Rugby and more Rugby!

The Rugby Championship and Currie Cup are in full swing. Who are the early title favourites? Have your say on our Forum!

LIVE

    Lions to regain attacking edge

    2014-04-11 16:19
    Johannesburg - The Lions face the unenviable task of taking on the log-leading Sharks at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.


    While the hosts have shown some giant-slaying abilities this season, they will summon those strengths if they are to claim victory in their last home game.

    The Lions then face the Stormers in Cape Town and then leave on a tour of Australasia.

    The Sharks sit atop the Super Rugby table after losing only one of their first six matches of the season.

    They have already enjoyed their two allocated byes of the season and should be rested for the encounter against the Lions.

    In the two sides' first meeting in Durban last month, the Sharks outplayed the visiting Lions 37-23.

    The Lions have tasted some success this season when they have ditched their habitual expansive style for a more conservative approach.

    Coach Johan Ackermann, however, is adamant that they still prefer to run the ball.

    "They want to be adventurous and the moment you ask them to be a bit more conservative they look to be out of their comfort zone," Ackermann said.

    "They must just get that balance right. There are times when you can't just run from your 22. You have to be conservative and kick the ball out.

    "We don't want to lose that adventurous edge we have, because that is the way we want to play."

    The Sharks have gained all their victories this season on home soil and suffered their maiden defeat in an away game against the Bulls in Pretoria.

    The Lions would like to exploit this statistic and take full advantage of playing in front of a spirited home crowd at Ellis Park.

    It was a different-looking Lions side that travelled to Durban in their last encounter, when Ackermann reshuffled his side to include the returning Elton Jantjies and moved on-song flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff to fullback.

    The experiment was unsuccessful and Jantjies was subsequently dropped from the side to give him time to recapture his form.

    While Ackermann felt his side did not employ the game plan they had worked on for the Crusaders match, he said they would use similar tactics against the Sharks.

    "We will basically have the same strategy as we had against the Crusaders. The Sharks do pressurise you in your own half and they wait for you to make mistakes," said Ackermann.

    "That is why we have to be better with our breakdown, at our ball protection... if we fix all the small things, we might surprise them."

    Sharks' director of rugby Jake White warned that his side would be going up against a top side, and believed the battle up front would be all the difference between the teams.

    "The Lions' forward pack has been outstanding and I think Johan Ackermann has done a fantastic job," said White.

    "Their front row [comprised] supposedly young players, have come along and staked a claim.

    "That's just three players in a whole team, but it epitomises everybody in that group -- no-namers who have really stuck their hands up and played above themselves," White said.

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    43 comments
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    Most Read
    Commented

    Results

    02 August 2014
    26 July 2014
    19 July 2014
    12 July 2014
    11 July 2014
    06 July 2014
    05 July 2014
    04 July 2014
    28 June 2014
    27 June 2014
    31 May 2014
    30 May 2014
    24 May 2014
    23 May 2014
    18 May 2014
    17 May 2014
    16 May 2014
    11 May 2014
    10 May 2014
    09 May 2014
    03 May 2014
    02 May 2014
    26 April 2014
    25 April 2014
    19 April 2014
    18 April 2014
    12 April 2014
    11 April 2014
    05 April 2014
    04 April 2014
    29 March 2014
    28 March 2014
    22 March 2014
    21 March 2014
    15 March 2014
    14 March 2014
    08 March 2014
    07 March 2014
    01 March 2014
    28 February 2014
    23 February 2014
    22 February 2014
    21 February 2014
    15 February 2014

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    Does the Waratahs' Super Rugby victory give the Wallabies an edge heading into the Rugby Championship?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.