Flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse has pinpointed a hard-fought defeat at Leinster last month as the flashpoint for the Lions’ turnaround in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.
The Lions beat Ospreys 45-15 on Friday to make it three wins in as many matches in the URC for Ivan van Rooyen’s men but, prior to their recent good run of form, the Joburgers had lost five consecutive games – their last a 21-13 defeat by the table-topping Leinster in Dublin.
Speaking ahead of the Lions’ battle against Edinburgh at Ellis Park on Saturday, Hendrikse said: “We knew we always had the potential as a team. It just took us that Leinster game.
“It was a game that actually tested us and where we learned a lot – from how they play, how they manage their tempo and their clinicalness. For us to go to Leinster and only lose 21-13 gave us confidence, no matter the result.
“It gave us confidence to come back to SA, and say: ‘Listen here, that game we played was flippin’ hard, but we just didn’t finish our opportunities’.
“It gave us confidence at training and it was just a matter of time for us to get a W behind our names. With confidence, players start expressing themselves. It is key, especially if you have gone through a dip to get that victory. It affects your training in terms of the consistency, the clinicalness and the standards.
“It helps to get clarity on what we have to do during the week for us to be prepared on Saturday. Taking confidence out of that Leinster game, that was our turnaround.”