Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
8 Apr 2014
5:55 am

Lions target breakdown ahead of Sharks clash

Rudolph Jacobs

Having identified the breakdown as a weak point last weekend, the Lions realise they have to front up ahead of their Super Rugby rematch with the Sharks at Ellis Park this weekend.

Johan Ackermann. Picture: Gallo Images

Having already lost 37-23 in Durban earlier in the campaign, the Lions were found wanting at the breakdowns in their 28-7 loss to the Crusaders last weekend.

But there is the silver lining of the possible return of hardman, breakdown flank specialist, Derick Minnie, who injured his cheekbone against the Stormers early in the competition.

“Derick could have played against the Crusaders,” said Lions coach Johan Ackermann.

“But I felt I will be more at ease giving him another week because then he would have completed his full six weeks of rehabilitation.”

A call must also be made on winger Courtnall Skosan who took a blow to his eye last weekend and had to be replaced by JW Jonker.

Ackermann said they will need the players to take responsibility for their actions or they won’t get the required results.

“I think one of the biggest problems last weekend was that we didn’t stick to our game plan,” said Ackermann.

While the Crusaders didn’t exactly overwhelm the Lions, Ackermann felt they were their own worst enemy and the mistakes they made under pressure played right into the hands of the visitors.

“I think we got forced out of our structures and became too individualistic and didn’t make the correct decisions under pressure,” he said.

One area where the Lions were once again impressive was in the scrums, where they were often penalised by referee Marius van der Westhuizen, who was on his Super Rugby debut.

“We were up against an All Black front row and it was a big battle,” said Ackermann.