Tri-Nations

Ackermann assures De Villiers

2011-08-03 19:58
Johan Ackermann (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - South African coaches believe the Springboks will be back to their best in the return leg of the Tri-Nations after national coach Peter de Villiers reportedly told Parliament his team lacked killer instinct.

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De Villiers was dragged in front of Parliament's portfolio committee on sport this week after the Boks lost both matches of their Tri-Nations away leg, against Australia and New Zealand, last month.

He said, according to reports, that his injury-depleted side were unable to land knockout blows when they had their opponents against the ropes, and certain team members were wary of playing "hazardous rugby".

Lions forwards coach Johan Ackermann, a former Springbok, said the Boks would be far stronger if they had time to work together without numerous injury concerns.

"I think killer instinct comes when there is trust within the team," Ackermann said on Wednesday.

"A team that start believing in each other know that they can win regardless of what happens on the field, like for instance when a quick try is scored against you and that killer instinct kicks in.

"I think the team that went on the Tri-Nations tour weren't together long enough and played against guys who had two to three times as much experience as they had.

"To build that killer instinct doesn't happen overnight."

Ackermann said South Africa would be a far more capable side once a host of experienced players returned from injury.

"Those are guys who have won Super 14 tournaments and a World Cup, so they know what it is all about and how to deal with a setback like an early try against you," Ackermann said.

"That (killer instinct) comes with experience and time."

De Villiers also reportedly told Parliament he deserved a medal for his efforts after four years at the helm of the national team.

The Springboks were set to face the Wallabies in Durban on August 13 and the All Blacks in Port Elizabeth on August 20 before the start of their World Cup campaign in New Zealand in September.

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