Richard Ferguson

Ackermann takes the risk

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Argentina, Lions, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 13 Jul 2016 at 10:10
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Lions coach Johan Ackermann has taken the gamble, sending a complete B squad to Argentina to face the Jaguares on Saturday evening. This has a direct influence on the Sharks schedule for the potential playoffs the following weekend.

Ackermann has left a host of players, fifteen to be exact, in South Africa, making Ross Cronje captain for the weekend and sending what looks to be a very inexperienced side. Those left behind will not be given the weekend off, they will be hard at work preparing for what will be a home Quarter Final next weekend.

What it means for the Sharks though is that, should this Lions team come unstuck in Argentina, it would be likely that the Chiefs would finish first overall, meaning a trip to Hamilton for the Sharks, should they finish 8th on the log after this weekend’s matches.

Our focus here is obviously on the Sharks, but for the Lions fans, it must be frustrating knowing that a victory in Argentina would mean a home stretch of play off matches, including a potential final at Ellis Park. Now, should they not finish top, it would mean that should their run continue and they reach the final, it would most likely be in New Zealand.

Lions: 15 Sylvian Mahuza, 14 Koch Marx, 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Ross Cronje (captain), 8 Cyle Brink, 7 Robert Kruger, 6 Stef de Witt, 5 Lourens Erasmus, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Jacques van Rooyen, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 CornΓ© Fourie

Substitutes (two to be omitted): 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Clinton Theron, 18 Pieter Scholtz, 19 Fabian Booysen, 20 Ruaan Lerm, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Jacques Nel, 23 Shaun Reynolds, 24 Bobby de Wee, 25 Ashlon Davids


  • This will be a spectacular own-goal

  • Comment 1, posted at 13.07.16 10:15:27 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • sorry, but this is a spectacularly big fuck up on the part of Ackermann. Seriously, man…. Rather than a gimme QF win against the Sharks (who theh beat comfortably 10 days ago) they invite the Hurricanes to come to Ellis Park and give them 50 again. Even if they do get through that, they will doubtless end up playing the Highlanders and Chiefs on successive weekends, with the final being in Hamilton?

    Chances of winning the trophy just went from 50% to about 5%

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.07.16 10:18:01 by robdylan Reply
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  • This decision is moronic. Going to blow up in their faces.

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.07.16 10:24:12 by Dragnipur Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : and theyve been klapped hard by NZ teams this year. fking astonishing decision.

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.07.16 10:27:11 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • Bet365 had Lions as 12 point favourites, now changed to Jags 10 point favourites

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.07.16 10:28:28 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • I think Ackerman’s decision was based on the Bulls/Jags game…was played in terrible conditions and was a brutal contest. Ackerman probably doesnt want to expose his players to that then have them jump on a plane all the way back to SA to face a fired up Sharks side who wouldnt have to travel that far. He is often applauded for backing the players in his system and his rotation policy…so thats just what he has done. If he sent his top side, picked up the win and 3 key injuries then lost to a Sharks side at home people would say he is as dumb as HM…

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.07.16 10:40:36 by SheldonK Reply

  • A Lions loss is not a given considering that the Jaguares has only managed to beat the Kings and a second string Bulls side at home this year.

    Neither is it a given that a Lions loss will cost them the top spot.

    What Ackers has done is throw a cat amongst the pigeons in the Kiwi derbies this weekend as all four Kiwi teams have a chance at the top spot, depending on results.

    Should the Canes and the Highlanders win and the Lions lose without a bonus point the one that can win with a bonus point can go to the top

    The Canes have never won the trophy, losing out in a home final last year, and they are going to bash up the Chiefs in their effort this weekend. Should they win it opens the door for the Highlanders, who have already beaten the Crusaders this year and are playing at home, as the Highlanders have a better points difference than the Canes.

    Method in Ackers’s madness? We’ll know early on Sunday morning

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.07.16 10:55:02 by Baylion Reply

  • Well If the lions Lose to the Jags, then their best case scenario is for us to make it to the semi-finals… that would knock out the chiefs or the saders… and secure a home final for the lions. πŸ™‚ Best case scenario for both sides as far as I am concerned would be a Lions vs Sharks final… but that is hell-of-a-optimistic.

