Lions' big guns to fire against Kings

Mon, 27 Jan 2014 20:38
Large johan ackermann points

Lions coach Johan Ackermann will bring out most of his big guns for their second Super Rugby pre-season outing.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann will bring out most of his big guns for their second Super Rugby pre-season outing.

The Lions, who return to Super Rugby in 2014 after sitting out last year, head to Port Elizabeth where they will face the Southern Kings on Saturday.

A number of senior players - including Springbok lock Franco van der Merwe, Jaco Kriel, Julian Redelinghuys, Jacques van Rooyen, Marnitz Boshoff, Andries Coetzee, Michael Bondesio and newly-appointed skipper Warren Whiteley - were rested when they Lions faced a NWU-Pukke selection and the Leopards Vodacom Cup team last Friday.

Ackermann confirmed to this website that those players will be part of this week's matchday squads - which will see one team head to Polokwane to face a Blue Bulls Vodacom Cup team and another side travel to PE to meet the Kings.

"I will give a few younger players I still want to evaluate a run, but the players who were rested [last week] will be among a group of more senior players who will feature this coming weekend," the Lions mentor said.

He said there are still some guys at scrumhalf, lock, front row and at centre he would still like to see a bit more of.

"We want to thrown them in at the deep end and see what they have," he said of this week's team selections.

"There are some senior players who we know what they are capable of, but we want them to have some game time and they will travel to Polokwane to get a run."

The good news is that other than some "bumps and bruises", there are no serious injuries after last week's opening act - which saw the Lions dispatch a Leopards Vodacom Cup team 31-24, before recording a 52-14 win over the NWU Pukke team.

Ackermann admitted that certain aspects of the performances last week were not good, but it did show them which major aspects requires work.

"We also have a better idea of the form and capability of certain players," he told this website.

"From that perspective the games were of huge benefit to us."

The next two weeks - when they face the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, February 1 and the Sharks at Ellis Park a week later - the Lions will be under a bit more pressure.

"I am glad that we have these two [remaining] games, to resolve certain issues.

"However, it was a good start to be able to see certain aspects [of our game] and see what adjustments we need to make.

"The next two weeks will be a good build-up, with progressively stronger opposition."

Ackermann aid aspects such as poor ball retention, too many 50-50 passes and decision-making at the breakdown will be among the aspects receiving attention this week.

"We'll have to be a lot more clinical in that regard when we return to Super Rugby," he added.

By Jan de Koning

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 May 2016
Hurricanes v Highlanders 07h35 Wellington
Waratahs v Chiefs 09h40 Sydney
Boland v Eagles 13h00 Wellington
Free State Cheetahs v Pumas 13h00 Bloemfontein
Kings v Jaguares 17h00 Ascoli Piceno
Border v Falcons 17h00 East London
Sat, 28 May 2016
Blues v Crusaders 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Sunwolves 09h40 Canberra
Western Province v Griquas 10h15 Newlands
Blue Bulls v Leopards 12h15 Loftus Versfeld
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h00 DHL Newlands
Namibia v Griffons 13h00 Windhoek
Golden Lions v EP Kings 13h00 Johannesburg
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 London
Bulls v Lions 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Leinster v Connacht 16h30 Edinburgh
Sun, 29 May 2016
Rebels v Force 06h05 Melbourne
England v Wales 14h00 London
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 11 6 0 5 30
Brumbies 11 7 0 4 29
Rebels 10 5 0 5 23
Reds 13 3 1 9 16
Force 11 2 0 9 11
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 42
Crusaders 11 9 0 2 41
Highlanders 11 8 0 3 37
Hurricanes 11 7 0 4 36
Blues 11 6 1 4 29
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Bulls 11 7 1 3 32
Stormers 11 6 1 4 32
Cheetahs 11 3 0 8 16
Sunwolves 11 1 1 9 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 11 8 0 3 37
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 11 2 0 9 13
Kings 11 1 0 10 4