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Lions defence coach Mongalo expects tough Jaguares test

Coach Joey Mongalo says they expect to be put under pressure defensively on Saturday.

Lions defense coach Joey Mongalo. Picture: Twitter/@LionsRugbyCo.

JOHANNESBURG - The Lions are preparing for their Super Rugby quarterfinal clash against the Argentine outfit the Jaguares at Ellis Park on Saturday and defence coach Joey Mongalo says it will be their toughest defensive challenge in the competition to date.

The Lions and the Jaguares are joint fifth for the most tries conceded in this year’s campaign on 55 tries leaked, something Mongalo says he is not proud of from the defensive unit of the side. The Lions will indeed be put under pressure defensively by a Jaguares side that has attacking threats across the park.

One man that the Argentinians rely on heavily for that spark on attack is flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez whose offensive ingenuity has orchestrated a majority of the Jaguares’ 51 tries scored this season.

Mongalo says they expect to be put under pressure defensively on Saturday.

“The focus for us this week has been to try and balance our defensive system. If we can put their skill set under pressure and maintain line speed integrity we should be okay. But we are expecting a very difficult defensive challenge.”

Mongalo believes that the Jagaures are most dangerous on counter-attack and loose ball.

“They are a very good attacking side, they can keep the ball for multiple phases and they thrive on quick ball, but they are very dangerous with their outside backs on the counter-attack and when their play gets loose. So we will have to be very careful of that.”

Swys de Bruin's men will rely heavily on their playoff experience gained over the past four seasons where they have reached the final of the competition on two consecutive occasions in 2016 and 2017.

Kick-off at Ellis Park is at 15h05 on Saturday.

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