Lions looking for consistency
Johan Ackermann (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Golden Lions interim coach Johan Ackermann says his team needs to find consistency to remain among the pace-setters in this year's Currie Cup competition.
"If we want to stay at the top we have to become consistent and not win one, lose one like we did in the first round," Ackermann said at the team announcement in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
"The first side that will get that consistency in their game will go ahead on the log."
The defending Currie Cup champions are fresh off a resounding victory over the Blue Bulls at the weekend and the coach hoped his side could build on that momentum.
However, Ackermann said they had already put the past weekend's performance behind them as they faced a tough challenge against the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
"The players know what happened on Saturday is gone and over," he said.
"The Cheetahs is a side we've got a lot of respect for -- they are a well balanced side with a lot of good players."
The Lions' mentor stuck with continuity in his selection, retaining the starting XV from last weekend.
He admitted that he was tempted to give prodigal utility-back Jaco Taute a starting berth after he made a successful return off the bench against their Gauteng neighbours.
"He was in the mix, but in all fairness to him it will help to come off the bench again and we also have to show faith in the guys who started," Ackermann said.
"He worked hard, he is fit, but he can make a huge difference for us from the bench until he is fully fit.
"The fact that he can play anything from 12 up to 15 just gives us so much confidence to know we've got a player of that quality play off the bench."
Ackermann made three changes to his bench, with Ruan Dreyer replacing prop CJ van der Linde. Etienne Oosthuizen could also make an appearance off the bench.
Jaco Kriel moves out of the squad altogether, with Michael Rhodes taking his place.
Lions team: Andries Coetzee, Deon Helberg, Lionel Mapoe, Alwyn Hollenbach, Ruan Combrinck, Elton Jantjies, Michael Bondesio, Warren Whiteley, Willie Britz, Cobus Grobbelaar, Franco Van der Merwe, Hendrik Roodt, Jacobie Adriaanse, Callie Visagie, JC Janse van Rensburg (captain).
Replacements: Bandise Maku, Ruan Dreyer, Etienne Oosthuizen, Michael Rhodes, Ross Cronje, Butch James, Jaco Taute.