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    Ackermann not relying on past stats

    2016-07-28 08:50

    Johannesburg - Lions coach Johan Ackermann will not rely on the fact that only seven games in the final stages of Super Rugby have been won on another continent.

    The Lions host the current title holders the Highlanders in Johannesburg on Saturday in the semi-finals. The home side are coming off a 42-25 win against the Crusaders. 

    Ackermann said they cannot underestimate the Highlanders challenge regardless of previous statistics. 

    "The stat is positive for us because it shows how difficult it is for visiting teams in play-offs," Ackermann told Times Live.

    "The week is short in terms of preparation. But we can't be lulled into thinking that stats will get the job done for us.

    "The Highlanders have just won an away play-off against the Brumbies."

    The former Springbok lock has urged the Lions crowd to come out in their masses and play their part. 

    "We really need people to come and support us on Saturday," added Ackermann.

    "I think the crowd plays a huge part. When the stadium is full and they are in full voice the atmosphere can be intimidating. In my playing days I remember visiting players saying this is an intimidating place.

    "That's what we want this weekend."

    Teams:

    Lions

    TBA

    Highlanders:

    15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Matt Faddes, 12 Malakai Fekitoa, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown

    Substitutes: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Liam Squire, 21 Dan Pryor, 22 Te Aihe Toma, 23 Marty Banks

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    Fixtures

    Saturday, 17 February 2018
    • Stormers v Jaguares, Cape Town 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
    Friday, 23 February 2018
    • Highlanders v Blues, 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:45
    Saturday, 24 February 2018
    • Sunwolves v Brumbies, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Chiefs, 08:35
    • Waratahs v Stormers, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Lions v Jaguares, Emirates Airlines Park 15:05
    • Bulls v Hurricanes, Loftus Versfeld 17:15

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