Lionel Mapoe goes over the line. Picture: SYDNEY SESHIBEDI/GALLO IMAGES
Lionel Mapoe goes over the line. Picture: SYDNEY SESHIBEDI/GALLO IMAGES
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His team has hit some speed bumps but centre Lionel Mapoe is in no doubt that the Lions are about to embark on a smoother path in Super Rugby.

It has been far from plain sailing in recent weeks as they have appeared devoid of inspiration and leadership since Warren Whiteley was injured against the Blues.

The Bok centre‚ however‚ believes they will again soon have a spring in their step.

"It is just a question of time before we are going to click‚" a relaxed Mapoe said before the team’s departure on Wednesday to Argentina, where they will play the Jaguares on Saturday.

"We still have to gel and when we do we are going to get better at our game."

Mapoe noted that the Lions were not used to being on the backfoot‚ like they were at home against the Blues‚ or being exposed to the blowtorch‚ albeit in a win against the Sunwolves.

"The defeat against the Blues was a big knock‚" he said.

"In the week before the Sunwolves game you could see that the guys aren’t used to losing."

The Lions could be accused of a lack of adaptability as they go about their business in one searing gear.

When things go awry they have lacked a calming, reassuring influence to help them reset.

"We have calls to keep the guys composed‚" said Mapoe.

"We know when to make those calls. I know it didn’t look like that in our last few games."

The Lions’ path to restoration on Saturday evening starts at a venue where they are yet to taste victory after two attempts. But the Jaguares have been far more forgiving to other visiting teams. They have lost five of their past six home matches.

Mapoe‚ however‚ is preparing for the wild beast they have encountered there over the past two years.

"They blow hot and cold‚" he said. "You don’t know with them. They beat the Waratahs a few weeks ago. They can beat any team there."

Mapoe has had to show some adaptability this season.

He has had Harold Vorster and Rohan Janse van Rensburg as midfield partners but despite their distinctly different playing styles‚ Mapoe has been able to adjust.

"The rotation doesn’t really bother me. I think it is easy to adapt because I’ve been playing with both for the last four years.

"You make a connection and from that you build momentum. They are very different players but you have to make the best of it. I back whoever is inside me.

"Sometimes Rohan is on the wing and then it is great to have both on the field."

TimesLIVE

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