The Lions will have their hopes pinned on returning flyhalf Elton Jantjies and the deadly boot of fullback Marnitz Boshoff – but with the monster Sharks pack expected to have a monopoly of territory and possession, they might be confined to a defensive and kicking role.
“But we are looking to match them, this is why we are in the competition – to measure ourselves against the best,” he said.
Ackerman also hinted that the Lions won’t be shy to run at their formidable opponents.
“When there’s an opportunity they want to give it a go. We have heard there’s a chance of rain and then you want to give your kickers like a Bossie or a Elton the chance, but the exuberance of the side means they still want to have a shot, you can’t put them in a box.
“Tactically we have to be better than against the Bulls, it was evident by the amount of balls we dropped during the game, while our basics have to be better, as seen how many scrum penalties we conceded,” he said.
While the Sharks have been labelled as a super-team – and the Lions coach admitted they are close to it – he believed they are taking a team to King’s Park who are not trembling in trepidation.
“I think in the South African context they are the strongest team – and I’m not trying to rub honey around their lips,” said Ackermann.
Ackermann warned against the threat of big Sharks ball-carriers like Bismarck du Plessis, Jean Deysel and Willem Alberts.
“What makes it even more daring is that they have a coaching staff who have a serious pedigree, while they are also the in-form team at the moment.”
Kick-off is at 7.10pm.