How Ackermann's Gloucester stopped defending champs

Mon, 04 Sep 2017 12:50

PREMIERSHIP STATS ROUND ONE: The cynics who suggested successful South African coach Johan Ackermann could not convert his Super Rugby form into Premiership success were left with egg on their faces.

The champions, Exeter Chiefs, travelled to Kingsholm at the weekend to begin the defence of their crown.

Rather than make it 18 straight wins in the league - to break a record they share with Leicester Tigers - it was the Cherry & Whites who grabbed the win (28-21).

Jason Woodward went over in added time to snatch the victory, and a secure bonus point in Ackermann's first game in charge.

The question as to how the dramatic turnaround was achieved by a team caught in a season-long struggle to stay away from the promotion-relegation zone, can be found in the Premiership's Round One statistics.

They say a team's character is defined in how they defend and the tackle count tells a story all of its own.

Gloucester have two players in the top three of the competition's opening round tackle count - Lewis Ludlow and Tom Savage. Between them they made an astonishing 47 tackles - at least one every two minutes.

Throw in Fraser Balmain and Jacob Rowan (with 15 tackles each), inside the top 15 and Richard Hibbard (13 tackles - inside the top 20) and you begin to get an idea of just how much 'character' Gloucester showed.

On top of that they also outscored the defending champions by four tries to three.

As Ackermann said, it is a long season and they have achieved nothing yet, but they have bagged a crucial win and the turnaround was dramatic!

Source: OPTA rugby rankings

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 18 November 2017
Worcester Warriors v Northampton Saints 12h00 Sixways
Italy v Argentina 13h00 Florence
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Wales v Georgia 14h30 Cardiff
England v Australia 15h00 Twickenham
Wasps v Newcastle Falcons 15h30 Ricoh Arena
Ireland v Fiji 16h30 Aviva Stadium
Scotland v New Zealand 17h15 Edinburgh
France v South Africa 19h45 Paris
Sun, 19 November 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins 14h00 Sandy Park
Leicester Tigers v Bath 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Fri, 24 November 2017
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Ulster v Treviso 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Leinster v Dragons 18h35 RDS Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 18h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 18h45 Kingston Park
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 18h45 Welford Road
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 17 November 2017
Gloucester v Saracens 23 | 17
Tue, 14 November 2017
France XV v New Zealand 23 | 28
Sat, 11 November 2017
France v New Zealand 18 | 38
Ireland v South Africa 38 | 3
Wales v Australia 21 | 29
England v Argentina 21 | 8
Scotland v Samoa 44 | 38
Italy v Fiji 19 | 10
Sat, 04 November 2017
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 37 | 8
Connacht v Cheetahs 23 | 15
Edinburgh v Ospreys 37 | 10
Barbarians v New Zealand 22 | 31
Kings v Ulster 36 | 43
Japan v Australia 30 | 63
Fri, 03 November 2017
Scarlets v Treviso 20 | 8
PREMIERSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 8 6 0 2 29
Exeter Chiefs 7 5 0 2 26
Gloucester 8 5 0 3 22
Leicester Tigers 7 5 0 2 21
Bath 7 4 0 3 20
Harlequins 7 4 0 3 20
Northampton Saints 7 4 0 3 20
Newcastle Falcons 7 4 0 3 20
Wasps 7 3 0 4 15
Sale Sharks 7 2 0 5 14
London Irish 7 1 0 6 6
Worcester Warriors 7 0 0 7 3