LIVE

    No champagne for Lions

    2014-07-05 13:59

    Johannesburg - The Lions may have racked up their most victories in a Super Rugby season, but coach Johan Ackermann isn't ready to pop the champagne because of this milestone.

    His charges won their sixth match of the season with a 34-17 defeat of the Rebels at Ellis Park on Friday evening.

    Their previous best was five wins out of their 13 matches in the 2007 Super 14 competition where they finished in 12th place on the overall log.

    "To achieve that it is good but in the context of the competition it is probably not good enough," Ackermann said after the match.

    "You don't want to lie 13th on the log, you want to be up there and be involved in the playoffs so there is still a lot of room for improvement.

    "It is great to achieve that but it wasn't something we set out as a goal. As a young group together we wanted to perform well and we wanted to show we can play at this level."

    It was a disjointed affair and Ackermann offered the four-week break as a contributing factor.

    Before the June international window the Lions were in impressive form against the Bulls with a 32-21 victory at Ellis Park Stadium.

    "We realised tonight how much with the four-week break you lose composure, so hopefully we will be better next week," he said.

    Going into the half-time break the Lions held onto a slender four-point lead.

    Soon after the recess the Rebels took the lead with a converted try which saw the Lions claw their way back to finish with a flourish but missed out on a fourth try bonus point.

    "It almost felt like we lost there at the end, the whistle went and Swys [De Bruin, assistant coach] and I were not overjoyed," Ackermann said.

    "Only afterwards when the emotions went away we realised the effort was put went in. We were disappointed because we felt there was more than one opportunity in that last 10 minutes to get that bonus point.

    "It is with those small little errors that we are just not there and where a team like the Crusaders and the Sharks with their experience will break you down until they score."

    Lions captain Warren Whiteley said the replacements had a massive hand in their recovery in the final 20 minutes of the encounter.

    "It was important for us to keep our composure, to know it is an 80 minute game and if we up the intensity they well tire and the holes will come," Whiteley said.

    "The bench played a massive role in this game and they upped the intensity."

    Rebels coach Tony McGahan commended his players for their fightback after they conceded a try only two minutes into the match before the momentum swung in the Lions' favour late in the second half.

    "The way the guys fought back...the Lions put a lot of pressure on us," McGahan said.

    "There was a huge momentum swing and we were unable to get that back into our game."

    The Lions face the Cheetahs in Johannesburg in their final match of the season, with it being a possible tussle for the wooden spoon, while the Rebels finish their season off against the Bulls in Pretoria.

    Read More On:  lions super 15 johannesburg rugby

    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
    4 comments
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    • Blitz
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
    • SS1
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
    • SS2
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
    • SS3
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    /Sport

    Fixtures

    01 May 2015
    • Highlanders v Sharks, Forsyth Barr Stadium 09:35
    • Brumbies v Waratahs, GIO Stadium 11:40
    02 May 2015
    • Blues v Force, Eden Park 07:30
    • Hurricanes v Crusaders, Westpac Stadium 09:35
    • Rebels v Chiefs, AAMI Park 11:40
    • Cheetahs v Stormers, Free State Stadium 17:05
    • Bulls v Lions, Loftus Versfeld 19:10
    08 May 2015
    • Crusaders v Reds, AMI Stadium 09:35
    • Rebels v Blues, AAMI Park 11:40

    Results

    26 April 2015
    25 April 2015
    24 April 2015
    18 April 2015
    17 April 2015
    11 April 2015
    10 April 2015
    04 April 2015
    03 April 2015
    28 March 2015
    27 March 2015
    22 March 2015
    21 March 2015
    20 March 2015
    14 March 2015
    13 March 2015
    07 March 2015
    06 March 2015
    28 February 2015
    27 February 2015
    21 February 2015
    20 February 2015
    15 February 2015
    14 February 2015
    13 February 2015

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    The South African Conference is up for grabs after Round 9 of action. Who do you see finishing top when all is said and done?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

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