Lions coach Ackermann criticises Smith red card

Sat, 05 Aug 2017 19:37

REACTION: Lions coach Johan Ackermann criticised the red card his loose forward Albertus Smith was given in the first half of a Super Rugby Final defeat to the  Crusaders in Johannesburg Saturday.

He said it not only left his team's hunt for the title in tatters, it also ruined the final for a crowd of more than 60 000 who came hoping to send off their inspirational England-bound coach with a trophy.

Smith was sent off late in the first half for playing fullback David Havili in the air, with the 14-man Lions eventually losing 17-25 to the Crusaders.

"I suppose I stand by the comments I made before about it being better for the player to be disciplined afterwards, especially if it was not dirty play," said Ackermann.

"I just feel that over 60 000 people did not pay to come watch a 15-versus-14 game. The law is one thing, but common sense is another, and then there is the physics that is involved.

"When one guy jumps in the air and goes forward, that should be taken into account.

"I suppose the New Zealand people will be happy that Jaco Peyper is now a good referee, when last week they said he wasn't," Ackermann said.

Peyper controversially yellow-carded Hurricanes star flyhalf Beauden Barrett last weekend and the Lions scored 17 points while he was absent in a semifinal triumph.

But the Gloucester-bound coach told reporters how proud he was that his team did not fall to pieces thereafter, with only an heroic defensive effort by the Crusaders stemming a fierce comeback by the Lions.

"The result did not go our way, but I asked the guys at half-time not to give up, to keep fighting and they did that.

"It took a lot out of 14 men for them to come back and I'm very proud of them - they showed a lot of character. It was phenomenal, (and) coming from 3-25 down to 17-25 is what will stay with me."

The Lions coach added, however, that the Crusaders were worthy champions.

"They played good rugby all year - they have been consistently superb.

"And they did a lot of homework and contested in the line-outs well, they stopped our lineout drives close to their line.

"They are a quality side and you could see that they stayed calm as we got closer to them.

"They are well-deserved champions. There will always be a lot of 'what-ifs?', but on the night they deserved to win," Ackermann conceded.

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 October 2017
Griquas v Griffons 16h30 Kimberley
Glasgow Warriors v Kings 18h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 AJ Bell Stadium
Ospreys v Dragons 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Munster 19h35 Sportsground
Sat, 28 October 2017
Australia v Barbarians 04h00 Sydney
Harlequins v Worcester Warriors 14h00 Twickenham
Treviso v Edinburgh 14h00 Stadio Monigo
Saracens v London Irish 14h00 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Wasps 14h00 Franklin's Gardens
Sharks v Western Province 14h00 Durban
Zebre v Cheetahs 16h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ulster v Leinster 17h15 Kingspan Stadium
Scarlets v Cardiff Blues 18h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 29 October 2017
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers 14h00 Kingston Park
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
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