eloff said on the Lions’ web site that he was proud of his players for both their Super 14 and Currie Cup performances.

“Next year is our third Super 14 together and Year three of building a great team. I believe things will come together for us and that 2009 is going to be a great year.”

It was truly a season of lost opportunities. The Lions in the Super 14 ended last on the log but it could have been so different if they had taken their chances towards the end of many of their 13 matches.

In the Currie Cup, Eloff feels, the high was beating the Blue Bulls at Loftus while the loss in the semifinal was one of the lows attributed to letting in soft tries and not finishing their own attacks with more tries.

Despite this, only the Blue Bulls (61) and the Sharks (57) scored more tries than the Lions’ 55 in the pool phases of the competition.

However, of the top five sides their 36 tries conceded is easily the most.

Their six matches lost in the league phases were against the Sharks (twice), the Blue Bulls (once), the Free State (twice) and Western Province (once).

Their stop scorer in the Currie Cup season was Ear Rose who scored 172 points – 11 less than the Blue Bulls’ Morne Steyn who has the final to increase his tally – and the Lions’ Doppies le Grange’s seven tries were only two less than the Currie Cup leader Keegan Daniel.

Lions wing Michael Killian had six behind his name.

Sapa –

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