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Dragons' offensive tweak has not gone unnoticed at Lions

Coach Van Rooyen keen to end URC season on a high

Athenkosi Tsotsi Sports Reporter
Lions head coach Ivan van Rooyen.
Lions head coach Ivan van Rooyen.
Image: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

Lions head coach Ivan van Rooyen is aware of the improvement the Dragons have made ahead of their United Rugby Championships clash tomorrow at the Rodney Parade Stadium in Newport (4pm). 

The match in South Wales is the last of the URC season for the Lions. The Johannesburg side are 11th on the log and out of contention for the playoffs, having won seven games and lost 10. 

They will be hoping to conclude their season on a high with a victory over the Dragons, who are 15th and have only won two games this season. 

Van Rooyen noted that the Dragons have improved offensively and are more difficult to beat. He's expecting a tough physical challenge from his Welsh counterparts. “In the last two games, local derbies, they have been competitive,” said Van Rooyen. 

“I think they have changed their attacking style a little bit. They tend to be a little bit more attacking indeed. We know they're a physical team. As a Welsh team they're always physical and hard in the ruck and good in the air. 

“So we won't be caught by where they are on the log; they've improved their work rate. We're expecting some rain and wind. If conditions are good enough for us, we have to have a crack. It's important for us to grow our game management, and play an attacking brand of rugby with tempo and physicality,” he said. 

Though the game is a dead rubber, Van Rooyen is still looking for a convincing win. He will also use the game to improve on their defensive and offensive systems with one eye on next season. 

“What we want to achieve from the game is to walk away with a win, like in any game,” said Van Rooyen. “It's important for us as a team to keep on developing our systems.

"In the last two games, defensively we weren't as consistent as in the previous games. We must sort it out, especially our ruck defence. On attack, we need to keep on building pressure.”  

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