Ackermann wants ruthless Lions

Sun, 05 Mar 2017 06:57

REACTION: Despite their impressive performance against the Waratahs, the Lions still have a lot of work to do, according to their head coach Johan Ackermann.

The Lions outscored the Waratahs by eight tries to five, en route to a 55-36 bonus-point victory in their round two Super Rugby match at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.

The victory left the Lions sitting in first place in the South African group with two wins from two matches played, after opening their 2017 Super Rugby campaign with a 28-25 victory over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last weekend.

However, Johan Ackermann was not completely satisfied with his team's performance and believes that they will have to improve on their defence before they travel to take on the Jaguares in Argentina next week.

"Obviously, we always grateful for the victory and happy for that. A bonus-point is a bonus, but the victory was the most important thing," said Ackermann. 

"We can't get overexcited, so we will take the win and learn the lessons from what we saw on the tapes and then start again on Monday.

"We will have to reset because again it is a different challenge that lies ahead - the travelling, and also with the quality side that we going to play, but for now we will just enjoy the win and obviously defensively there's a lot of work to do for us.”

The Waratahs managed to score a try every time it looked as if the Lions were going to take the game away from them and Ackermann added that his team will have to learn how to shut their opposition out of the game. 

"For every try, we scored we gave them [Waratahs] one and the frustrating thing was how easy we made it," said Ackermann.

“We didn't make them work hard for it and they nearly stayed in touch the whole time, so that was frustrating and there were opportunities for us to put them away and we didn't."

Ackermann also highlighted plenty of positives for the Lions throughout the 80 minutes, especially the team's character and their effort at the set-piece.

"I have to compliment the guys on effort, they worked hard and they showed a lot of composure. They never panicked, and the line-outs and the scrums were good, so there were good things as well," explained Ackermann.

By Josh Isaacson, in Johannesburg
@isaacson_j
@rugby365com

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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
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Team P W D L Pts
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Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
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Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
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Team P W D L Pts
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Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
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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