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 Lions season tickets now available
Dec 4, 2006 - Lions season tickets for 2007 are now available and for the first time a variety of packages are available to cater for everyone.

Rugby fans will be spoilt for choice as they are able to buy tickets for adults, pensioners, students, scholars, a family of two (one parent and one child) or a family of four (two adults and two children).

Season ticket holders will have access to each of the seven Super 14 and all seven Currie Cup matches, as well as to the Test between the Springboks and Samoa.

Season tickets are the ideal gift for loved ones, friends, colleague or business associates, and are expected to sell very quickly.

Tickets are available online at www.epsteamstore.co.za and the tickets will be delivered to your doorstep. Alternatively they can be purchased from the Ellis Park Ticket Office. Prices start at R170. For more information on the ticket prices visit www.lionsrugby.co.za.

Season parking tickets, offering you safe and secure parking close to the stadium, are also be available from the Ellis Park Ticket Office.

For more information on purchasing your passport to support the Lions contact (011) 402 2960 or (011) 402 9999 or email info@ellispark.co.za.  


 Boks beat England for the first time since 2000
Nov 25, 2006 - The last time the Boks beat England was in June 2000 at Loftus in Pretoria, that was before they managed to at last secure a victory over England after 7 straight losses to the men in white. It's also the first time since 1997 that we managed a win in London. The score was 25-14, with Andre Pretorius at last coming right and adding 20 points, including 4 drop goals. Let's be honest, this English side is poor, and the Boks, even though they aren't at full strength, should have won last week as well. Jake White returns to South Africa on Wednesday for a meeting, and it's possible that he might lose his job as coach, this after 22 wins in 37 matches as coach.  


 England beat Boks 23-21
Nov 18, 2006 - England beat the Springboks 23-21 in London on Saturday, this after the Boks looked set to win the match, leading 18-6 at one stage. Crucial errors in the 2nd half cost the Boks the match, this included a yellow card for Jean de Villiers, and then the fact that Butch James was replaced when the Boks seemed to be in control and dominating the match. It was a better effort than the previous week against Ireland, but still not good enough.  


 SARU and Spears settle out of court
Nov 17, 2006 - SARU and the Spears have settled out of court, as per this short statement:

"Following certain negotiations which were initiated by the Southern Spears, the dispute between SA Rugby and the Southern Spears has been settled and the Southern Spears has abandoned the judgment by Davis J handed down on 4 August 2006.

The effect of the settlement is that the Spears will not participate in the Vodacom Super 14 Competition."

Obviously this leaves the door open for the Lions to now officially take part in the 2007 Super 14 competition. 


 Eleven changes for Boks to play England
Nov 15, 2006 - Coach Jake White has hit panic stations and made no fewer than eleven changes to the side that will face England this Saturday. Five of the changes are positional, perhaps an indication that the coach realised that players should not play out of position, although CJ van der Linde will start at loosehead and Wynand Olivier at outside centre. To see the full team, click here.  


 Boks slaughtered in Dublin
Nov 11, 2006 - The Springboks went down 32-15 to Ireland in Dublin on Saturday, in what must have been quite a worrying display to coach Jake White and Springbok supporters alike. The Boks played well for the first five minutes of the game, keeping the ball in hand, and also scoring the first points of the match. But as soon as Ireland got the ball, it was evident that the Bok defense was non-existant, and they let in four tries, the 1st time ever that they conceded four tries to Ireland. It was also the most points ever conceded to Ireland, 18 in 2000 being the previous highest. It's obviously also the highest losing margin, 17, where 5 in 2004 was the previous highest losing margin to Ireland. It's only the 3rd time in the history that the Boks lost to Ireland.      


