Ackermann: Harsh lessons learnt

Sat, 06 Aug 2016 15:38

REACTION: Lions head coach Johan Ackermann lamented his team's inability to control possession in the difficult conditions in Wellington on Saturday.

The Lions lost 3-20 to a determined and motivated Hurricanes team in their first appearance in a Super Rugby Final since 1995.

Ackermann believes that the difference was the manner in which the Hurricanes' All Black flyhalf Beauden Barrett controlled in the game - which played a big part in the Hurricanes winning their maiden title.

He said there were opportunities for the Lions, but his side had missed some of them and once or twice the bounce hadn't gone their way.

He also paid credit to the Hurricanes, who defended well.

"Maybe on a dry day you could have spread the ball a little more, but they put us under tremendous pressure," Ackermann said.

"It was a great arm wrestle and neither team really constructed tries as both defences were quite good.

"I think Beauden Barrett controlled the game very well and the kicking game.

"A lot of the game was played in the middle of the park and that shows you what a classy player he is.

"It's a lesson we've learned. We will take a lot out of this and hopefully if we can be there again we can take those lessons."

Three years ago, the Lions were relegated from the competition, and Ackermann said despite the result in Wellington there were "a lot more positives than negatives" for his team.

"This season there were some great victories in local derbies - as well as wins over the Crusaders [at home in the quarterfinal] and the Chiefs [away]. Then there was last weekend, when we won against the Highlanders [in the semifinal], which we as a franchise have not often achieved in the past," he said.

"I'm proud of the guys. The result will hurt, but some individuals will get that opportunity to play for the Springboks.

"The rest of us will go back to the Currie Cup.

"It was an amazing season."

Lions captain Warren Whiteley has been left to rue two mistakes by his side.

"They had two opportunities, two mistakes from our side, and they punished us," Whiteley said of the Hurricanes' two tries.

"But I'm still extremely proud of the team and the effort."

"We can't use the conditions as an excuse because it's the same for both sides.

The Lions will return to Johannesburg on Monday and focus their attention on defending the Currie Cup they won last year.

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 30 September 2016
Golden Lions v Sharks 15h00 Johannesburg
EP Kings v Pumas 16h00 Nelspruit
Western Province v Boland 17h10 Cape Town
Dragons v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Rodney Parade
Connacht v Edinburgh 18h35 Sportsground
Bristol v Saracens 18h45 Ashton Gate
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 01 October 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Griquas 12h00 Bloemfontein
Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers 13h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Munster v Zebre 16h00 Thomond Park
Argentina v New Zealand 17h10 Ascoli Piceno
Ulster v Ospreys 17h30 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Leinster 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Stadio Monigo
Sun, 02 October 2016
Wasps v Harlequins 13h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Newcastle Falcons 14h00 Sixways
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9