Gloucester must take chances insists head coach Johan Ackermann who praised his side for a marvelous victory over Exeter Chiefs last Friday. He knows they wasted plenty of chances and has ensured they won’t be as wasteful at Kingsholm against league leaders Saracens.
Second half performance must be matched
Johan Ackermann has told his team they cannot expect to win this weekend if they make as many mistakes as last Friday. He’ll want a similar performance to that of the second half one if they wish to get a result from Saracens.
” There are always work-ons. There wasn’t anything highlighted to us that was something we had to address. There is always something defensively you can improve and attacking wise everyone is aware that there were opportunities we let slip and not just the ball we knocked on but maybe one or two decision where if we chose a better decision we probably could have scored.
” We had a lot of attacking entries into their 22 but apart from the one or two occasions came away with points. It’s a positive that we created that many opportunities but the work on was to finish those. We looked at the last two minutes where we could have done better in closing the game out. We know the strength of them is holding the ball in the 22.
This clip is gold…👏🏼 😂
‘Yeeeeees baaaaby!’ pic.twitter.com/0VIeSjuYmJ
— Gloucester Rugby (@gloucesterrugby) February 18, 2019
” We won’t be able to afford missing those opportunities. We got away with it against Exeter but looking at Saracens this week they were in a close game until 60 minutes and the class squad that they are came through and made it look easy again.
” Our set piece will be massive again. They are a quality side and aren’t a leading side in Europe for nothing. It’s going to be a tussle, you have to be patient and the balance between attack and kicking game is important. They’ve been together as a group for years, so every player is well oiled in what they do and they still have a lot of internationals in their team Despite missing four players in the England squad].”
International duo will play if released
England’s Ollie Thorley has been released by Eddie Jones and Callum Braley has been training with Italy ahead of round three of the Guinness Six Nations. Johan Ackermann has stated that both will play providing they get released, ”If they’re not selected, they’ll definitely be involved in Friday’s game.”
Thorley’s release by England means he will certainly be included whilst we wait on news from the Italian camp.
England Update 🏴
Ollie Thorley will be available for the Cherry and Whites this Friday after being released back to the club from the England training squad pic.twitter.com/dpy4K98B4u
— Gloucester Rugby (@gloucesterrugby) February 19, 2019
Squad rotation key
Balancing players game time has been difficult for Johan Ackermann so far this season but with the return of several player it now means he has the luxury to switch players in and out.
” I’m looking at rotating players. There’s a lot of factors we’re looking at but in the positions we’ve mentioned [lock, back row and back three] the luxury is there to start rotating.” Said Ackermann.
Franco Mostert settling in
Joining from the Lions at the start of the season second row Franco Mostert had a slow start to his Gloucester career according to Ackermann.
Saying, ” The first month was chucking him in the deep end. What made it difficult for Franco was not only the logistical move, moving his family and settling into a new area but learning all the calls and lineouts etc.
”In those European games his work ethic was tremendous, but the people didn’t see him at his best until the last few weeks and especially this weekend gone. He’s calling our lineouts now and he had the highest involvement from any player at the weekend.”
Franco Mostert spoke to the Gloucestershire media for the first time on Tuesday and more will follow later this week.