Lions count their blessings

Sat, 31 Aug 2013 09:46
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Golden Lions coach Johan Ackermann admitted that his side were lucky to salvage a draw with Western Province on Friday.

Golden Lions coach Johan Ackermann admitted that his side were lucky to salvage a draw with Western Province on Friday.

The Johannesburg side trailed 25-10 at half-time at Ellis Park, but fought back well and even took the lead late in the match only for Province flyhalf Kurt Coleman to kick a last-gasp penalty which saw the match end in a draw.

The Lions were thrown a major lifeline when the TMO awarded a controversial penalty try which saw Province centre Damian de Allende shown a yellow card as well.

Ackermann, described the penalty try and yellow card as a "bonus I did not expect", and said his team were lucky to snatch a share of the spoils.

The Lions coach said that he was happy with his side's fight back, but added that making a better start would be a focus in the coming weeks.

"I can't ask for more passion and commitment than we showed in the second half, but maybe I can ask for a better start," Ackermann said.

"It's hard work catching up and we were lucky to do it. You can't do that for 10 weeks in a row."

The Lions scored four tries and earned three log points from the game, compared with Western Province's two.

"It's true, three log points is a big positive because otherwise I'd have really mixed feelings about a draw. At one stage I thought 'what are we in for here?' but we turned it around and we could've won the match. I'm very proud of the character the team showed," he said.

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Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
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