 Nothing wrong with the Lions finances
Nov 1, 2006 - The Lions invited the media to a press conference at Ellis Park on Wednesday where they were quite open about their finances, this to disspel recent rumours that the union was in financial trouble. They did admit that losses were made in 2004 and 2005, but that a modest profit was expected in 2006. They went so far as to present the 2004 and 2005 balance sheets and income statements, certainly not something they would have done if there was anything to hide. They also talked about their future vision for the union, mentioning that in 2007 up to 80% of the players contracts will be performance based, certainly a bold step, and one that most people will agree, in the right direction. They also contracted 42 players for the 2007 season, 22 fewer than this year.      


 Lions unveil new Super 14 logo
Oct 17, 2006 - The Lions unveiled their new logo for the 2007 Super 14 season on Tuesday. The Cats brand is history, and from next year the team will take part in the Super 14 as the Lions, and therefore a new logo had to be found. A number of logos were put to the vote, and the one pictured here was the most popular with the fans, and will be the new logo for the Lions in the 2007 Super 14.    


 Five Lions included in Bok squad
Oct 15, 2006 - Five Lions were named in the Bok squad announced on Saturday, they are Jaque Fourie, Enrico Januarie, Andre Pretorius, Jaco Pretorius and Lawrence Sephaka. Jaco Pretorius is the only one of the five yet to make his appearance in a test, and forced his way into the 28-man squad after an excellent season at outside centre for the Lions. In my book he was the best Lion in the Currie Cup, and it's great to see that his good form was rewarded by a Bok call-up. 


 Lions crush Pumas in Witbank
Sep 29, 2006 - The Lions totally outplayed the Pumas in Witbank on Friday, beating them 89-10 and scoring 13 tries to 1 in the process. John Daniels scored 3, thereby becoming the player that has scored the most tries in the Currie Cup in a career, namely 65. Pietie Ferreira had his best game for the Lions, looking great on attack and also scoring two tries in the match. Andre Pretorius kicked 12 conversions for 24 points. The Lions moved up into 2nd place on the log after this game, but might see 3 teams overtake them again on Saturday to be denied a semi-final spot.


 Lions beat WP to stay in the hunt
Sep 23, 2006 - The Lions beat Western Province 42-36 at Ellis Park on Saturday, keeping their slim hopes of reaching the semi-finals alive. They need one of WP, the Sharks or the Blue Bulls to lose next weekend to sneak into 4th spot. Jaco Pretorius scored three tries, earning his man of the match award. The full match report is here.


 Loffie makes 7 changes for WP
Sep 20, 2006 - Coach Eugene Eloff announced seven changes to the side that will face WP in a must win encounter on Saturday. The Lions need to win and get a bonus point to stay in the hunt for one of the semi-final spots. Jano Vermaak is back at number 9, and hopefully he has fully recovered from the injury that has kept him out of the side for just over a month. Andre Pretorius will also start at Flyhalf, while Anton van Zyl is back at lock and we will also field a complete new front row. The full team and match report is here.


 Lions hang on to beat Griquas
Sep 16, 2006 - Even though the Lions beat Griquas 34-32 at Ellis Park on Saturday, the match did not go as planned. The Lions were leading 24-7 at half time, and then somehow went to sleep, allowing Griquas to stage a massive second half fight back that nearly resulted in a surprise victory for them. It means that Griquas scored 25 points in the second half to the 10 from the Lions. Jaco Pretorius was again the pick of the Lions backline players, with Doppies la Grange named as the official man of the match. The win gave the Lions another 5 points on the log, but we need to lift our game if we want to beat Western Province next week. Click here for the full match report.


 Loffie includes Pretorius on bench for Griquas clash
Sep 14, 2006 - Andre Pretorius is back from Springbok duty, and the match-winning Flyhalf was included on the bench for Saturday's match against Griquas at Ellis Park. The home side would like to take revenge for going down 27-23 to Griquas in Kimberley earlier in the season, and with the way that the Lions turned their season around, winning their 6th game in a row seems a likely outcome. The home team also know that they need to get 15 points from their last three matches to stay in the hunt for a semi-final place, anything less would most probably mean that they can only end as high as 5th on the log. The full team and match report is here.


