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
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26