Ackermann considers Gloucester selection shake-up
CHAMPIONS CUP REACTION: Gloucester coach Johan Ackermann is looking to ‘freshen up’ his team, following their embarrassing 15-41 loss to a fired-up Munster on Friday.
The two-time champions, Munster, moved to the brink of the quarterfinals.
Munster flyhalf Joey Carbery feasted on a personal haul of 26 points – including two of his team’s five tries.
The 2006 and 2008 champions have an eight-point lead in Pool 2 and will now be guaranteed a place in the last eight if they beat Exeter at home next weekend.
“We knew this was going to be a massive game,” Munster coach Johann van Graan said.
“We showed good patience, and we will take this bonus point win away from home,” Van Graan added.
“Joey capped it off with a special performance.
“That’s three weeks in a row that he hasn’t missed a goal-kick, and his decision-making was excellent.”
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The defeat ended Gloucester’s hopes of reaching the play-offs in their first season back in Europe’s top competition.
Gloucester has now lost three games in a row in all competitions for the first time this season and has suffered three straight defeats at Kingsholm.
“It’s not nice, especially at home,” said Ackermann.
“Yes, it’s good sides. Exeter is a good side and Munster. Sale was a quality side but disappointing in the fact that we had a lot to play for.
“For me the biggest concern is we speak a lot off the field and we know where things go wrong but it’s time for us to fix them on the field.
“We all can catch the ball – we must just do it.
“We all can tackle – we must just do it better.
“We all can win a line-out ball – the line-outs up until three weeks ago, we were one of the leading sides in the Premiership, suddenly now it’s the small little mistakes.
“I hope it’s the bump in the road that we had last season and I hope at the end of this block there’s a bit of time, free time to regenerate players, there will be players coming back and we’ll just keep working on things but hopefully this is our bad part of the season and we’ll pick it up from there.”
With Gloucester having nothing to play for heading into their final pool game away to Castres, Ackermann is considering making a lot of changes to his side.
“My head at the moment is on rotating players, I think we need that obviously where the squad allows it,” he said.
“I think it’s fair to give players opportunities who have been quite patient to have an opportunity and give them a crack at playing in this competition.”