Gloucester rugby coach, Johan Ackermann, has received praise from his players at the club for building structures which allow them to play to their strenghts. Gloucester recorded their fourth win in a row this weekend and are up to fifth place on the English Premiership table.

After leaving the Lions for the UK, Ackermann’s premiership coaching career started with a bang as his side beat defending champions Exeter in the opening round. It provided hope for a team that has finished in the bottom half of the 12-team log in the last four seasons.

However, they lost three of their next four games which provided some sort of reality check. Defensive structures got more attention which was evident in their 29-7 victory away from home at Newcastle this weekend.

“The reality is you will be without the ball sometimes, not as much as we were tonight but we gave the ball away too easy, but some brilliant performances collectively as a team, the way they stuck to the structures but also individually, there will be some big tackle totals,” said Ackermann.

After nine of their 22 Premiership matches, the team has shown improvement and character, but the journey is far from over.

“Let’s not get carried away there’s still a lot of tough games ahead and the reality is that teams will come more prepared and take us more serious and come harder for us and therefore we have to keep working hard,”added Ackermann.

Gloucester’s next match is against London Irish at home on Saturday.