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Easy victory for Boks over Wales
Nov 24, 2007 - The Springboks had no trouble in beating Wales on Saturday, running out 34-12 winners and scoring 5 tries to 2. The Boks were never really troubled in the game, even though they had to play with 14 men for 20 minutes in the game after Albert van den Berg and Bismarck du Plessis were yellow carded. The match was a landmark in that it was likely to be the last test match played under coach Jake White.

Bok team to play Wales named
Nov 21, 2007 - Jake White named the Bok side to play Wales this Saturday on Wednesday. Due to the unavailability of a few players as well as injuries to other players he had to make quite a few changes to the side that last played in (and won) the World Cup final. Ryan Kankowski from the Sharks will make his Bok debut at number 8, while Heinke van der Merwe from the Lions is on the bench and is also likely to get his 1st Bok cap. Click here for the full team.

Heinke gets another Bok call up
Nov 8, 2007 - Heinke van der Merwe was included in the 26-man squad to tour the UK later this month. This follows the retirement of Os du Randt after the World Cup final. Heinke toured with the Boks in the away leg of the Tri-nations this year, but wasn't used in any of the matches by coach Jake White.
Heinke has got 25 caps for the Lions, in which he scored one try. He is 22, 112 kg and 1.83 m.
The full 26-man squad is:
Forwards: Bakkies Botha, Schalk Burger, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Victor Matfield, Danie Rossouw, Johann Muller, John Smit (captain), Juan Smith, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Wikus van Heerden, CJ van der Linde, Heinke van der Merwe, Albert van den Berg.

Backs: Fourie du Preez, Jaque Fourie, Bryan Habana, Conrad Jantjes, Ricky Januarie, Wayne Julies, Akona Ndungane, Wynand Olivier, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, André Pretorius, Francois Steyn.

Cheetahs beat Lions in final
Oct 29, 2007 - The Cheetahs beat the Lions 20-18 in the Currie Cup final in Bloemfontein on Saturday, this after the Lions were leading 18-6 with about 15 minutes remaining in the game. Unfortunately the Lions then seemed to defend the lead from there and they were unable to, with the Cheetahs scoring two converted tries to win the Currie Cup.
It was still an awesome display from the Lions, losing by a narrow margin in a game that few people gave them a chance to win. We can only hope that the experience that the players gained this year will help them win the cup in 2008!

Lions unchanged for final
Oct 25, 2007 -
Coach Eugene Eloff showed faith in his players that qualified for the Currie Cup final when he named an unchanged squad of 22 players to face the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday. He also resisted the temptation to make use of the four Boks returning from the World Cup, namely Jaque Fourie, Andre Pretorius, Enrico Januarie and Ashwin Willimse, but personally I think it's because only Fourie is really on form at the moment, and he would have replaced Jaco Pretorius, who always gives 150% when he plays, so it's a good decision for the Coach. It's Loffie's birthday on Sunday, and I can't think of a better gift than winning the Currie Cup from the team to our great Coach!
The full team is on the forum page if you want to have a look.
We last played in a Currie Cup final in 2002, where we were beaten 31-7 by the Blue Bulls at Ellis Park, and the last time we won it was 1999 when we beat the Sharks 32-9 in Durban.
In total we have played in 17 finals, won 7 and shared 1, while the Cheetahs played in 11 finals, won 2 and shared 1.

Lions make 500 tickets available for final
Oct 22, 2007 -
The Golden Lions Rugby Union have announced that they will be releasing the last 500 tickets available to them for the 2007 Absa Currie Cup final this afternoon (Monday 22 October). Tickets will be available from the Ellis Park Ticket Office. Keep in mind that these tickets won't last until the end of today!

For more information call 011 402 8644.

Boks beat England in RWC final
Oct 20, 2007 - The Springboks beat England 15-6 in the Rugby World Cup final in Paris on Saturday, becoming only the 2nd team in the history of the Rugby World Cup to win the World Championship twice. The previous winners were:
1987 - New Zealand
1991 - Australia
1995 - South Africa
1999 - Australia
2003 - England
2007 - South Africa
With the victory the Springboks also moved into the number one spot on the International World Ranking, this will be confirmed on Monday.
The match was a typical final, with no tries scored and all the points coming from penalty kicks. Both teams were very tentative and mostly attacked with high balls, which never really makes for attractive rugby.

