Whiteley: We lost our intensity

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 08:33

REACTION: Lions captain Warren Whiteley was not happy with his team's intensity in the second half of their 42-19 win over the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

The Johannesburg side dominated play in the first half scoring five tries to the Kings' two for a 35-12 half-time lead.

However, in Lions were unable to match their first-half intensity in the second 40 with the Kings applying more pressure on Johan Ackermann's charges. In the end, the Lions were only able to score one more try in the second half, which was enough for them to secure a bonus point.

"Credit must go to the Kings, they played with great intensity in that second half and they started really well," Whitely told reporters after the game.

"If it was not for them losing possession a couple of times they probably would have scored, so we were quite fortunate there.

"We just lost our intensity. We not playing with the same intensity as in the first half. We were not getting quick ball, we were disrupted at the breakdown. Finishing was also not good in that second half. 

"I am still very proud of the team. We had to score that extra try to get the bonus point - we know how crucial those bonus points are late in the competition." 

Ackermann agreed that his team struggled in the second half. 

"The second half was very disappointing," said Ackermann. "We lost our intensity, we lost the focus and we made a lot of handling errors. There was a lot of things to work on. 

"But in hindsight, it is a perfect result if you get the bonus point when there is still a lot to work on. 

"If you walked away here with a bigger margin you probably would have taken it for granted that things will just happen. If we played like that against a New Zealand side we probably would have got punished, so it shows you that we have to lift our game."

Ackermann said his team did not have the best of preparations leading up to the match.

"We were always nervous. We did not have a great week of preparation. There was a stomach bug going through the team so we had to cancel Thursday's practice and some of the guys only started to feel better yesterday [Friday]." Ackermann added.

@rugby365com

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