Johan Ackermann’s pep-talk inspired Gloucester’s comeback

Date published: September 15 2018

Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann revealed that his half-time pep-talk against Bristol on Friday helped his side to stage a stunning fightback.

Trailing 13-3 after 40 minutes of their Premiership clash at Kingsholm, the Cherry and Whites scored 32 unanswered points in the second half to clinch a 35-13 victory over the Bears.

Experienced win Charlie Sharples led the fightback with two-well taken tries and Billy Twelvetrees also contributed 10 points courtesy of two penalties and two conversions.

“Obviously we (the coaching staff) made it quite clear that we were not happy with the way we played,” said Ackermann.

“The intensity that we played at (in the first half) made us look disorganised. It didn’t look like we worked hard enough for each other.

“So, we just cleared up that communication and also the fact that we have to be more direct before we can get the space.”

Ackermann said motivating his players after their poor start to the match was not a difficult task at half-time.

“I think the players knew they were not performing well so it was quite easy (to motivate them), it wasn’t really something that needed to be fixed tactically,” he added.

“It was more the physicality and the mental side that needed to be fixed. So, I challenged the guys and told them they have a responsibility towards the team and luckily they took it to heart and it was good.”