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
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 09h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 09h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 11h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 11h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 14h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 09h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 09h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 11h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 11h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 14h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19