Lions short on sharpness

Lions coach Johan Ackermann says the warm-up matches in Potchefstoom weren't ideal preparation for their opening Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Hurricanes next weekend.

The matches against the Leopards and Pukke were played in horrendous conditions on Saturday, and although both Lions sides emerged victorious, Ackermann was hoping to get more out of their only pre-season fixtures. The Hurricanes, meanwhile, enjoyed a good win against the Crusaders, and will finalise their preparations with another tough match against the Blues this weekend.

'Saturday's game wasn't played in ideal conditions, and the rain never allowed for the high intensity match we were hoping for,' Ackermann told 'We were forced to focus on our set pieces and our defence, both of which went pretty well. Unfortunately the weather meant we struggled to get enough continuity, so we'll have to work a bit harder in training this week.'

Ackermann will also have to deal with a couple casualties, as both Stefan Watermeyer and Anthony Volminck picked up hamstring injuries. Volminck is expected to be ready for opener at Ellis Park, but Watermeyer will be sidelined for the first two weeks of the tournament. Despite the negatives, Ackermann was pleased to get the season underway.

'I'm just satisfied that the guys were able to get some contact rugby under their belts. There were some good individual performances from Howard Mnisi, Courtnall Skosan and Derick Minnie.'

Photo: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images