Discipline and defence a concern for Lions

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 10:25

REACTION: The Lions will have to work hard on their discipline and defence ahead of their Round Four Super Rugby encounter with the Reds at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann bemoaned his team's poor discipline and defence in their 24-36 loss to the Jaguares in Buenos Aires at the weekend.

Although he admitted there was a few 'contentious' decision by New Zealand referee Nick Briant, the Lions coach said those are things they have to live with.

Ackermann preferred to look at his own team in searching for reasons for the loss in Argentina.

"Firstly our discipline was poor and we played for 20 minutes being a man down," he said.

Lock Andries Ferreira was yellow-carded in the 21st minute for a high tackle and hooker Robbie Coetzee in the 55th minute for a high tackle.

"There were just too many penalties we conceded in our half, allowing them to kick at goal," Ackermann said.

"Both teams scored four tries, but the difference was four penalties, 12 points.

"It - all the penalties we conceded - put a lot of pressure on the team in the early stages."

He also spoke about defence as a problem.

"Our one-on-one tackling wasn't good," the coach said, adding: "We gave them too many easy points in the beginning and they got to 21 too quickly.

"That put pressure on us from the outset.

"We work hard on that, defence, but it is an aspect we have to look at again."

Another aspect that concerns the coach is the number of times they lost the ball in contact.

"Too often, just when we started getting momentum, we lost the ball - which gifted them an attacking chance.

"Also, our balance between attack and kicking just wasn't good.

"There were times, especially early in the match, where we could have placed more pressure on them by forcing them to play from their half.

"We gifted them too many playing opportunities in our half."

@rugby365com

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