Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
2 minute read
21 Apr 2014
8:00 am

Ackerman at his wits’ end

Rudolph Jacobs

There are "no quick-fixes" for his side, lamented Lions coach Johan Ackermann after his side went down 18-3 to the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday.

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 19: Nizaam Carr of the Stormers during the Super Rugby match between DHL Stormers and Lions at DHL Newlands Stadium on April 19, 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Luke Walker/Gallo Images)

It was the Lions’ (who have now fallen to 10th) third straight loss before travelling overseas on Friday.

“It will be the first experience of touring for many of our younger players and we will just have to front up,” said Ackermann after the error-ridden and niggling game.

A calf injury to captain Warren Whiteley saw him being forced out of the game merely hours before the kick-off with Willie Britz coming into the side at No 8 and flanker Derick Minnie taking over the leadership.

A second setback followed with lock Martin Muller also pulling out of the game because of a stomach bug, to be replaced by MB Lusaseni.

Two replacements had to be flown in on the morning of the game with lock Rudi Matthee and flank Warwick Tecklenburg called up as replacements.

But yet Ackermann didn’t want to use these disruptions as excuses, but admitted it was disruptive.

“I think the way we stormed back in the second half was a testimony that this team won’t just roll over after our character was really tested,” he said.

The Stormers, in their first win in two months, rushed to a 18-0 halftime lead, scoring the only two tries of the game through wing Damian de Allende and flanker Nizaam Carr, above, ironically at a stage when hooker Deon Fourie was in the sin-bin.

Leaving the Stormers pointless in the second half was a solid effort by the Lions who forfeited numerous penalties in an effort to drive their pack over the Line.

“We played well in certain stages of the game, but it was a funny kind of match and we probably failed to convert several chances to put more points on the board,” said Ackermann.

In the end the Lions had to settle for just three points from the boot of flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff four minutes into the second half of the game.