South Africa

Crucial that Lions back up Zebre showing with another win, says Tshituka

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The Lions are hunting another United Rugby Championship win at home when they take on the Dragons this weekend.

Following their impressive showing against Zebre last weekend in the United Rugby Championship, the Lions are keen to back it up with another clinical performance when they take on the Dragons at Ellis Park on Saturday.

The Johannesburg-based side have won two out of their six games in the competition so far, with them picking up bonus points in each outing as well.

One game at a time

Last weekend, the Lions tore into Zebre, beating them 61-19 to make a huge statement. Lions loose forward Emmanuel Tshituka says they are not getting carried away but will take each game as it comes as they look to build a winning streak.

“For us, it’s more of a thing of taking it week by week, and not getting ahead of ourselves. We did well last week against Zebre and our main focus this week is to tackle the Dragons and execute our plan and what the coaches want from us,” said Tshituka when speaking to the media.

“Once we do that and we get the win; three, four, five weeks down the line you’ll realise you’ve won a couple of games in a row, and you can take it from there.

“What will work for us is just taking each game at a time and assessing where we are in three-four-five games. We did well this past weekend, but it means nothing if we can’t back it up this weekend,” he said.

Defensive effort

Heading into their showdown against the Dragons, Tshituka says they want to improve on their defending after they let in three tries in the last match against Zebre.

“We conceded three tries against Zebre that we didn’t necessarily have to; I think we gave it to them too easily. Our attack scored nine tries, and that’s good, but we want to be good and world-class on both sides of the ball.

“We’ve got to clean up and be better defensively, we just want to be a whole lot more resilient and competitive when it comes to our defence, that’s something we are working on tightening up for the Dragons,” said the 23-year-old.

Meanwhile, the Lions announced contract extensions for 19 players until the end of the 2024/2025, with some of the players re-signing being Marius Louw, Sanele Nohamba, Asenathi Ntlabakanye, Francke Horn, and Quan Horn among many others.