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Ackermann calls for calm

Thu, 03 Oct 2013 09:06
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People, in the past, criticised Ruan Pienaar and Jano Vermaak, but they came through and regained their best form
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Golden Lions coach Johan Ackermann is not about the throw out the baby with the bath water.

Despite the team's struggles to find an adequate replacement for the injured scrumhalf Michael Bondisio, Ackermann believes they are on the right track with the Cronje twins - Ross and Guy.

Many pundits feel the Lions will only play to their true potential if they resolve their No.9 poser.

The Cronje twins, as talented as they are, have not been the most consistent and it is felt that they are cramping the team's style.

However, Ackermann disagrees vehemently.

"We have to be patient," the amiable Lions mentor told this website, in an interview ahead of the team's trip to Newlands for a crucial Currie Cup showdown with Western Province on Saturday.

"Ross Cronjé came [back] from a lengthy injury lay-off," Ackermann said, adding: "A scrumhalf that is involved that much in the game sometimes takes a bit longer to get on par again.

"People, in the past, criticised Ruan Pienaar and Jano Vermaak, but they came through and regained their best form.

"We have to be patient," he reiterated.

Ackermann admitted that it requires constant work, but they are not about to discard a player because of one or two errors.

"We will acknowledge there are aspects we have to improve on and he [Ross Cronjé] also acknowledged it," the coach said.

"This week he has worked very hard with [assistant coach] Swys [de Bruin] in regards to the placing of his feet and his passing.

"We will continue working on it," Ackermann added.

The situation with Guy is even more complex, as he is in the process of converting from flyhalf to scrumhalf, but still helps out at No.10 - which may require even more patience from the demanding fans and critics.

The Cronje twins were born in Johannesburg in 1989, but schooled in KwaZulu Natal at Michaelhouse.

They both represented KwaZulu Natal at Craven Week in 2007, before playing for the Sharks. They signed for the Lions in 2012.

By Jan de Koning

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