Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
10 Apr 2014
6:00 am

Lions to leave the axe for now

Rudolph Jacobs

Lions coach Johan Ackermann is not expected to wield the axe when he announces his squad for the crucial Super Rugby clash against the Sharks at Ellis Park on Saturday.

FILE PICTURE: Johan Ackermann (Lions Coach). Picture: Lee Warren/Gallo Images.

Despite being frustrated with the lacklustre performance against the Crusaders last weekend. Losing their third match in seven starts, Ackermann made it clear this wasn’t down to one or two individual performances.

For their third consecutive match, they face a team loaded with international experience after the Blues, Reds and now the Springbok-laden Sharks.

But while his halfback combination of flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff and Faf de Klerk, two of the heroes earlier in the campaign, was below-par last weekend, it must be said that they didn’t receive quality ball.

Elton Jantjies and Ross Cronje did look better when they replaced the starting duo, but the big problem was a lack of the normal intensity that personified the Lions’ performances earlier in the campaign.

“It never comes down to one or two players,” Ackermann said. “There were errors made by decision makers on the day, while certain direct tackles were missed.”

Ackermann said with the Sharks at home and the Stormers away in their next two games followed by their second bye before embarking on their away trip, will mark an important period for them. “Apart from losing Franco van der Merwe, we’ve only made a few changes since the first game due to injuries and we’ve mainly stuck to the same team,” he said.

“Compared to some of the other teams we have been fairly fortunate with injuries.”

On the bench the Lions are due to be reinforced by the possible return of centre Alwyn Hollenbach, flank Derick Minnie, and fullback Coenie van Wyk. A final call on the concussion of wing Courtnall Skosan has been delayed until today.