Golden Lions coach Swys de Bruin says his team can go on to win the Currie Cup.
The Lions were last on the log after losing five of their first six matches, but five wins in their last six games saw them finish third.
‘We said we wanted to go from last to the semis and now hopefully we can go right to the top. It [the win] is a great feeling,’ said De Bruin after the Lions’ beat the Free State Cheetahs 44-17 at Ellis Park on Saturday.
‘There is definitely a belief creeping in. You can sense it, you can feel it. We had it in Super Rugby as well, where it was tight and we had to hit the rock and hit it until it breaks. Sometimes it breaks earlier than later, but I got the same feeling.’
While the Cheetahs were able to field their Pro14 team for the match, the Lions were boosted by the return of four of their Boks. Scrumhalf Ross Cronjé, winger Courtnall Skosan and fullback Andries Coetzee all started, with hooker Malcolm Marx coming off the bench.
‘I think the Springboks played like Springboks,’ said De Bruin. ‘That was vital and they gave a lot of confidence to the rest of the team.’
The Lions will now travel to Cape Town to face Western Province, who they beat 29-20 at Ellis Park on 8 October, in their semi-final on Saturday. WP beat the Sharks 31-20 at Kings Park to secure a home semi-final.
‘They will definitely be a different animal,’ said De Bruin. ‘We played well last week [against WP] and they are a very good competitive side. They are a very established side, so they will come with the best.’
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