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.


    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    Breaking News

    Fixtures

    Friday, 24 May 2019
    • Chiefs v Reds, FMG Stadium Waikato 09:35
    • Brumbies v Bulls, GIO Stadium 11:45
    Saturday, 25 May 2019
    • Sunwolves v Rebels, Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium 07:15
    • Crusaders v Blues, AMI Stadium 09:35
    • Waratahs v Jaguares, Allianz Stadium 11:45
    • Stormers v Highlanders, Cape Town 15:05
    • Sharks v Lions, Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 17:15
    Friday, 31 May 2019
    • Blues v Bulls, Eden Park 09:35
    • Rebels v Waratahs, AAMI Park 11:45

    Results

    18 May 2019
    17 May 2019
    12 May 2019
    11 May 2019
    10 May 2019
    04 May 2019
    03 May 2019
    27 April 2019
    26 April 2019
    20 April 2019
    19 April 2019
    13 April 2019
    12 April 2019
    06 April 2019
    05 April 2019
    30 March 2019
    29 March 2019
    24 March 2019
    23 March 2019
    22 March 2019
    16 March 2019
    15 March 2019
    09 March 2019
    08 March 2019
    02 March 2019
    01 March 2019
    23 February 2019
    22 February 2019
    16 February 2019
    15 February 2019

    Logs

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

    Opinion Poll

    Which of the 4 South African team will finish with the fewest Super Rugby SA Conference points?

    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.