Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
16 Oct 2014
4:58 pm

Early semifinal start suits Lions

Rudolph Jacobs

Some might find it weird to see a kickoff of 2.30 - but not the Lions. They simply love it.

FILE PICTURE: Johan Ackermann during the Xerox Golden Lions training session at Johannesburg Stadium field on September 09, 2014. (Photo by Duif du Toit/Gallo Images)

Coach Johan Ackermann said the semifinal kickoff of Saturday against the Sharks fits them to the tee.

“We love it playing at 2.30, best time we can ask for, we can play at 1 o’clock as well,” he said.

“It’s nice and early, you got the whole evening for yourself, to spend time with the family. It’s great and I think the players also love it.

“Even a 3 o’clock game is great, obviously Ellis Park is a difficult place as a venue to play at that time, but I think the players don’t have to hang around the house the whole morning, get quickly in their routine. The whole day is short, when the game is done we can spend proper time to recover.

“By the time the guys are settled it’s only 7 o’clock, so we like that,” he said.

“It’s a perfect time and it’s a pity we can’t really play more often at that time.”

It might be a different story if they win, with their opponents either Western Province or the Bulls.

“Obviously we will have to see where the final is if we qualify and if it involves travelling or not, but the routine won’t change much. The big focus for us will be recovery, because you can’t get any more conditioning in.”

Ackermann said they know the Sharks will be tough opponents.

“I see one of their coaches said they starting to get that self-belief, and that unity and consistency. At the beginning they were without their Springboks, and Jake White, so I think they have got used to their new coach, so they’re starting to gel.”