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Malcolm Marx © Gallo Images

Marx unhappy with own form

If it wasn’t ominous enough to return to the venue where the Sunwolves took a 94-7 beating last season, the Japanese outfit faces a fired up Emirates Lions team this weekend and nobody is looking more forward to putting in a big performance than Malcolm Marx.

Marx admitted this week that he was unhappy with his own form, while deflecting backlash talk and promising rather to do his talking on the field.

It is surprising to hear the SA Rugby Player of the year being so open about his form, especially as many would probably disagree that he is having a bad year, but the hooker sets high standards for himself and wants to raise the bar even higher this year.

“I’m not very happy with my own performance at the moment. The first and second game was alright, the third and fourth picked up, but it is a long season and I have a lot to work on in my opinion. I’m working every day and hopefully it picks up from here,” Marx said.

The Bok hooker said the Lions had let their standards slip in the last 20 minutes against the Blues, but feel they have pinpointed their mistakes and have lifted themselves this week for a big game against the Sunwolves.

“After the game we said to ourselves we need to get over it, it is one weekend in the competition. It is still early stages. This week has been pretty good, the guys have lifted the vibe a bit and it is always important not to come in and have a sour vibe going ahead. It is in the past now, it has happened, and we’re just trying to make ourselves look at what went wrong and move forward from that,” he explained.

“I think we got a bit too comfortable at stages, not executing where we could and lost a lot of ball as well. Our set-piece struggled a bit, but that is part of the game and that is how we learn. We’ve analysed what we did wrong and obviously today and yesterday we worked on it and we will carry on doing that towards the weekend.”

Marx said he believed it was better to have a loss as a wake-up call now, and not later in the competition.

“In my opinion rather now than in the playoffs. I’m not counting our chickens before they hatch, but rather let it happen now so we can get back on the bandwagon so that we can start grafting hard for each other. There were times when we got a bit complacent and a bit too comfortable in my opinion, but like I said we’ve looked at it, we’ve moved past it and now we are focusing on the Sunwolves this week.

“We learn from our mistakes and in that instance, we thought they were a bit more fatigued than us because of the altitude. Playing at Ellis Park is not the easiest, but we got complacent and we allowed them in at times we shouldn’t have allowed them in.”

Marx said the team had also accepted the loss of captain Warren Whiteley and the inspirational Jaco Kriel to injury and believe they may not be able to be replaced, but that it won’t affect the team.

“They’re great players and great leaders and guys I look up to personally, but it is part of the game and there is nothing we can really do about it now. We can only support them and wish them well in their recovery and be there for them. We’re obviously hoping they’re back sooner rather than later.”

The Lions name their team for the Sunwolves on Thursday.


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