Johan Ackermann believes all is not lost for Lions, gives advice on where to improve

Cape Town - Ex-Lions coach Johan Ackermann says he still keenly follows the interests of his former team.

Ackermann last year left the Lions to coach English side Gloucester.

The Lions have had an indifferent first Super Rugby campaign without Ackermann at the helm, winning six and losing six of their first 12 games.

However, they still top the South African Conference and Ackermann remains confident that they can achieve success later in the tournament.

Under Ackermann’s watch, the Lions reached the Super Rugby final in 2016 and 2017.

“The Lions are still playing good rugby and they play with their own unique style. They’re still scoring nice tries, but I think they’re lacking a bit when it comes to accuracy,” Ackermann told Netwerk24.

“They just need to improve their finishing and bring more balance into their play. I get the impression that they’re rushing things by forcing a pass here and there. They just need to be more patient and keep believing in themselves.”

Ackermann’s Gloucester suffered an agonising 31-30 defeat to Welsh club Cardiff Blues in the European Rugby Challenge Cup final in Bilbao, Spain last Friday.

A last-gasp Gareth Anscombe penalty ensured the Cardiff Blues secured a second Challenge Cup title.

"We lost our accuracy in the second half. But I can't blame the players because they played their hearts out anf gave everything," Ackermann said.

Following the two Super Rugby final defeats, it means Ackermann has now lost three major finals in a row with teams he had coached.