Ackermann: Lions won the defining moments at Newlands

Sun, 16 Apr 2017 21:54

REACTION: The victorious Lions will be sweating over the fitness of a couple of key players ahead of their crunch encounter with the Jaguares.

The Lions, who moved into top spot in the combined SAfrica conference with an historic 29-16 win over the Stormers at the weekend, face the Jaguares in Johannesburg on Friday.

However, fullback Andries Coetzee and star centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg are both doubtful starters ahead if the encounter at Ellis Park.

Coetzee suffered concussion when he 'collided' with the shoulder of Stormers loose forward Nizaam Carr just before half-time and was replaced by Sylvain Mahuza.

Rohan Janse van Rensburg injured his knee in the first half and was replaced by Harold Vorster.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann said he will wait until he has seen the reports from the medical staff on Monday before making comment on their possible availability for the encounter with the South American franchise.

The Lions mentor, Ackermann, and captain Warren Whiteley felt they won the 'defining moments' at Newlands - particularly a 15-minute period just after half-time - when they clung to their 22-13 lead, despite wave after wave of attacks by the Stormers.

"It was a massive game as a whole, but those 10 to 15 minutes [after the break] was quite defining," Ackermann said of his team's first-ever Super Rugby win at Newlands.

"I am really proud of the guys - a lot of energy and commitment went in [to keep the Stormers out].

"When we got out by winning a scrum we knew the guys would be tired, but mentally up for it.

"If they [the Stormers] had scored there, it would have been a real arm wrestle."

Ackermann said his team's defence was 'excellent', adding that they showed "a lot of heart and commitment".

"The attitude was right and the accuracy was good," the Lions coach said.

Whiteley said the key was that the Lions remained calm during that onslaught by the Stormers in the first 15 minutes after the break.

"We were under pressure from the start [of the second half], but we got a lot of confidence out of that period," Whiteley said.

"Mentally, more than anything, it lifted us as a team."

The Lions captain said it was a real arm-wrestle and the tight forwards held the key.

"Our tight five worked extremely hard at scrum time, maul time and getting up off the floor," he said, adding: "Our tight five was brilliant.

"We put a lot of emphasis on getting men on our feet."

By Jan de Koning at Newlands
@king365ed
@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10