Lions pay dear price for victory

Mon, 03 Feb 2014 07:03
Large andries coetzee lions injur

Lions coach Johan Ackermann will be sweating over the fitness of two key players, following his team's 19-12 win over the Kings.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann's worst fears were realised, following injury to two key players in his team's 19-12 win over the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth at the weekend.

With their final pre-season outing, before their return to Super Rugby in a fortnight, against the Sharks at Ellis Park on Friday, the last thing Ackermann needed was serious injuries.

However, both fullback Andries Coetzee and lock Rudi Matthee are set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

"The negative is the two injuries," Ackermann said in his post-match reaction, following the trip to Port Elizabeth that saw the men from Johannesburg made to battle for the win.

"Andries Coetzee suffered a knee ligament injury and he has gone for scans," the coach said, adding: "The fact that he can't put any weight on it means it could be serious."

It was confirmed that Coetzee suffered a medial cruciate ligament tear and will be out for approximately six weeks.

Rudi Matthee went for X-rays and it was confirmed he will be sidelined for eight weeks with an arm fracture.

The good news is that three players recovering from shoulder injuries - Springbok Elton Jantjies, wing Anthony Volmink and prop Ruan Dreyer - are all making good progress and are expected to return to action within three weeks.

Ackermann was happy that the Kings put his team under pressure and said they got some "valuable" match fitness from the outing.

"You won't get an error-free match," he said, adding: "Also the contact [we got out of the game] - eight of our players did not feature in last week's [first pre-season] outing.

"You could see [those] eight guys were a little rusty - you could see the tempo was [touch too] high for them."

Ackermann felt his team created plenty of opportunities, but lacked the finishing ability - something they will work on in the next two weeks ahead of their return to Super Rugby - against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on February 15.

"Stefan Watermeyer looked very impressive and Chrysander [Botha] made a clean break. I feel we created good opportunities, our scrum was good in the first half and at times we looked dangerous when we started moving the ball."

The Lions mentor said one of the other big negative - apart from the injuries - would be the breakdown, where the ball was simply not controlled enough and that put pressure on the scrumhalf.

"When we got line-breaks we did not finish them, with some 50-50 passes and other errors.

"Our line-outs were also not good for me. I feel both teams struggled with the line-outs.

"We did steal a few balls on their throw. However, what was most concerning was that we often slapped the ball back [and didn't control it] in the line-outs. We will have to work on our set pieces."

He praised his team for their commitment when under pressure.

"When the Kings broke our lines we scrambled well."

There are currently no matches being played
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
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 8 0 4 34
Waratahs 12 7 0 5 34
Rebels 12 6 0 6 27
Reds 12 3 1 8 16
Force 12 2 0 10 12
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 10 0 2 45
Chiefs 12 9 0 3 42
Hurricanes 12 8 0 4 40
Highlanders 12 8 0 4 38
Blues 12 6 1 5 30
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 1 4 36
Bulls 12 7 1 4 32
Cheetahs 12 3 0 9 17
Sunwolves 12 1 1 10 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 9 0 3 42
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 12 2 0 10 14
Kings 12 2 0 10 9