Captain Warren Whiteley has praised the Lions’ defensive performance during their historic 25-16 win against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.
The win was the Lions’ first in Argentina, as they lost their previous three games there between 2016 and 2018.
The Lions outscored the Jaguares three tries to one, with flank Marnus Schoeman bagging a hat-trick for the visitors. Whiteley indicated that the performance was testament to an improved defensive display, rather than a better attacking display.
‘We know the Jaguares are dangerous with quick, front-foot ball, and they like to hang on to the ball for long periods, taking it through several phases,’ said Whiteley.
‘We got a bit lucky at times there on our tryline, but we made the turnovers when we had to and defended very well. The defence was good. This was our best performance by far over here, and I’m grateful for the attitude and resilience shown by the guys.’
He also spoke highly of the Lions’ scrum, but reiterated that more work needs to be done at lineout time.
‘The way the scrums went was pleasing and we did well at the breakdowns. The lineouts weren’t so great, but we’ll work on them. I’m happy about the performance.’
Coach Swys de Bruin echoed Whiteley’s sentiments about their defence, saying he hadn’t seen such a comprehensive defensive effort for some time.
‘We’re blessed that we’ve made history here, winning for the first time in Buenos Aires. That ball was so slippery and wet, and I knew it would take a big defensive effort. The guys tackled like never before. I’m so proud of them.’
Photo: Alejandro Pagni/AFP