Ackermann: Honesty the best policy

Tue, 08 Apr 2014 14:51
Large johan ackermann whistle

Lions coach Johan Ackermann's policy is not to mince words or make excuses but to let players know where they stand.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann's policy is not to mince words or make excuses but to let players know where they stand.
 
The Lions boss was candid about his side's poor execution in their 7-28 loss to the Crusaders, explaining that their performance was what had let them down and there were no excuses to be sought. 
 
Much has been made in this year's tournament of the number of coaches who look elsewhere in justifying their losses, blaming referees and looking for clarity in the law.
 
Ackermann believes however that there is no point in laying blame externally or questioning a bye's influence, he rather wants players to be introspective of their performance and realise how it influenced the outcome for the team on the day.
 
"I believe not just treating them like adults but they must also know if I am not happy.
 
"They must know if they didn't perform, regardless of what we can make excuses from, the bye week or this and that - it just wasn't good enough," Ackermann told this website in an interview.
 
Ackermann believes his team let themselves down in the smaller parts of their play, the things that usually get them over the line.
 
The Lions' lack of intensity was evident over the weekend and this is what the coach has picked up on.
 
"The things that let us down were the small aspects that we are normally good at, we lacked intensity, we lacked the small little details.
 
"I was just so disappointed, I thought after we had been refreshed up that we would be good in those small little things," he added.
 
Ackermann, even in his playing days, was always the hard-man, direct and straight forward. He has carried this over into his coaching and believes that being frank with his players can only benefit them looking ahead.
 
"I think they need to know; when I was a player all I wanted was honesty and then we know exactly what the coach wants and where we would stand with the coach," Ackermann said.
 
"They must know if they didn't do the small little things right; there is no use in just keeping it to yourself - obviously it is a team effort that wasn't good enough and even some individuals, but you cant blame it on one guy on himself.
 
"The whole team must take responsibility and they must go back and see what they did individually for the game."
 
The coach's approach is one that will benefit the players he has. A young squad such as at the Lions needs to learn from their mistakes and cannot do so if they are never told they did badly.
 
"It was a bit of a disappointment but I think with a young group it is a learning experience, the one thing they have learnt is that you cannot just ride on what you have done, you have to come out firing in every game," he added.
 
The Lions next face the table-topping Sharks at home and will be buoyed by the return to fitness of experienced flank Derick Minnie.
 
However, the coach is not quite ready to throw Minnie in the deep-end after such a lengthy lay-off.
 
"He [Derick Minnie] was out for quite a while I think, six weeks, so we have to maybe ease him back, but he is a kind of player with a lot of experience so he is bracketed - we will see where we fit him in," Ackermann said.
 
Wing Courtnall Skosan is another player that may be ready in time for the Sharks showdown as he recovers from a mild concussion.
 
"Courtnall Skosan is on a return to sports program for his concussion, so we will make a final decision on Thursday, we are giving him as much time as possible," the coach added.
 
Another returning player for the Lions is Alwyn Hollenbach who has a chance to make it onto the bench.
 
"Alwyn [Hollenbach] is back, Alwyn had a few good games so we might consider him, it's between him and JW Jonker for the bench - so we maybe bring Alwyn back into the squad," Ackermann concluded.
 
By Darryn Pollock
 
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Sat, 18 November 2017
Worcester Warriors v Northampton Saints 12h00 Sixways
Italy v Argentina 13h00 Florence
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Wales v Georgia 14h30 Cardiff
England v Australia 15h00 Twickenham
Wasps v Newcastle Falcons 15h30 Ricoh Arena
Ireland v Fiji 16h30 Aviva Stadium
Scotland v New Zealand 17h15 Edinburgh
France v South Africa 19h45 Paris
Sun, 19 November 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins 14h00 Sandy Park
Leicester Tigers v Bath 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Fri, 24 November 2017
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Ulster v Treviso 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Leinster v Dragons 18h35 RDS Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 18h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 18h45 Kingston Park
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 18h45 Welford Road
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 25 November 2017
Bath v Harlequins 11h15 Recreation Ground
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 17 November 2017
Gloucester v Saracens 23 | 17
Tue, 14 November 2017
France XV v New Zealand 23 | 28
Sat, 11 November 2017
France v New Zealand 18 | 38
Ireland v South Africa 38 | 3
Wales v Australia 21 | 29
England v Argentina 21 | 8
Scotland v Samoa 44 | 38
Italy v Fiji 19 | 10
Sat, 04 November 2017
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 37 | 8
Connacht v Cheetahs 23 | 15
Edinburgh v Ospreys 37 | 10
Barbarians v New Zealand 22 | 31
Kings v Ulster 36 | 43
Japan v Australia 30 | 63
Fri, 03 November 2017
Scarlets v Treviso 20 | 8
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MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28