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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Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
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Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
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Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
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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
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
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