Lions longing for perfection

Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:40
Large johan ackermann media2

Johan Ackermann is looking for his team to eliminate the 'soft moments' from their game that have cost them two games.

Johan Ackermann is looking for his team to eliminate the 'soft moments' from their game that have cost them two games in a row, as he prepares for the match against the Stormers.
 
In the Lions' past two games, coach Ackermann has been quick to point out 'soft moments' and poor decision making as the major contributors to his team's demise. 
 
A turnover try from the Sharks' Lwazi Mvovo last weekend, and mistakes at the back against the Crusaders cost the Lions critical points and potentially halted their chances of winning those matches.
 
Furthermore, the Lions also threw away more chances at points against the Sharks with scrumhalf Faf de Klerk guilty of taking a quick tap instead of handing the ball to kicking-machine, Marnitz Boshoff.
 
This has led to the Lions coach calling for his team to perfect their gameplan and stick to the basics as they prepare to travel to Newlands to take on the bottom-of-the-log Stormers.
 
"There is not much we can change now at this stage, we are going to stick to what we know," Ackermann said
 
"We must just get better at what we do and knock out those soft moments.
 
"We had two soft moments in the Crusaders game and it cost us two tries, another soft moment this weekend and it cost us a try."
 
The Lions' boss believes cutting out moments of weakness is the key to securing a win away from home against a team that is not easy to score against.
 
"If we can cut down these moments of weaknesses - the moments of dropping focus and intensity then hopefully we can do it.
 
"The Stormers are a defensive side so you have to work hard for your points, we know its going to be a tough game," Ackermann added.
 
Ackermann alluded to the competitiveness of Super Rugby in a previous interview with this website and has again reiterated how you can never think you are safe in a game, or even on the log.
 
"There is not a moment in Super Rugby - it doesn't matter who you play, where you play - where you can ease off.
 
"It doesn't just mean leading on the scoreboard, even if you are behind, if you make one silly error you can expect a side to punish you, miss one vital tackle expect to go down 40 or 50 metres on the field.
 
"If you are ill-disciplined at ruck-time you are punished by the kickers like Frans Steyn, like on the weekend, that is the quality of players that are around.
 
"You can't have a five minute or a 10 minute spell where you drop your focus and your intensity and your accuracy.
 
"The Stormers are nothing different from any other team, if you make your mistakes in the wrong area they will punish you," Ackermann said.
 
Ackermann knows that the Stormers are going to be a massive challenge regardless of their previous results. He respects the Cape Town team as well as acknowledging that his team's recent results are also nothing to write home against.
 
"We are also not on the best of streak with two losses.
 
"They had a bit of a week to reflect and refresh and they are probably going to have some players back.
 
"They were right in most of their games and are obviously a quality team with quality players all over.
 
"They are a a much better team than the results are showing, so for us it is a massive challenge," the coach concluded.
 
By Darryn Pollock
There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 01 May 2016
London Irish v Harlequins 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Newcastle Falcons 14h15 Allianz Park
Fri, 06 May 2016
Crusaders v Reds 07h35 Christchurch
Brumbies v Bulls 09h40 Canberra
Griffons v Eagles 15h00 Welkom
EP Kings v Blue Bulls 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Sat, 07 May 2016
Sunwolves v Force 05h15 Tokyo
Chiefs v Highlanders 07h35 Hamilton
Waratahs v Cheetahs 09h40 Sydney
Leopards v Boland 12h30 Potchefstroom
Sharks v Hurricanes 13h00 Durban
Pumas v Namibia 13h00 Mpumalanga
Golden Lions v Free State Cheetahs 13h00 Randburg
Griquas v Border 13h00 Kimberley
Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks 14h30 Kingston Park
Worcester Warriors v Saracens 14h30 Sixways
Bath v Leicester Tigers 14h30 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Northampton Saints 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 Twickenham
Wasps v London Irish 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Zebre v Dragons 15h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Munster v Scarlets 15h00 Thomond Park
Ospreys v Ulster 15h00 Liberty Stadium
Connacht v Glasgow Warriors 15h00 Sportsground
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 15h00 BT Murrayfield
Leinster v Treviso 15h00 RDS
Kings v Blues 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Western Province 15h30 Durban
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 9 5 0 4 23
Brumbies 9 5 0 4 21
Waratahs 8 4 0 4 21
Reds 9 2 1 6 12
Force 9 1 0 8 6
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 9 8 0 1 37
Crusaders 8 7 0 1 32
Hurricanes 9 6 0 3 31
Highlanders 9 6 0 3 28
Blues 8 4 1 3 20
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 9 6 0 3 29
Bulls 8 6 1 1 28
Cheetahs 9 2 0 7 12
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 27
Sharks 9 4 1 4 23
Jaguares 8 1 0 7 7
Kings 7 1 0 6 4