Lions not perfect yet says Ackermann

Sun, 07 May 2017 10:28

SUPER RUGBY REACTION: Despite their 47-10 thrashing of the Melbourne Rebels, Lions head coach Johan Ackermann is adamant that there are a lot of work-ons.

The Lions bagged another bonus-point victory as their outscored the Rebels seven tries to one in Melbourne on Saturday.

Many mentors would consider themselves lucky after recording their ninth win in 10 matches but head coach Ackermann believes there are a lot of little gremlins that are fixable.  

"It wasn’t the perfect 80-minutes of rugby, there were mistakes. There were breakdown issues, some patience lost on attack where we tend to look for that miracle pass – so there are things to fix.

"One good thing is that the systems and structures are there, it is just the individual's responsibility. There are still games to get it right, we just have to tick the boxes and make sure we do not slip up.

"But I'm a really proud, the guys showed a lot of character and fight. Even face with the late change where our tighthead prop had to be withdrawn and was replaced with a guy who had to borrow boots," Ackermann revealed to reporters.

The win meant the Lions extended their lead at the top of the African Conference Two and have a further chance to cement the top spot and secure a place in the play-offs when they lock horns against the Brumbies in Canberra on Friday, May 12.  

A potential play-off spot might intimidate Lions' fellow South African Super Rugby peers but for the 2016 losing finalist to the Hurricanes, they are more than willing to enter the known territory.

"The 2017 squad have changed due to injuries but there are enough players with experience [who were part of 2016 team who beat the Highlanders 42-30 in the semifinals], so play-offs is not unknown territory.

"If we were to play the Highlanders, it is not new, we have played them before," Ackermann said.

"I have to admit we have not played the best of rugby this year, but the experience we have accumulated and the composure that the guys have shown made sure we won the tight matches and that have to be due to the lessons we have learned last year.

"Thus, when we do face [teams like the Highlanders in the play-offs] we will be up for it,"

@rugby365com

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