We deserved our success without late controversy
JOHAN Ackermann felt Gloucester were fully deserving of their 24-17 win over Exeter despite some late controversy.
The Chiefs were unhappy the winning try, scored by Ben Morgan, was allowed to stand as they appealed for obstruction by James Hanson on Tom O’flaherty in the build-up.
They also questioned the decision to award a knock on when they were camped under Gloucester’s posts which ended their hopes of a drawe.
“From a distance, I said ‘there’s a knock, there’s a knock,’” said Gloucester head coach Ackermann.
“The try, again, we had some calls in the game that we thought: ‘was it the right one?’
“But I know it’s stuff that will be constantly debated.”
Despite the nervy finish and close scoreline, it could have made it more comfortable if Gloucester were able to convert some big topportunities.
“I think we would have looked back at the game if we didn’t win it and say we left a lot of opportunities out there,” said Ackermann.
“Those tries we scored were good and there was some good attack.
“Jason Woodward would probably have scored if he caught it, Franco Marais knocked the ball close to the try line, Ollie (Thorley) was close in the corner. There was a few out there, a few penalties missed. “You could see we haven’t played a lot of rugby in the last few weeks, it wasn’t fluent, and 14 turnovers where we knocked the ball (on) so a big workon for us but a good start after the break.
“Credit to the players, that’s a massive effort and I’m proud of each individual for the effort they’ve put in and proud of the supporters who come out every week and support us.” Ackermann admitted there were parts of Gloucester’s game they could “polish up” but was pleased with how his side responded to a break with two rest weekends and two dead rubbers allowing him to rest players in recent weeks.
He said: “As much as we enjoyed the break to freshen the players up, to give them a mental break, a physical break you always knew you can’t do anything for a match other than play, get that match sharpness, that match fitness.
Gloucester’s first win of 2019 puts their play-off bid back on track in the Premiership after back-to-back league defeats.
“It’s massive,” admitted Ackermann. “We gave a lot of the teams opportunity to get back into the hunt and this is going to go down all the season.
“The challenge is going to get bigger and bigger as the weeks progress.”
Paddy Mcallister celebrates