Lions lick wounds after 6th loss in row

GOING DOWN: Jacques Potgieter of the Bulls during their 2012 Super Rugby match against the Lions at Coca Cola Park on Saturday. PHOTO: GALLO IMAGES
GOING DOWN: Jacques Potgieter of the Bulls during their 2012 Super Rugby match against the Lions at Coca Cola Park on Saturday. PHOTO: GALLO IMAGES

IF YOU thought things couldn't get worse for the Lions. they just did.

Already depleted by injury in the second row, the struggling side lost locks Stephan Greeff (leg fracture) and Marius Coetzer (ACL joint) in their latest defeat against the Bulls.

The 32-18 loss was the Lions' sixth successive defeat, but they will at least have the wound-licking opportunity of a bye next weekend.

Coach John Mitchell looked exasperated at the team's horrendous run of injuries and lack of application on the field.

"We are a few locks down, especially the front jumpers. The (latest) injuries are pretty serious," he said. "Marius is definitely an ACL, while Stephan could be a fracture.

I think, that's what happens though if you're down to fourth or fifth-ranked players at this level.

"It's an accumulative effect. It doesn't get any better.

"There is no one else. We just have to work together."

Despite the bright start they made against the Bulls, the Lions soon lost their way to familiar foibles.

Mitchell said: "I thought the tight five was average again.

"They seem to play in parts and that is clearly something they'll have to address between now and the remainder of the competition.

"Immaturity and individualism are killing us right now.

"People chose to do what they want to do instead of sticking to the plan. That was just self-destruction."

Mitchell was less than complimentary about the Bulls' effort, suggesting the Lions engineered their own demise.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke, whose side joined the conference-topping Stormers on 29 points, was rather pleased with his team's finishing.

As he reminded, it was the first time this season the Lions had conceded four tries: "We were switched on. We know the Lions can be a dangerous side when they get quick go-forward ball. Our first time tackling was superb and that helped us get turnovers, especially Frik Kirsten after he came on."

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