“Emirates Lions Struggled to Adapt To The Playing Conditions” – Ivan van Rooyen


Emirates Lions Head Coach Ivan van Rooyen said in a post-match media opportunity that they did not capitalize enough when they were playing with the wind in the first half. Stade Francais Paris won 17-07 after the Emirates Lions score an early try to lead 07-00 going into the second half.

"In cold, wet and windy conditions like we are experiencing on this tour so far, we need to capitalize on playing with the wind more and find a way to gain more territory and still create attacking opportunities against the wind. We played for way too long in our own 40m from our try line in the second half ."

"Looking at our first half we managed to dominate the set piece and the collisions. We probably left 3 tries out there in the first half which eventually would have changed the outcome of the game. At one stage the penalty count was 8-1 in the first half without real action from the referee."

"In the second half, we couldn't manage to get out of our half against a very strong wind. Either by errors or conceding a penalty. Then they got close/into our 22m. Also conceding 3 yellow cards in such a short time will make it extremely tough to try and swing momentum back your way!

"For the next two games, it's important for us to grow in those areas as both games are going to be in similar conditions."

The Emirates Lions will play the Dragons on Sunday 22 March in their last EPCR Challenge Cup game before returning to the United Rugby Championship to end their four-week tour against Connacht on Saturday 28 January.