Currie Cup

Ackermann: Lions left themselves too much to do

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Lions left themselves too much to do in order to come from behind against Western Province, coach Johan Ackermann has said.

“It’s been the case this entire season,” Ackermann said after his team lost 36-23 to Western Province at a chilly and windy Newlands on Saturday.

“We have had to come from behind to try win at the end, something which we have to fix. We began all right, but when WP got momentum and started building up points, and especially that try before half-time, it took the wind out of our sails.”

The bonus point win boosted Province to the top of the Currie Cup log, just one pointy ahead of the Sharks.

Province outscored their Joburg counterparts by four tries to two, with a half-time score of 18-9 in favour of the home side.

The Lions head man was in two minds as to whether they should have taken the penalties in the 22 instead of kicking for touch and going for five points, but credited Province’s defence of their line as outstanding.

Ackermann believed the game was a lot closer than the scoreline suggested.

“One or two things that we did wrong, if we rectified that it could have gone either way.”

He praised his relatively inexperienced charges for confronting what was essentially a Super Rugby team.

Meanwhile, Province coach Allister Coetzee was pleased with having managed to score four tries.

“It’s a very good result for us. This is a good Lions team, and they punish any team if you’re inaccurate or concede penalties,” Coetzee said.

Coetzee called for more consistency from his players.

“When we have the ball and when we are direct and run with intent, we’re really a good team. I’d just like to see that for a full 80 minutes, and that’s what we’re striving for.”

WP captain Deon Fourie claimed part of the responsibility for their slow start.

“Not very happy with the first 10 minutes. I think I conceded both early penalties which put us on the back foot. But the guys came back nicely. The frustrating thing is that the guys know how good we are if we play like we’re supposed to. Because when we do, we’re almost unstoppable.”

Both the captain and coach said apart from the scrums, there were many elements that Province would be working on in the coming week, especially as they head to Durban next weekend to take on the Sharks.

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