Johan Ackermann has backed the Lions to beat the Waratahs at Ellis Park on Saturday to reach a third consecutive Super Rugby final.
The Lions, under Ackermann’s reign as head coach, featured in the 2016 and 2017 finals but ended as runners-up on both occasions after losing to the Hurricanes and Crusaders respectively.
Ackermann, who has since been appointed head coach of English club Gloucester, says he has been keeping tabs on the Lions this season and believes no team will be able to beat them at Ellis Park in the playoffs.
‘I know we lost to the Crusaders at home in the final last year, but I still feel no one will beat the Lions at home in a playoff; the red card set us back last year,’ Ackermann told IOL.co.za.
‘The Lions are a patient team, and don’t panic when they go behind. They know what their capabilities are and have shown they can go into an extra gear in the last 20 minutes. The Waratahs won’t be able to keep up with the pace over the 80 minutes, and they won’t come back like they did against the Highlanders.’
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