LIVE

    Kriel: Coach Ackers like a father to me

    2017-08-05 21:33

    Lloyd Burnard - Ellis Park

    Johannesburg - Lions captain Jaco Kriel had to fight back tears when giving his post-match television interview at Ellis Park on Saturday. 

    This final had meant so much to him and he was desperate to give coach Johan Ackermann, who will now leave the Lions for Gloucester, the perfect send-off. 

    It was not to be, and despite the 14-man Lions throwing everything at the Crusaders in the final 25 minutes, they went down 25-17.

    By the time Kriel faced the written press, he had composed himself, but the disappointment on his face was understandably still there for all to see. 

    "My emotions are all over the place at the moment, so it's really difficult for me," Kriel said.

    "Coach has been like a father to me. He's a mentor and one of the greatest coaches I have met in my rugby career.

    "He's taught me so much and I believe it's the same for the rest of the guys. We're not going to be sad about it; we're going to celebrate him tonight and make this night special for him although we couldn't get the trophy for him."

    This team's religious beliefs have been an undeniably big part of what they are about, and Kriel said he would take comfort in that despite the loss.

    "I believe we inspired people in a way tonight," he said.

    "We're really going to miss him (Ackermann) and he's probably one of the best coaches in the world."

    Ackermann leaves for Gloucester on Wednesday and starts his new job on Thursday.

    "We will keep him busy until Wednesday," Kriel said, able to crack the faintest of smiles.


    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk

    Results

    04 August 2018
    28 July 2018
    21 July 2018
    20 July 2018
    14 July 2018
    13 July 2018
    07 July 2018
    06 July 2018
    30 June 2018
    29 June 2018
    03 June 2018
    02 June 2018
    01 June 2018
    26 May 2018
    25 May 2018
    19 May 2018
    18 May 2018
    12 May 2018
    11 May 2018
    05 May 2018
    04 May 2018
    28 April 2018
    27 April 2018
    22 April 2018
    21 April 2018
    20 April 2018
    14 April 2018
    13 April 2018
    07 April 2018
    06 April 2018
    01 April 2018
    31 March 2018
    30 March 2018
    24 March 2018
    23 March 2018
    18 March 2018
    17 March 2018
    16 March 2018
    10 March 2018
    09 March 2018
    03 March 2018
    02 March 2018
    24 February 2018
    23 February 2018
    17 February 2018

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts
    • Lions (Q)
    • Jaguares (wc)
    • Sharks (wc)
    • Stormers
    • Bulls

    Opinion Poll

    Who will win the 2018 Rugby Championships?

    Can you name the top Super Rugby tryscorers of all-time?

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