'Must win' Lions to entertain

Thu, 10 Oct 2013 13:49
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The Lions need just one point to book their place in the Currie Cup play-offs, but coach Johan Ackermann has placed them in 'must win' mode.

The Golden Lions need just one point to book their place in the Currie Cup play-offs, but coach Johan Ackermann has placed them in 'must win' mode.

With a Griquas team, sans half their frontline players, arriving at Ellis Park for their final league match of the season, the Lions are fancied to bag a full-house five points.

But Ackermann is not taking anything for granted and wants his team to play as if they are up against the table-topping Western Province, Sharks Free State Cheetahs or Blue Bulls.

In fact, so determined is he to "get the win" that a four-try bonus point is not a priority.

"We don't want to chase the bonus point and open the game up to such an extend that we end up losing," Ackermann told this website, when discussing his team's approach to Saturday's showdown in Johannesburg.

"We need just one point, but we want the win to secure our spot," he added.

While the Lions have been employing an expansive game all season, their 'must win' approach may mean they will be a touch more conservative, although they are not going to abandon their entertaining style altogether.

"We will continue to play an attractive brand and [produce] exciting rugby," the Lions mentor said, adding: "What we will do, in contrast to last week [against Western Province] when we chased the game and kicked for the corners, we will take the points [kicks at goal] when they present themselves.

"It will depend on what the score is and which teams has the momentum.

"Those are factors that could influence those on-field decisions [whether to kick for goal or go for tries]."

Ackermann said they don't want to restrict the players too much, by saying they must only kick.

"If it is on, they must play with the ball in hand and produce an exciting game if the situation allows it."

By Jan de Koning

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Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
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Sat, 29 April 2017
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Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
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Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 8 8 0 0 39
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Western Province 8 5 0 3 27
Golden Lions 8 5 0 3 26
Sharks 8 5 0 3 25
Griquas 8 4 0 4 21
Boland 8 2 0 6 11
Pumas 8 1 0 7 10
EP Kings 8 0 0 8 1