'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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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 01 July 2016
Chiefs v Crusaders 07h35 Hamilton
Brumbies v Reds 09h40 Canberra
EP Kings v Griquas 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Blue Bulls v Boland 17h00 Loftus Versfeld
Sat, 02 July 2016
Sunwolves v Waratahs 05h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Blues 07h35 Wellington
Rebels v Stormers 09h40 Melbourne
Free State Cheetahs v Falcons 10h05 Bloemfontein
Golden Lions v Griffons 12h05 Johannesburg
Western Province v Eagles 13h00 Newlands
Namibia v Border 13h00 Windhoek
Cheetahs v Force 13h00 Bloemfontein
Sharks v Leopards 15h00 Durban
Kings v Highlanders 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Lions v Sharks 17h10 Johannesburg
Jaguares v Bulls 21h40 Buenos Aires
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Griquas 11 9 0 2 46
Western Province 10 9 0 1 42
Pumas 11 8 0 3 41
Boland 10 8 0 2 40
Golden Lions 10 5 1 4 31
Griffons 10 6 0 4 30
Free State Cheetahs 10 5 0 5 30
Blue Bulls 11 5 0 6 27
Eagles 10 5 0 5 26
Leopards 10 4 0 6 24
Border 10 4 0 6 20
Falcons 10 3 0 9 19
Sharks 10 3 0 7 18
EP Kings 10 2 1 7 12
Namibia 10 0 0 10 1