The Golden Lions have tightened their laager ahead of Saturday’s crunch Currie Cup clash against the Sharks in Durban.
Defeat against Western Province at Ellis Park has meant the Lions now have no margin for error in their quest to secure a home semifinal.
In a much-shortened Currie Cup‚ two league defeats can have a profound impact on the eventual pecking order.
With the heat on‚ their players were declared off limits from Tuesday but not before promising loose forward Len Massyn scoffed at suggestions that they will travel to Durban under pressure. "It is a big game coming up, but I don’t think we have pressure on us. We’ll follow our processes and the result will take care of itself‚" Massyn said.
The Sharks tend to crank up their physicality when they play at home and the Lions will at the very least need to match them in that department. Massyn‚ however‚ believes they can’t get too bogged down in close combat.
"You don’t always want to fall into that trap. Just focus on yourself and not too much on them. Play to your strengths‚" said the 21-year-old who played three matches for the SA under-20 team in 2017.
This year he went on to represent the Lions in a few Super Rugby matches, but he gained more experience just being part of a squad that went to the final.
It also helped that the former Monument High pupil was playing next to Warren Whiteley‚ a player he looked up to as a kid.
"When I was small it was [the player he based his style of play on] Warren Whiteley‚" he said. "He isn’t necessarily the biggest loose forward but he is fleet footed and he uses his skills."
"I gained a lot of experience in Super Rugby being with the seniors‚ although I didn’t play much," he said.
"I can’t single out anyone because they all played a unique role," Massyn said.
The abbreviated Currie Cup has meant that almost every action carries more weight. He has the added pressure of operating on both sides of the scrum.
"In the Currie Cup you don’t have a game in which you can slip up. You have to prepare well every week.
"I start blindside but then I go to openside when our six goes off. For me there is no preference. I just want to play the full 80 minutes.
"That’s what I enjoy‚ whether it’s eight‚ seven or five. Just not one‚ two or three‚" Massyn quipped.