 Lions taste victory over Falcons in Brakpan
Sep 8, 2006 - The Lions did just what they had to in Brakpan on Friday night, win the game and score enough tries for the bonus point. In the end they won 32-17 after leading 17-10 at the break, but it was a comfortable win, as they scored 5 tries to 2. Once again the kicking let us down, with Harris missing a conversion before he left the field injured, and then Rose also missing two conversions. Jaco Pretorius was the star player on the night, breaking the Falcons defense at will and scoring one try and having a hand in a few others. With the win we made sure that we are still in the hunt for one of the semi-final spots, and putting ourselves in a position to perhaps move into fourth spot next weekend.


 Lions take revenge on Cheetahs
Sep 4, 2006 - The Lions took revenge on the Cheetahs for their heavy 1st round loss by beating them 39-28 at Ellis Park on Friday. The Lions managed to score 5 tries to 4, and with this victory closed the gap to just four points between them and the Blue Bulls who are in 4th place on the Currie Cup log.

This weekend the Lions play the Falcons in Brakpan, and would certainly aim to pick up another 5 log points.


 Loffie picks same XV for Cheetahs
Aug 29, 2006 - Coach Eugene Eloff showed faith in the starting XV that beat the Sharks two weeks ago and named an unchanged side to face the Cheetahs at Ellis Park on Friday night. It's the first time this season that Eloff named an unchanged side, and shows that he believes that this is his stongest side, as we play the log leaders. There is a chance that Enrico Januarie might be called up for Bok duty for Fourie du Preez, which might cause a problem for the Lions as Nic Eyere isn't available because of severe flu. Marius Hurter and Dave von Hoesslin are two new faces on the bench. Check the forum page for the full team.


 Lions in nail-biting win over Sharks
Aug 19, 2006 - The Lions beat the Sharks 22-21 in a thrilling encounter at Ellis Park on Saturday. With only four minutes to go the Sharks were leading 21-15, but then the Lions scored a brilliant try from deep within their own half in a move where most of the team handled the ball, with Grant Esterhuizen eventually going over in the left corner. Mark Harris (pic) kicked the difficult conversion from the touchline to give the Lions their third victory in three games.

The full match report is here.


 Surprise at Flyhalf for Lions
Aug 17, 2006 - Eugene Eloff came up with a surprising selection at Flyhalf for the game against the Sharks on Saturday, picking Jaco van Schalkwyk, who, up to now, has only played at outside centre for the Lions. The Lions would like to continue their upward trend in the second round of the Currie Cup with a victory over the Sharks, as this would also bring them closer to a semi-final spot. The full team and match report is here.


 Historic win for Lions at Loftus
Aug 12, 2006 - The Lions beat the Blue Bulls 19-17 at Loftus on Saturday, after leading 9-0 at the break. With this victory they created a piece of history, because the last time the Lions were able to win at Loftus in the Currie Cup was in 1999, which also means that none of the players in the current squad tasted Currie Cup victory at Loftus before Saturday. With this win the Lions proved that they have turned their season around, and might be able to challenge for a semi-final spot. Andre Pretorius was named man of the match, and he certainly provided the spark for the Lions in the match, as our only try came from a brilliant intercept by him.


 Two Springboks on bench for Lions vs Blue Bulls
Aug 10, 2006 - Lawrence Sephaka and Enrico Januarie were included on the bench for the Lions team that will face the Blue Bulls at Loftus on Saturday. Both players haven't played for the Lions this season yet. In the starting XV there was only one change, with Wylie Human back at wing in the place of John Daniels. Visit the Forum page (link on the left) for the full team.


 Lions in big win over Pumas at home
Aug 5, 2006 - It was all smiles for coach Eugene Eloff at the post match conference after his team beat the Pumas 74-15 at Ellis Park on Saturday. The Lions scored eleven tries to two, and entertained the small crowd with spectacular rugby, with quite a few tries started from their own 22 meter area. It certainly looks like the team has clicked at last, and hopefully they can get a few wins against the bigger teams in the second round of the competition. One can also only hope that this brand of rugby will get the crowds back to Ellis Park to support the Lions.


