Finishing is not easily learned in rugby.
How else can the Lions’ performance at Scotstoun against the Glasgow Warriors in the European Challenge Cup be summed up?
The Lions dominated, played the Warriors off their feet, but were beaten 31 – 21 after the Warriors were already 14 – 0 ahead at halftime.
According to the European Challenge Cup Series match statistics, the Lions had 69% possession to the Glasgow Warriors’ 31%, their territory advantage was 60% to 40%, they advanced 581 meters with the ball to the Warriors’ 325 meters, they had the ball 196 turnovers versus the Warriors’ 143.
They carried the ball 186 times to the Warriors’ 108, they gained a lot more ground with their kicks, they missed fewer tackles, but still didn’t win because the Warriors finished when they needed to and the Lions couldn’t not.
But despite the defeat, the Lions can hold their heads high as they had to travel to Glasgow, they lost two players (Rabz Maxwane and Ruan Venter) to concussions, but never gave up.
They threw the ball around, they rolled, they scrummed the Warriors, but still lost because they couldn’t finish.
The Warriors, coached by ex-Bok Franco Smith, are through to the semi-finals where they face the Welsh Scarlets at the end of the month.
The Warriors, despite their physical shortcomings, are very well coached, they play smart, with a lot of speed and have the right attitude on defense… and they can finish when they have to.
Glasgow Warriors 31 (14): Tries: Jack Dempsey, Jamie Dobie, Zander Fagerson, Tom Jordan. Goals: George Horne (4). Penalty goal: Horne.
Lions: 21 (0): Tries: Sanele Nohamba, Francke Horn, Morné Brandon. Goals: Nohamba, Gianni Lombard (2).
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