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Sport24.co.za | Lions learned from last year – Mnisi



Johannesburg – Golden Lions inside centre Howard Mnisi believes they have placed last year’s Currie Cup heartbreak behind them and they will use the lessons for Saturday’s final against Western Province in Johannesburg.

Mnisi, who featured in the 2014 final where they narrowly lost to WP in Cape Town, will once again be in the midfield.

“Last year was obviously a disappointment, we’ve taken a lot of lessons from it and personally it is just being composed and making sure,” Mnisi said.

“It is an important game but it is just another game, going into this season I am a better player from that.”

Mnisi has been a crucial member in this year’s campaign not only because of his playing ability but also thanks to his leadership qualities.

The Lions were uncharacteristically flat-footed against a determined Free State Cheetahs team in last weekend’s Currie Cup semi-final at Ellis Park.

Mnisi believed the team would make the step-up as they go in search of their first Currie Cup silverware since 2011.

“The Cheetahs gave it their all on the day, we have to give credit to them, they played well and from our side we had some system errors,” he said.

“I can’t see us going into this match with the same mentality.”

Golden Lions coach Johan Ackermann reiterated this week that he wanted his charges to enjoy themselves on the pitch but Mnisi said this was not always possible considering what was at stake.

“The only pressure you have is the pressure you put on yourself, and it is a bit difficult to have fun because when you think about it, you are in a final and you need to win it,” Mnisi said.

“We’ve learned over the last two seasons that you don’t have to worry about the result you just have to make sure you perform and the result will take care of itself.

“The major thing for us is the performance, the way we play and how we approach the game, stay within our structures.”

Kick-off is at 13:45 on Saturday.

Teams:

Golden Lions:

15. Andries Coetzee, 14. Courtnall Skosan, 13. Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 12. Howard Mnisi, 11. Anthony Volmink, 10. Marnitz Boshoff, 9. Ross Cronje, 8. Warren Whiteley, 7. Kwagga Smith, 6. Jaco Kriel (captain), 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Lourens Erasmus, 3. Julian Redelinghuys, 2. Robbie Coetzee, 1. Jacques van Rooyen

Substitutes: 16. Malcolm Marx, 17. Ruan Dreyer, 18. Fabian Booysen, 19. Stephan de Witt, 20. Jaco van der Walt, 21. Stokkies Hanekom, 22. Sampie Mastriet

Western Province:

15. Cheslin Kolbe, 14. Dillyn Leyds, 13. Johnny Kotze, 12. Juan de Jongh (captain), 11. Seabelo Senatla, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Nizaam Carr, 7. Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6. Rynhardt Elstadt, 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Jean Kleyn, 3. Wilco Louw, 2. Bongi Mbonambi, 1. Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16. Michael Willemse, 17. Oli Kebble, 18. Chris van Zyl, 19. Jurie van Vuuren, 20. Jano Vermaak, 21. Kurt Coleman, 22. Huw Jones



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