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Lions youngsters reflect on dazzling Jaguares win

In a bold move, Lions coach Swys de Bruin made wholesale changes to the side that were thrashed 30-12 by a powerful Bulls side at home the previous weekend.

Flanker Vincent Tshituka. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - A youthful Lions side have reflected on their dazzling 47-39 win of the Jaguares in round four of Super Rugby action at Ellis Park this past weekend.

In a bold move, Lions coach Swys de Bruin made wholesale changes to the side that were thrashed 30-12 by a powerful Bulls side at home the previous weekend, with many thinking that the gamble would backfire on him.

Much to the Lions fans delight, the youngsters held their own against an international laden Jaguares side with all of them impressing the small crowd that gathered at Ellis Park.

One of those youngsters was 20-year-old Congo born flanker Vincent Tshituka who benefited from the untimely injury to captain Warren Whiteley. The former Northcliffe High School scholar said that he was nervous but excited to start his first Super Rugby game.

“I think we were all nervous and excited about starting the game against the Jaguares. But what comforted us as the younger players was that we are always fully backed by the coaches and the senior players like Malcolm Marx and Elton Jantjies which made it easier for us to come in and just play our natural game.”

Tshituka also said the competition for places in the Lions ranks is always high and they relish the opportunities that they have gotten to start a game at Super Rugby level.

“It’s a big deal for anyone in the franchise to wear the Lions jersey and the competition for places is very high but very healthy here. It’s also a great environment for a young player to grow and learn from because nobody makes you feel like you are junior player and we are all treated the same.”

The 20-year-old hopes that he will be given another opportunity to impress when they welcome a Rebels side that has won three consecutive matches.