Opposition view: Ackermann not getting carried away after Gloucester's success at Saints

Gloucester boss Johan Ackermann
Gloucester boss Johan Ackermann

Gloucester boss Johan Ackermann is not getting carried away, despite his side strengthening their play-off bid by beating Saints in an 11-try thriller at Franklin's Gardens on Sunday afternoon.

The 40-31 bonus-point victory took Gloucester 11 points clear of fifth-placed Sale Sharks as they look to clinch a play-off berth for the first time in eight years.

With only four games left it is looking good for the Cherry and Whites, but Ackermann is not getting complacent.

He said: "We are not getting over-excited but it's a nice position to be in.

"But with four games to go, there are still a lot of teams on our tail."

Mark Atkinson shone for Gloucester with a first-half hat-trick of tries while Ruan Ackermann, Franco Marais and Ed Slater also crossed for the victors.

And Ackermann heaped praise on Atkinson after the match.

He said: "Mark caught my eye when I first came to the club and we've always believed in him.

"He has all the skill as well as being a big physical presence.

"He's now had a good run of games and has developed a good understanding with Danny (Cipriani) and Billy (Twelvetrees) as a midfield trio."

It was not all good news for Gloucester, though, as they suffered a number of injuries in the match, as did Saints.

Such was Gloucester's plight that they were forced to play replacement flanker Jake Polledri on the wing, while scrum-half and skipper Willi Heinz was deployed at full-back.

Ackermann said: "It's the wrong time of the year to pick up injuries. We can't speculate on the extent of them as we will have to wait for scans.

"Danny (Cipriani) has a groin problem but hopefully as we brought him off early he will be okay, but Tom Hudson's shoulder and Charlie Sharples' ankle will have to be assessed.

"We practised with Jake on the wing and he did well but he was exploited for one of their tries."