Bok team for RWC final named
Oct 18, 2007 - Jake White named the Springbok side to face England in Saturday's RWC final in Paris on Thursday. The side is unchanged from the side that beat Argentina 37-13 in the semi-final on Sunday, with only one change on the bench, where Wikus van Heerden replaces Bobby Skinstad. The run on XV is very experienced, sporting 668 test caps between them, an average of 44.5 caps per player. The full team can be seen here.

Ticket information for Currie Cup Final
Oct 15, 2007 - I've had a number of queries about tickets for the Currie Cup final in Bloemfontein on 27 October between the Lions and the Cheetahs.
This is the information as supplied to me by Krystle Geach, the PR and media manager of the Golden Lions Rugby Union:
Tickets can be purchased directly from the Free State Cheetahs or from Shoprite Checkers. They can visit www.fscheetahs.co.za
<http://www.fscheetahs.co.za/> for more information.

Alternatively, and if they don't come right, they can contact Peet Buys on 011 402 2960 x 133 or email peet@glru.co.za for information on tickets. The costs are:

Main Stand - R300
Open Stand - R200
Corner Seats - R100

Springboks set up final with England
Oct 15, 2007 - The Springboks beat Argentina 37-13 in a World Cup semi-final in Paris on Sunday to set up a clash with England in the final next Saturday. In their pool clash the Boks crushed England 36-0, but the final will be a different story, where both teams will obviously play with everything they have to earn the honour of being called World Champions for the next four years.

Lions beat Sharks to reach final
Oct 13, 2007 - The Lions caused a bit of an upset by beating the Sharks 19-12 in Durban on Saturday, and therefore they qualify to play in the Currie Cup final for the first time since 2002. The Lions were basically outplayed in the first half, but managed to keep in touch with the Sharks, and then had a great 2nd half to snatch the victory in this semi-final. Jaco Pretorius scored twice, and Jannie Boshoff scored the 3rd try for the Lions after a great intercept by replacement Earl Rose, while the Sharks could not cross the Lion's try-line. The Lions now play the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on 27 October in the Currie Cup final.

Lions for Sharks semi-final named
Oct 10, 2007 - Coach Eugene Eloff named the Lions side to face the Sharks in a Currie Cup semi-final in Durban on Saturday, and it's basically the players that got the Lions to the playoffs that gets rewarded with a start in this crucial game.
I've posted the full team on the forum page for those that want to have a look.
The Lions haven't won the Currie Cup since 1999, and they last played in the final in 2002, so it's understandable that the fans are hungry for some success.

Lions win big over Boland
Oct 6, 2007 - The Lions beat Boland 75-0 at Ellis Park on Saturday, moving up to 3rd place on the Currie Cup log and claiming one of the four semi-final spots in the competition. The Lions were ruthless, and kept to their stuctures throughout the match, making very few mistakes in dispatching the opponents from Wellington. The Lions scored 11 tries, including a hat-trick from Ryno Benjamin, while they will be satisfied that they kept the Bolanders from scoring. Read the match report here.   

Loffie names side to face Boland
Oct 3, 2007 - Eugene Eloff today named the side to play Boland at Ellis Park on Saturday. The team is a mixture of experience and youth, with Gert van der Merwe making his debut for the Lions at tighthead prop, a position that has given the Lions a few headaches this season with injuries to Bertus Smit and Brian Mujati. Walter Venter gets another start at inside centre after what sounds like a good game against Griquas (haven't watched the game yet since my return from France!) Loffie took a leaf from Jake White's book and loaded the bench just to make sure that there is a backup plan if the starting XV struggles. The team and match report is here.   

I'm off to France!
Sep 21, 2007 - I'm taking a bit of a break, heading for France tonight where I will be attending two Rugby World Cup matches, the Springboks vs Tonga in Lens tomorrow and the Springboks vs USA on 30 September. Unfortunately I won't be able to make updates to my site during this time. I would also really appreciate it if someone can SMS me the scores of the Lions vs Valke and also Lions vs Griquas, just so that I know that the Lions are safely through to the semi-finals!   

Loffie rests key players against Valke
Sep 20, 2007 - Coach Eugene Eloff decided to rest most of his key players when he named the side to play the Valke at Ellis Park on Saturday. He made 11 changes, including 2 positional changes. The Lions need 15 points from the last three Currie Cup games to make sure that they do qualify for the semi-finals, but the Valke have been quite poor this season, losing all eleven of their matches up to now, so it makes sense to rest the key players for the big match against Griquas in Kimberley next weekend.   