 Spears win court case against Saru
Aug 4, 2006 - The Spears won their court case against Saru today, which means that they have won the right to participate in the 2007 Super 14, and the implication is that the Cats therefore will not be taking part in the 2007 Super 14. Financially this could be very hurtful for the Cats, as we might lose sponsors, fewer companies will rent suites, and we also stand to lose some of our top players to unions that will be taking part in the Super 14.


 Coach shows faith in players
Aug 2, 2006 - Coach Eugene Eloff showed faith in the players that narrowly lost to Western Province last weekend by naming just one change to the team that will play the Pumas at Ellis Park on Saturday. The Pumas are currently at the bottom of the Currie Cup log, with the Lions just one spot above them in 7th place. A good win with a bonus point and a big winning margin can see the Lions back in 5th spot after the weekend. The full team is posted on the Forum page, follow the link called "Forum" in the navigation on the left.


 Lions narrowly lose at Newlands
July 29, 2006 - The Lions went down 28-30 to Western Province at Newlands, but it looks like the team has at last turned the corner, as it was one of their better performances of the season, and could easily have been a victory instead of a loss. Andre Pretorius certainly made a huge difference at Flyhalf, where the team has been without direction up to now, but Doppies la Grange also made an impact at inside centre. One can only hope that coach Eugene Eloff now use this team as the basis on which to go forward. 


 Pretorius to start against WP
July 27, 2006 - Andre Pretorius makes a welcome return from injury, and will start for the Lions at Flyhalf against Western Province on Saturday. He is one of eight changes to the team that lost against Griquas last Saturday. John Daniels, who has scored 35 tries for the Lions in 46 matches, will also start for the first time since August last year. Daniels was also the top try scorer for the Lions during the 2002, 2003 and 2003 seasons, and hopefully he can do some damage against WP. Doppies la Grange is also back at number 12, and Anton van Zyl will make his debut at lock. The full team is on the forum page.   


 Lions fall in the big hole in Kimberley
July 22, 2006 - The Lions went down 23-27 to the Griquas in Kimberley on Saturday, making it their 4th loss in 5 games under coach Eugene Eloff. It was certainly a game that the Lions would have been expected to win, as Griquas was a late inclusion to the Currie Cup, this after the Spears was excluded from the competition. The Lions downfall was the inability of their forwards to dominate, and they also made the big mistake not to use the advantage of playing with a strong wind in the first half of the game. One just hopes that Eugene also now finally realises that Earl Rose is not the answer at number ten, and with Andre Pretorius playing the final 30 minutes from the bench, the hope is that he will be ready to start at number 10 for the Lions for the rest of the season, or at least until he gets a call-up from Jake White.   


 Boks go down in Wellington
July 22, 2006 - The Boks lost 17-35 to the All Blacks in Wellington on Saturday, making it the first time that coach Jake White has lost three tests in a row. He seems to have lost the plot a bit, like so many other coaches before him, starting out quite well and then falling into the trap of wrong player selections. At least three of the match 22 of Saturday should not be there, and one wonders how a coach of White's ability can't see that. 


 Lions team starting to settle as Loffie only makes four changes
July 20, 2006 - Coach Eugene Eloff only made four changes to the Lions side to play Griquas on Saturday, with two of the changes forced by injuries. Gerhard Mostert and Jody Rose are out injured and are replaced by Cobus Grobler and Earl Rose. Wikus van Heerden is also back from his rest and replaces Cobus Grobbelaar who moves to the bench, and Jaco van Schalkwyk comes in for Mark Harris on the left wing.
In other news Jake White made five changes to the Springbok side that will play the All Blacks on Saturday. Click here to view the team. 


