Ntlaza Lions to show Eagles thing or two before wide audience

Ntlaza Lions captain Mzimasi Dila (with ball) will be looking to make a valuable contribution to his team when he starts out as lock forward against Black Eagles in the 2018 SuperSport Rugby Challenge festival at Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane on Sunday
Ntlaza Lions captain Mzimasi Dila (with ball) will be looking to make a valuable contribution to his team when he starts out as lock forward against Black Eagles in the 2018 SuperSport Rugby Challenge festival at Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane on Sunday
Image: Michael Pinyana

Ntlaza Lions will be looking to showcase their raw talent during their SuperSport Rugby Festival Challenge curtain-raiser match with Black Eagles at Sisa Dukashe stadium on Sunday.

The Border Super League clash has been scheduled to air on SuperSport 1 at 10.30am and it will be sweeping the field for two fixtures: Cell C Sharks v Tafel Lager Griquas and EP Elephants v Border Bulldogs.

“We are expecting a very challenging game against Eagles, but we are well prepared, plus we are looking forward to showing off the talent we have in the team,” said Lions coach Mphumzi Ndamase.

Ndamase said after having played a tight game against the University of Fort Hare last week he was sure of his side stealing maximum points against Eagles, but admitted to having had some challenges at the beginning of the season.

“We had injuries from the Super 12 competition, so we started this season limping, but now I’m just happy that all players have fully recovered, and you can even tell by their performances that we’re headed in the right direction.

“And Fort Hare got off luckily, because the score was 54-47, there were many tries in that game.

“But what I liked is that they played a very challenging and clean game – that was fast-paced and entertaining. So I’m happy with the progress we’ve made at training this week, because their attitude towards our preparations was positive.

“Plus from where we stand currently, we are just looking forward to every game that’s coming our way,” said Ndamase. The Lions mentor emphasised that with the match being televised they were going to show the country the raw and untouched talent in rural areas.

“We are going to Mdantsane to show South Africans that rugby is not only found in your urban areas.

“There are very good players in the rural areas that we are developing because this a chance for our players shine and that’s what we’ve been waiting for.

“So the boys will grab this opportunity with both hands,” he said.

Ndamase said he was excited to see his players out of their comfort zone, while playing at the NU2 venue.

“We will be able to perform there, because we can’t only win when we are playing at home, sometimes you have to challenge yourself and conquer teams in their backyard.

“As long as we follow our game-plan there we’ll win that game we’ll do just fine.

“Our defence historically has always been solid, so I don’t have problems with it, but there are small things that have cost us games in the past.”

He said it was in the set-pieces and scrums, including line-outs, where his charges took a bit of a knock during games.

Ndamase said if his players would focus more on their attacking part of the game they would earn maximum points

“Because you find that in a match we have breaks that are more than five in the first half and there’s no support from other players and those opportunities are not converted into points.”

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