Lions have Kings blueprint

Fri, 15 Aug 2014 10:27
Large ackermann v spencer

INTERVIEW: Kings coach Carlos Spencer is an open book, ensuring the Lions know exactly what to expect when the two sides meet Saturday.

Eastern Province Kings coach Carlos Spencer is an open book, ensuring the Golden Lions know exactly what to expect when the two sides meet at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann worked alongside Spencer - in Johannesburg - when they were both assistant coaches under then Lions head coach John Mitchell a few years ago.

The two New Zealanders, Mitchell and Spencer, left the team under a cloud - after the players locked the coach out of their dressing room before a game against the Sharks in 2012.

While the fall-out of that saw Mitchell take up a number of short-terms posts, before taking up the head coach position at the UKZN Impi (Durban and Pietermaritzburg).

Spencer, after a short stint in an advisory capacity at the Sharks in Duran, move to Port Elizabeth where he was appointed as the EP Kings' head coach for their return to the Currie Cup competition.

Now two former 'teammates' - Ackermann and Spencer - will go head-to-head in South Africa's premier domestic competition for the first time.

And Ackermann feels he knows exactly what to expect from the enigmatic Kiwi, who was one of the more creative All Black flyhalves in his playing days.

"No doubt they will keep the ball in hand and play an expansive game," Ackermann told rugby365 in an interview ahead of the Round Two Currie Cup encounter.

"That is his style, he doesn't like kicking [the ball]," the current Lions mentor, Ackermann added.

He was in no doubt that his charges will have to remain "switched on" and focused for the full 80 minutes.

"We have to be careful that they don't expose us with quick throw-ins, quick restarts, as well as chip- and grubber-kicks.

"If we are going to kick at them, they will certainly look to run back at us.

"They will no doubt take a few chance and play a more risky game - we have to expect the unexpected."

While the Lions also enjoy an expansive game, Ackermann said they have "a few plans" in place for the Kings.

"We don't want to deviate too much from what we have been doing," he told rugby365, adding: "The players are comfortable with the way we play.

"There is a measure of confidence in our gameplan, so the guys must just execute it better with each passing week.

"The key is to do [execute] it at a high intensity and ensure we don't drop our standards.

"There will be one or two plans [in place for the Kings], but by and large it is vital that we protect the ball and that we play with good intensity."

By Jan de Koning

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26