Lions' Ackermann sets up Super farewell

Jul 30, 2017 - 4:28 AM Coach Johan Ackermann will crown his successful four-year stay at the Lions with the home final he always dreamed of when his side host the Crusaders in the Super Rugby decider next weekend.

The Lions put a poor first half behind them to beat the Hurricanes 44-29 in their semi-final at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday, setting up a grandstand finish for Ackermann before he leaves for English side Gloucester at the end of the campaign.

The Lions were 22-3 down minutes before halftime and battling to contain the Hurricanes, who were feeding off the errors of their hosts.

But a try just before the break from prop Jacques van Rooyen swung the momentum in their favour and they scored a further 34 points in the second half to end an eight-match losing streak against the Hurricanes, including in last year's competition final.

"I asked the players to really lift their intensity and reset the whole scoreboard. It's 0-0, let's just play 40 minutes of good rugby and whatever happens we can live with that," he said.

The Lions beat the Crusaders 42-25 in the Super Rugby quarter-finals last season, but Ackermann says there is not much to be gained from his team looking back to that victory.

"The Crusaders are a quality side. Their background, their history. Looking at last year won't help," he said.

Source: AAP

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