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MX News Update 2024

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Lions still dream of the very first URC playoff spot

The time has come for the Lions in the United Rugby Championship as they can afford no more mistakes in their quest for a first-ever play-off spot.

Since the inception of the URC, the Lions are the only South African franchise not to reach the knockout stages.

The Lions are currently one of several teams vying for a place in the top eight, with eleven placese with 39 points, with three games left in the regular URC season.

Two of the three remaining matches will be played at Ellis Park against Cardiff on Saturday and against Glasgow Warriors next weekend before the Lions end their campaign with a trip to Cape Town to take on the Stormers on June 1.

‘Playoff dream is still alive’

Looking at where they are on the table and the games they have left, the Lions are confident they can still make the playoffs.

“The top eight dream for us is still alive, that’s something we really talk about every day, that’s something we train for every day,” Lions forwards coach Barend Pieterse said when asked about their chances of reach the URC play-offs.

“We didn’t do ourselves any favors against Munster (lost 33-13) or Ospreys (where they lost 36-21), but all we can do is try to keep winning games and get as many points as possible. hopefully one or two things go our way in the other results.

“That’s not something we can count on, but all we can do is focus on this week (against Cardiff) and get as many points as we can from this game and then the next week and the others,” he said.

‘We are up and down’

The Lions’ level of performance has been inconsistent this season. They played well as a unit at times, but played poorly the following week. The coaching staff admits this needs to be resolved if they want to push for a play-off spot.

“If we want to be successful as an association and play in the Champions Cup (next season), then that is something we have to get better at,” said Pieterse.

“It’s something we talk about every day as a coaching staff, we go up and down, and I think this has been our season from the first game.

“It’s good play, bad play, good play and bad play, so we have to look at that. Where and how can we improve, that is something that needs improvement, just like yesterday,” he said.