Lions switch focus to URC with tough Connacht clash

On their ultimate week of a protracted month lengthy European tour, the Lions shift their focus again to the United Rugby Championship (URC) as they put together to tackle Connacht on the Sportsground in Galway on Saturday evening.

The Lions began their tour with a URC conflict in opposition to Munster in Eire initially of the month, earlier than stops in Paris and Ystrad Mynach in Wales, the place they performed Stade Francais and Dragons within the Problem Cup, earlier than their ultimate cease in Galway.

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The guests will as soon as once more be taking part in on a synthetic pitch, however with this their fourth sport in a row on one it’s one thing they’re getting used to.

“We arrived on Monday morning and had our first coaching session yesterday, so we’ve been settling in nicely,” mentioned Lions wing Edwill van der Merwe.

“The bogus pitch is a little bit of an adjustment for us however we’re getting used to it. I believe simply the bounce of the ball is a bit unpredictable on the factitious. However for me as a wing I really feel I’m a bit extra pacey on the floor so I’m having fun with it.”

Gritty win

The Lions had been on a poor 4 match shedding streak that stretched again to their final two URC video games in December in opposition to the Sharks and Stormers, adopted up losses in opposition to Munster and Stade Francais, however they managed to interrupt that streak with a gritty win over the Dragons.

They’ll now look to take the arrogance constructed from that efficiency into their conflict in opposition to Connacht, at a floor that no South African aspect has triumphed at but.

“We actually wanted that win. It was an ideal feeling for us to get again to successful methods. We had been on a 4 sport shedding streak so we mentioned to ourselves that we actually have to show this tour round and make some good reminiscences if we win,” mentioned Van Der Merwe.

“So our focus now shifts to the URC and we’ve to get a win in opposition to Connacht on Saturday to get ourselves again into the URC hunt.”

Within the Dragons match Van Der Merwe scored a watch catching attempt, after an excellent break by prop JP Smith, who confirmed an ideal flip of tempo and ideal offload to set the wing on his manner, which was an enormous second within the match.

“That’s the kind of participant that JP is, he’s a really skilful participant and may play amongst the backs. Two kick-offs previous to that precise transfer he mentioned to me that it’s on and I have to be prepared,” admitted Van Der Merwe.

“When the flyhalf kicked on the pod once more I kind of readied myself for it and he gave me the right cross. Even coach Albert (van den Berg) joked with me and mentioned JP needed to decelerate for me to catch up. So, credit score to JP and his rugby mind for analysing the state of affairs and having the ability to put me away.”