Attitude will give Lions the edge

Tue, 04 Sep 2012 20:28
Large johan ackermann h s 630 Large josh strauss looks 630 Large bandise maku signs 630 Large derick minnie lions 630

The Golden Lions need to get a better attitude on defence or face the prospect of dropping off the Currie Cup play-off pace.

The Golden Lions need to get a better attitude on defence or face the prospect of dropping off the Currie Cup play-off pace.

This is the view of stand-in captain Johan Ackermann, who bemoaned the defending champions' sloppy tackling in their surprise 32-42 loss to lowly Griquas last week.

The Lions travel to Pretoria this week for a big derby with trans-Jukskei neighbours the Blue Bulls, a team coming off an even bigger hammering in Round Four.

With the table-topping Sharks (on 14 points) having opened a narrow three-point lead over the chasing pack - Western Province (on 11 points), the Lions and Free State Cheetahs (both on 10), the Bulls on (eight) - another defeat will have dire consequences as the competition reaches the halfway stage.

Ackermann admitted it will be a "big week", after both teams were taught a few lessons and both have plenty to work on.

"There is no doubt how big the challenge will be to tackle the Bulls at Loftus [Versfeld] after the hiding they had," he said of the Pretoria outfit's 6-42 loss to Western Province.

"No doubt they will come back in a big way," Ackermann said, adding: "We are exactly in the same boat, so it will be a very intriguing game."

The Lions coach admitted that his biggest concern, as they build towards the Loftus encounter, was the one-on-one tackling.

"Still too many players are missing tackles," Ackermann said, adding: "We are also losing too much possession in contact.

"Those are the two aspects that we will pay a lot of attention to this wee."

He admitted that in one-on-one tackling attitude is a big issue.

"We had a lengthy video session and the guys were there, the system is in place," he said of the team's defensive structures.

"It is simply a case of poor tackling .. the player is not put to ground or he breaks free of the tackle.

"I would agree that it is an attitude thing and the guys must show pride on defence and not slip as many tackles."

The positives to take from last week's loss to Griquas would be the set pieces.

"We had one key line-out that went awry, when we had a great opportunity to attack and on one or two occasions the delivery to [scrumhalf] Ross [Cronje] was not accurate.

"The scrums were obviously great, but there were only four scrums. From those we got two penalties, when Griquas stood up or collapsed.

"However, it is what happens after the set pieces that we have to pay attention to and work hard on."

Ackermann will delay the announcement of his team till Thursday to give utility forward Josh Strauss and loose forward Jaco Kriel - who both took head knocks against Griquas - as much time as possible to recover.

They are going through their cognizance tests this week and the coach is "hopeful" they will be available.

Backline star Jaco Taute started training this week, after a lengthy lay-off with a shoulder injury, and if he passe a fitness test he could feature off the bench against the Bulls.

By Jan de Koning

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 13 February 2016
Treviso v Cardiff Blues 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
France v Ireland 14h25 Paris
Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Harlequins 15h00 Kingsholm
Northampton Saints v London Irish 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Worcester Warriors v Bath 15h00 Sixways
Wales v Scotland 16h50 Cardiff
Sun, 14 February 2016
Italy v England 14h00 Rome
Saracens v Wasps 16h00 Allianz Park
Munster v Ospreys 17h00 Irish Independent Park
Mon, 15 February 2016
NMMU-Madibaz v Maties 14h45 Port Elizabeth
CUT-Ixias v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Bloemfontein
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16h30 Pietermaritzburg
TUT v UWC 16h30 Pretoria
UP-Tuks v Shimlas 16h30 Pretoria
NWU-Pukke v UJ 17h00 Potchefstroom
Thu, 18 February 2016
TUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Pretoria
Fort Hare v Wits 16h30 East London
Fri, 19 February 2016
Zebre v Leinster 22h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 12 February 2016
Scarlets v Edinburgh 22 | 21
Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers 26 | 14
Leinster v Zebre 52 | 0
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 13 | 10
Thu, 11 February 2016
Dragons v Connacht 21 | 26
Mon, 08 February 2016
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 17 | 23
UJ v NMMU-Madibaz 19 | 12
Maties v CUT-Ixias 40 | 0
UWC v UKZN-Impi 13 | 24
Wits v TUT 53 | 0
UP-Tuks v NWU-Pukke 15 | 38
Sun, 07 February 2016
Ireland v Wales 16 | 16
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 11 | 14
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 20 | 13
Sat, 06 February 2016
Scotland v England 9 | 15
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Golden Lions 10 10 0 0 48
Blue Bulls 10 8 0 2 39
Western Province 10 7 0 3 35
Free State Cheetahs 10 3 2 5 24
Sharks 10 4 1 5 22
Pumas 10 3 1 6 17
EP Kings 10 2 0 8 12
Griquas 10 1 0 9 8