Frequently Asked Questions

What is this website all about?

The Lions is a provincial rugby union team in South Africa. Rugby union is a team sport played in most countries in the world, and 95 national teams appear on the current IRB (International Rugby Board) World Ranking.

What made you start this website?

I started this website in September 1996 when there were hardly any South African Rugby websites on the internet. In fact, the only South African website that started before mine, and that is still going, is the SARU website.

I have always been a big Transvaal/Lions rugby fan, and have been going to Ellis Park with my dad ever since I was a baby, which was in the 1970's. In those days it still had wooden seats and dusty aisles, and you weren't forced to pay some guy a lot of money to watch your car.

I also remember when they started building the new Ellis Park, when we had to go watch rugby at the Wanderers (The local cricket grounds) for about two seasons. In those days Transvaal battled to win at rugby, because Naas Botha played for Northerns and he was just too good for us.

But it was worth the wait, we got one of the finest rugby stadiums in South Africa, and we also started winning games, and won the Currie Cup three times in the 90's. (1993, 1994 and 1999)

So that's why I started the page, I am a big Transvaal fan, and because there wasn't a lot of South African Rugby pages, I decided to start one with info about my favorite team, Transvaal, but I also include some information about the Springbok games and players.

Can you help to get tickets to matches?

No, I can't, although from 2007 the GLRU (Golden Lions Rugby Union) often provided me with tickets for the Super 14 matches that I was able to give away as prizes in competitions.

Can you help to get the contact details of the players?

No, I can't, although I do know some of the players personally, I have to respect their privacy.

Why do you use the old name?

Before the team was called the "Lions", the name was Transvaal, and this was from 1889. In 1993 the name of the union and the team was changed to "Lions". I have owned the domain since 2004, and you can still access my website by using that URL. In 2009 I acquired the domain, and that is now where the site is hosted.

Do you think the home ground of the Lions should be moved elsewhere?

No, I go to most rugby games at Ellis Park, and have been going there for more than 40 years, so it will be really sad if Ellis Park isn't the home of the Lions any longer. Safe parking exist at the Johannesburg stadium as well as in the parkade on the Eastern side of the park, so there is really no excuse to come and support your team! I can honestly say that in all the years that I have been going to Ellis Park that I haven't experienced a single bad incident.

Will you link to my page?

I'll gladly link to any rugby page, as long as you are willing to link back to mine!

How big is a rugby field?

This was a bit of an unusual question, but here goes: The field is normally 100 meters long by 70 meters wide, excluding the in goal area, which is obviously the same width as the playing area, and anything from 10 meters to 25 meters long. Ellis Park then seats about 62500 spectators around this playing field.

How many points did a try count during the years?

This was a very good question, when rugby started a try didn't count any points, but you were then allowed to "try" to score by kicking a conversion. In 1890 they started awarding 1 point for a try, where today it counts 5. Below is a table with the value of tries, conversions, penalties, drop goals and goals from marks during the years:

Date Try Conversion Penalty Drop Goal Goal from mark
1890-1898 1 2 3 3 -
1899-1904 3 2 3 4 4
1905-1947 3 2 3 4 3
1948-1970 3 2 3 3 3
1971-1977 4 2 3 3 3
1977-1991 4 2 3 3 -
1992-present 5 2 3 3 -