Opposition view: Gloucester boss Ackermann hails his side's battling qualities

Johan Ackermann praised the fight of his players after Gloucester pushed Saints all the way at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday afternoon.

Sunday, 29th December 2019, 1:23 pm
Updated Sunday, 29th December 2019, 1:24 pm
Gloucester boss Johan Ackermann

The Cherry and Whites were eventually beaten 33-26 in the Gallagher Premiership encounter, but they still claimed a try bonus point and a losing bonus point.

Talented young wing Louis Rees-Zammit registered a hat-trick, with centre Chris Harris also on the scoresheet.

But Saints held their nerve late on and a Piers Francis penalty put the seal on the victory.

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And when asked for his feelings after the defeat, Gloucester boss Ackermann said: "Proud, because of the two points that we have got and the fight that the players have shown.

"We were not in it in the first half and we didn’t play well.

"They could have taken all the points and we get nothing but we didn’t and I am proud.

"But we're frustrated in the sense of the way that we played in the first half.

"We didn’t look after the ball, we gave it away in contact and made a lot of silly errors and even in the second half we leaked a soft try or a penalty.

"It wasn’t an 80-minute performance but then again, they are close to the number one side in the competition at the moment and to come here and to still get two points, it shows you that there is still a lot of fight in the players."

Gloucester were hit by a second-half yellow card for prop Josh Hohneck, who swung an arm into the neck of Andy Symons.

And Ackermann said: "The view we had, we felt it wasn’t that high or that dangerous.

"The frustrating thing is that they show it on the big screen and in slow motion and everything looks worse in slow motion, but the officials have directives and they will stay with that.

"But, saying that, we have to just be better than we were over the whole 80 minutes."