Lions coach angry at scrum penalties


Golden Lions coach, Johan Ackermann, has described Saturday’s game against the Blue Bulls as "the most boring game of rugby" that he has seen in a very long time.

The Currie Cup match took place at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, with the Lions losing 26-36 to the men from Pretoria.

"The first half especially was so poor, we just couldn't get our game to flow," Ackermann said after the game.

"The Bulls would just bomb it back; we wouldn't be able to control the ball so we'd scrum again. It was the most boring game of rugby I've seen in a while and it's not good for the supporters either.

"It was just penalty after penalty, high ball after high ball, a disappointing match, with strange decisions."

The Bulls dominated the ball in the first half, with a score of 19-12 at half time.

This was extended to 29-12 in the 51st minute following a try by centre Burger Odendaal, converted by flyhalf, Jacques-Louis Potgieter. The Lions then took hold of the game by scoring two tries in five minutes.

During the in the 79th minute however, both teams were penalised for not binding properly during scrums, a move that left Ackermann questioning the judgement of referee, Marius van der Westhuizen.

"I'd like to know what we did wrong at that last scrum when the score was 29-26. Is the referee saying you're no longer allowed to dominate a scrum?

"I think the referee wasn't certain what was happening in the scrums. All the props were guilty of not binding properly, but it was 'one penalty for me, one penalty for you' the whole match."

Ackermann added that he was disappointed with the “stop-start” game. However, he admitted that the Bulls had the right amount of energy.

 "Everything just looked slow in the first half. We didn't react to the Bulls' game and back ourselves to play more. They slowed down our ruck ball, and the stop-start game suited the Bulls."

The Lions will next face the Western Province on the 13th of September at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.


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