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Lions boss at loss to explain form slump

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018    Getty Images

The Lions camp had plenty of time to ponder their surprise loss in Buenos Aires at the weekend when flying back to South Africa where the Crusaders were waiting after getting themselves back on the winning road against the Bulls on Friday.

Lions coach Swys de Bruin told The Star there was no panic in his camp.

"There is nothing that is specifically wrong. We're far from being at panic stations…all teams win and lose; these windows happen. We're still second on the log with four wins from six games and if you look at our stats you'll see we're in good shape in a lot of departments.

"What's so disappointing is we're letting tries in we didn't in the past, and shouldn't be," he said.

"It's so frustrating at the moment…we score a try, then we let them right back with a try. Most of our stats are so good, including our lineouts [at 92 percent success which is second in the competition]; it's just soft moments that are costing us," he said.

"This is sport though, these things happen. The Jaguares on Saturday were in one of those moods again' they played brilliantly, the best I've seen from them. They were so hungry for a win after a tough year."

One of the issues the side has relates to the loss of leadership. Having lost captain and No.8 Warren Whiteley during the loss to the Blues, he hasn't returned while the man who covered for Whiteley when he was injured last season, loose forward Jaco Kriel is also out injured.

De Bruin said while Whiteley's absence was tough on the team that wasn't the reason for the slump the side had experienced.

"We need to be realistic here, Warren is an unbelievable captain and leader; he's one of a kind, and we're also missing his deputy Jaco, so it is a bit of a problem when them out.

"We just need to keep working hard, and that's what me and Joey [Mongala, the defence coach] are doing every day. We simply need to cut out those soft moments that are hurting us," he said.

Their hopes haven't been helped by the loss of top try scorer wing Aphiwe Dyantyi who has torn a pectoral muscle and will be out for six weeks. However, halfback Ross Cronje (rib injury) and lock Andries Ferreira (back spasm), who both missed last week's game will be available for selection along with prop Jacobie Adriaanse who had been out with a badly sprained ankle.