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.07.16 10:56:09 by Warren Harvey Reply

  • I may be naive on this one but I’m still backing the Lions for a win on Superbru.

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.07.16 11:13:00 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Think this a watershed decision for SA rugby. For long I have admired the seamless way NZ teams and All Blacks have moved squad members in and out of starting 15s. In SA we luv the Jake White way…play 15 into the ground every game. Lets back Ackers win or lose, because he is brave and BELIEVES. Go Lions. Show us the way

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.07.16 11:15:13 by catfish Reply
  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 1) : @robdylan (Comment 2) : you guys are just angrey because you dont get to play a tired Lions team in the QF πŸ˜›

  • Comment 11, posted at 13.07.16 11:17:22 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 11) : for sure!!!
    For me it’s a tough call to make. If the Lions lose against a NZ team in the QF the fans will blame him for not sending a full squad to Argentina.

  • Comment 12, posted at 13.07.16 11:31:24 by JD Reply
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  • The odds on the Lions are getting better and better. πŸ™‚ I think I’ll wait till Friday to place my bet

    Los Jaguares (2/7)
    Lions (4/1)

  • Comment 13, posted at 13.07.16 11:37:27 by Baylion Reply

  • @Zibbie (Comment 11) : πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  • Comment 14, posted at 13.07.16 11:50:00 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • Some ignorant (read arrogant) snoiL fans believe they’ll beat the Haa-goo-aa-rez with this iffy team of theirs.

    Ackerman being moved by fear here…fear that his team will get sick from the trip to Arg, and then depleted come quarter final time….

  • Comment 15, posted at 13.07.16 11:55:26 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 15) : Just because we believe that Ackers is Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Staal Burger, Mark Condor and Die Swart Luiperd rolled into one doesn’t mean we are ignorant/arrogant πŸ™‚

  • Comment 16, posted at 13.07.16 12:03:03 by Baylion Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 16) : Some of you long suffering supporters are more than palatable…but there’s far too many turncoats chest-beating now that their team has something to crow about, yet during the skinny years, they were nowhere to be seen.

  • Comment 17, posted at 13.07.16 12:10:27 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 17) : i have been here a while πŸ˜›

  • Comment 18, posted at 13.07.16 12:32:04 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 16) : Staal Burger, now that’s just giving away your age πŸ˜€

  • Comment 19, posted at 13.07.16 12:53:52 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 19) : Swart Luiperd is even worse. Books from my dad’s time πŸ™‚

  • Comment 20, posted at 13.07.16 13:05:02 by Baylion Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 19) : @Baylion (Comment 20) : Is Mark Condor not older than those 2.

    What others were there….Kid Colt, Beau, She, Tessa….

    Screw DSTV, Im going to ransack the store age unit.

  • Comment 21, posted at 13.07.16 13:18:03 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 21) : Rooiwillie

  • Comment 22, posted at 13.07.16 14:14:13 by vanmartin Reply
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  • I get what Ackermann is wanting to do here…but I am,surprised that he has left quite so many guys behind. I would have thought rest some guys, but play some of the experienced chaps who have just had a whole international window to rest. If they do lose and a NZ side goes top of the log, it just drops their chances soooo much! It certainly is a hell of a risk…
    Well, what’s done is done…let’s see how they go…

  • Comment 23, posted at 13.07.16 20:34:11 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 23) : yes that’s exactly my feeling to!!! Hope it works for them!

  • Comment 24, posted at 13.07.16 21:20:02 by JD Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 18) : I also consider you as one of the few good ones. …enjoy the ride Lions fans, it lasts but for a moment.

  • Comment 25, posted at 13.07.16 21:27:53 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 1) : @robdylan (Comment 2) : evening guys . i see the lions now only need 1 point from the jag game . we might be playing you next week

  • Comment 26, posted at 16.07.16 22:51:06 by Zibbie Reply
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