Super Rugby

Ackermann: We must enjoy the moment

 Johan Ackermann (Gallo)
Johan Ackermann (Gallo)

Johannesburg - Lions coach Johan Ackermann believes his side can go out and play without any pressure in Saturday's Super Rugby semi-final against the Hurricanes at Ellis Park. 

Instead, he says his side must "enjoy the day" and give it their best. 

Ackermann acknowledges that the Hurricanes are favourites for the clash, with the Lions having lost twice to them last year. 

The Lions have also not beaten the 'Canes since 2007, and last year they were smashed 50-17 by the New Zealanders at Ellis Park for the groups stages. 

Ackermann, who is leaving the Lions at the end of the season, believes that previous results will count for nothing on Saturday, but he still feels significantly less pressure than he did going into last weekend's quarter-final against the Sharks in Johannesburg.

"For myself, I feel less pressure than last week, purely because this is an 80 minute game and that's all we can control," Ackermann said this week.

"Last week it was almost a game where I think there was a lot of expectation, and we didn't live up to that. The reality is that all the pressure was on us.

"We can just go out and enjoy the day and give it our best shot. If we've done everything we could and have a great effort out there, then the result will look after itself.

"The reality is that they are a quality side and they proved that last year. The challenge is up to us to be able to contest against them."

The Lions also lost 20-3 to the 'Canes in last year's tournament final in Wellington.

Kick-off on Saturday is at 14:30.

Teams:

Lions

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Jaco Kriel (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen

Substitutes: 16 Akker vd Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Faf de Klerk, 22 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 23 Sylvian Mahuza

Hurricanes

15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Wes Goosen, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Brad Shields, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Jeff To'omaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles (captain), 1 Ben May

Substitutes: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Loni Uhila, 19 Reed Prinsep, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Otere Black, 23 Julian Savea

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