Ackermann, the bet and the beard

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 11:58

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Lions coach Johan Ackermann spoke to Jan de Koning about the bet he lost and the beard that followed.

Ackermann has faith in his players, but he did not expect to start looking like Santa Claus as a result of a bet he entered into.

Many have wondered why the usually well-groomed Lions mentor stopped shaving.

He has previously made mention of the 'bet' he lost, but never really provided much detail.

Ackermann - speaking ahead of the Lions' final Super Rugby league match of the season, when they face the Sharks in Durban on Saturday - said it started early in the season.

The players challenged him to only shave his beard when they lose a match.

And the only loss was to the Jaguares in Round Three, on March 11.

Eleven wins, two byes and a June break later and Ackermann is still growing his facial hair.

"Hopefully we go all the way," he told rugby365, adding: "I won't mind [keeping] the long beard and the players derive pleasure from that.

"I told them: 'You are spoiling your own pictures, having me in there.'

"They are happy they took the bet.

"However, I never expected that, after our loss [against the Jaguares] in Round Three, it would last till now."

By Jan de Koning

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Sun, 24 September 2017
London Irish v Northampton Saints 13h00 Madejski Stadium
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Fri, 29 September 2017
Sharks v Golden Lions 17h00 Durban
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Sale Sharks v Gloucester 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
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Sat, 30 September 2017
Griquas v Free State Cheetahs 12h00 Kimberley
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs 13h00 Welford Road
Munster v Cardiff Blues 13h30 Thomond Park
Northampton Saints v Harlequins 14h00 Franklin's Gardens
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Wasps v Bath 14h00 Ricoh Arena
Zebre v Ulster 14h35 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Bloemfontein
Dragons v Kings 18h35 Rodney Parade
Sun, 01 October 2017
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28