 Boks bullied in Brisbane
July 15, 2006 - The Springboks suffered their heaviest defeat in the history of the Tri-Nations when they went down 49-0 to the Wallabies in Brisbane on Saturday. Jake White seems to have lost the plot a bit, picking players that don't seem to be their best, or perhaps not even under the top 5 in their position in the country. Case in point is Enrico Januarie, who had a very poor Super 14, and continues his poor form in the test matches, putting his Flyhalf under constant pressure with poor passing. But that is not the only place where things went wrong on Saturday, almost none of the players on the park had a good game, and I don't know how things will be turned around for the game against the All Blacks next Saturday.


 Lions record first win of the Currie Cup season
July 14, 2006 - The Lions beat the Valke 32-19 at Ellis Park on Friday for their first win of the 2006 Currie Cup season. The game was closer than indicated by the score, the Valke were still in it with a few minutes to go, but the Lions scored a try just before the end, their fourth, to earn a bonus point as well. Louis Ludik was named man of the match after scoring the last two Lions tries. The Valke only scored one try, but were kept in the match by the boot of Louis Strydom, who kicked four penalties and a conversion. The win sees the Lions move up three places on the log to 5th.


 Jake changes six for Wallabies
July 12, 2006 - Jake White made six changes to the Springbok side that will play the Wallabies in Brisbane on Saturday. Two players from the Blue Bulls, Akona Ndungane and Pierre Spies, will make their Springbok debut. Two Lions players, Enrico Januarie and Jaque Fourie, are also back in the team after the team against France did not contain any Lions. Click here to view the full match 22.
Also on Wednesday, coach Eugene Eloff announced  the Lions side to play the Valke on Friday, this time making seven changes (two positional) to the team that were hammered by the Cheetahs. Click here to view the full match 22.


 Lions suffer big defeat in Bloemfontein
July 08, 2006 - The Lions side went down 5-59 to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday. It's the most points we've conceded to the Blikore since I've started keeping stats in 1988, and certainly one of the blackest days for Lions rugby that I've experienced as a fan. We've played good rugby in the game against the Sharks, and just needed a reliable kicker, but since then Loffie made 6 and then 8 changes to the team. He quickly needs to get his best 15 on the park, and also sort out the lack of quality players in key positions, or else this is going to be one of our worst Currie Cup campaigns ever, currently we are 8th on the log.
 Eight changes to team to face Cheetahs
July 06, 2006 - It looks like Eugene Eloff is still experimenting with the team, as he made another eight changes to the team to play the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein this weekend. Two of the changes were forced by injuries to Mujati and Grobler, who are replaced by Gert Muller and Jean Deysel respectively. One change that will be watched closely by most rugby lovers is the new loosehead prop, Heinke van der Merwe, who represented the SA U/21 side this year. Heinke makes his debut for the Lions, and so does the tighthead prop, Gert Muller. The full team is: Louis Ludik, Wylie Human, Jaco Pretorius, Wayne Julies, Grant Esterhuizen, Earl Rose, Jano Vermaak, Ernst Joubert, Cobus Grobbelaar, Wikus van Heerden(c), Gerhard Mostert, Jean Deysel, Gert Muller, James van der Walt, Heinke van der Merwe.
Reserves: Ethienne Reynecke, Daniel Muller, Willem Stoltz, Schalk van der Merwe, Rory Kockott, Jody Rose, Jaco van Schalkwyk.
 Blue Bulls overpower Lions at home
July 01, 2006 - Coach Eugene Eloff admitted at the post-match press conference that we were simply outplayed up front, this after the Blue Bulls beat us 39-24 at Ellis Park on Saturday. Positives were that Mark Harris kicked 5 of his 6 kicks at goal, so it looks like Eloff found his goalkicker for the rest of the season, and again Ludik and Jaco Pretorius played well, as well as Reyneke when he came on as a reserve in the second half, but the missed tackles cost us, and we conceded 5 tries, making it too easy for the Blue Bulls.

 To view older news items, click here

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