Lions ponder the 'PE leveller'

Thu, 28 Aug 2014 12:02
Large johan ackermann   warren whiteley

INTERVIEW: The Golden Lions are expecting a vicious backlash from the Eastern Province Kings when the two sides meet in Port Elizabeth.

The Golden Lions are expecting a vicious backlash from the Eastern Province Kings when the two sides meet in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann, speaking with rugby365 ahead of his team's trip for this Round Four Currie Cup encounter, said they can't afford to underestimate the winless Kings - despite putting 60 points past the men from PE just a fortnight ago.

"There will be a few significant differences," the Lions mentor said, when asked about the encounter at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

"Firstly, we are travelling and will have to play in conditions they are more familiar with.

"We all know that at night, and this is a seven-'o-clock [19.00] kick-off, there will be a lot more moisture around.

"That will be a leveller," he added.

Ackermann also felt that the kings will, in their build-up, make reference to the encounter at Ellis Park a fortnight ago.

"It would be natural for them to use that [19-60 defeat] as motivation," he said, adding: "It is probably not what any team would like to hear, but once you lose three [games] in a row [as the Kings have], desperation starts to creep in.

"There is no doubt we will be up against a very desperate team that will throw everything at us.

"We should not, for one moment, be under the illusion we can just rock up [in PE] because we had a big win two weeks ago - that would be a major mistake."

The Lions coach also felt last week's  14-27 loss to against Western Province would have been a timely wake-up call, although it would not have done too much damage to their self-confidence.

"In our video review the players realised we were in the contest for most of the game [at Newlands] and that we conceded two dumb tries," Ackermann told rugby365.

"We must give credit to WP, they are very good, but we were not that bad that we should begin to have any doubts [about our abilities].

"The important fact is, the players realised you can't coast on the back of a previous win [against the Kings] and maybe, subconsciously, the players were over-confident against WP.

"We certainly learnt a valuable lesson and I feel Saturday we'll be up for whatever the Kings throw at us."

By Jan de Koning

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26