Burger Odendaal eager to end his Lions career on a high note – The Citizen



Outgoing Lions captain Burger Odendaal is aiming for a positive end to his successful tenure with the side, with three more United Rugby Championship matches to play before leaving for new club Wasps in England.

It was a short but sweet spell for Odendaal at the Lions, having left the Bulls in 2020 to cross the Jukskei River, as he became the team’s captain and led them impeccably over the past few seasons. .

Odendaal will now hope to finish with a bang as the Lions prepare to face Connacht and Benetton at home over the next two weeks before finishing with an away game against the Dragons at the end of May.

Not emotional – yet

“I won’t say it’s emotional at the moment because I’m trying to take the emotions out of it. I’m just trying to do my part and be the best for the team that I can be every weekend. end,” Odendaal said.

“I think maybe this last home game against Benetton could be a bit more emotional for me when it starts, but right now I’m just focusing on the next game and I’m coming back on the pitch to play with the guys. boys.

“It’s a great platform for us to play another two games at home and then the last game against the Dragons away, so I don’t see why we can’t get positive results in our last three games. “

Odendaal has only just returned to training with the squad earlier this week, having missed the previous two games due to close contact with Covid, which saw him following the club’s return to play protocols. ‘URC.

He will be hoping to make an immediate impact for the Lions after their four-game winning streak came to an abrupt end against the Sharks in Durban last week.

“There was a big cloud of disappointment over the team after the loss to the Sharks. I don’t think we were good and didn’t deserve to win that game so we had to think a bit,” said admitted Odendaal.

“We were focused on trying to get into the playoffs, but after the loss to the Sharks, that’s now out of reach for us, so we just want to end the season on a high.”

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The Lions’ four wins have all come in home matches against overseas opponents, beating Cardiff and Ospreys as well as the then top four ranked sides Munster and Edinburgh.

With 10th-ranked Connacht and 13th-ranked Benetton awaiting their next two matches at Ellis Park, the Lions should be confident of finding their way back to winning ways.

If they can build positive momentum from these games, then the team should have a good chance of beating the 15th-placed Dragons in Wales, to end their season on the best possible note.

“Playing against foreign opponents at Ellis Park is huge for us, so we’re really excited for the game against Connacht,” explained Odendaal.

“Irish teams are quite exciting to play against as they look to play an appealing style of rugby, but playing at home at altitude still plays a huge role so we will be aiming to get their lungs burning a bit.

“What we have to focus on is getting our attacking shape back. I think our attack hasn’t been up to what we wanted in the last few games, so that’s a point. central for us and we need to take a big step forward in attack in these next games.

Charles P. Patton