Lions edged out by Cheetahs
Sep 15, 2007 - The Lions were edged out 24-19 by the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday. Louis Strydom kept the Lions in the match with four penalties and a conversion, while the only Lions try came from replacement Earl Rose, with the Cheetahs scoring three tries. It must be said that the Cheetahs conceded many penalties in the last 20 minutes, and perhaps referee JC Fortuin should have responded with a yellow card, as that might have changed the outcome of this game. The Lions will probably now meet the Cheetahs in the semi-final at Bloemfontein if they do manage to qualify for the semis, and will know that the Cheetahs are not unbeatable there.    

Emphatic win for Boks over England
Sep 14, 2007 - The Springboks played one of their best games ever in the World Cup on Friday, beating England 36-0 in Paris and thereby staying in the lead in Pool A and also making sure that we have the easier road to the Final. The Boks were awesome, scoring three tries and keeping the current World Champions from scoring any points.   

Loffie names unchanged side for Cheetahs match
Sep 13, 2007 - For the first time in this Currie Cup campaign coach Eugene Eloff was able to name an unchanged side, so this Saturday the same team that beat the Blue Bulls at Ellis Park will take on the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein. The bench sees two changes with Jaco Pretorius back from injury, as well as Wilhelm Koch in for Willem Alberts, who injured his neck in the gym on Monday and will be out for the rest of the season.  

Boks start RWC 2007 with victory over Samoa
Sep 10, 2007 - The Springboks kicked off their 2007 Rugby World Cup campaign off on Sunday with a good win over Samoa in Paris, scoring 59-7 including 8 tries to the 1 from Samoa. The bad news for the Boks is that Jean de Villiers tore a bicep muscle in the match and is out of the World Cup. Bryan Habana had a great match, scoring four tries and promising bigger and better things for later in the competition. The win puts the Boks at the top of group A for now with England 1 point back in 2nd place.  

Lions impressive in victory over Blue Bulls
Sep 10, 2007 - The Lions beat the Blue Bulls 27-22 at Ellis Park on Saturday, making sure that they stay in the hunt for one of the four semi-final spots in the Currie Cup. Again the TMO awarded a controversial try to the opponents, on the replay it looked like Ruan Vermeulen lost the ball in the process of grounding it, and I really hope that SARU can sort this out very quickly, it's pointless to let incompetent people make decisions that can influence matches and seasons. Click here to see the match report. 

Jake names strong Bok side for RWC opener
Sep 6, 2007 - Jake White named a strong Springbok side that will play against Samoa in Paris on Sunday. The good news is that Jean de Villiers is fit and will be at Inside Centre, while John Smit is also back at Hooker after missing the last few test matches through injury.
The only surprise is that JP Pietersen is still there, he hasn't really been convincing in his last two outings in the Green and Gold, but he gets another chance to prove that he is better than what we've seen from him so far. Click here to see the full team. 

Lions change one for Blue Bulls match
Sep 5, 2007 - Coach Eugene Eloff made just one change to the team that plays the Blue Bulls at Ellis Park on Saturday. Inside Centre Doppies la Grange is still out injured and his place is taken by Thabang Molefe, who played well of the bench in the match against the Sharks last weekend. Kenny Mackenzie will undergo a fitness test later in the week, and if fit, will also start in the place of Lawrence Sephaka at Tighthead. In July the Lions lost 25-11 at Loftus, where the Blue Bulls forwards managed to dominate and secure the match for the home team. The Lions might slip from fourth on the log if they lose this match and WP manage to beat the Sharks. Click here for the full team and match report page.  

Lions stumble in Durban
Sep 1, 2007 - The Lions went down 21-3 to the Sharks in Durban on Saturday, in one of those matches that the team and supporters would like to forget as soon as possible. The Lions never really threatened the Sharks try-line, and it wasn't really that they were playing bad, it was just as if the Sharks did everything a little better.  

Lions change four for Sharks match
Aug 29, 2007 - Coach Eugene Eloff named four changes to the team to face the Sharks in Durban on Saturday. Jacques Cronje is back from Bok duty and slots into the number eight spot with Willem Alberts dropping to the bench, while Bertus Smit is back at tighthead in the place of Lawrence Sephaka. Doppies la Grange and Jannie Boshoff also come in at Centre for Molefe and Pretorius, with Molefe on the bench and Pretorius still injured after the WP match. The full team is on the forum.    

New GLRU CEO appointed
Aug 29, 2007 - The Golden Lions Rugby Union is pleased to announce that Mr. Manie Reyneke has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer. Reyneke will take up his appointment from Monday, 3 September 2007.
Mr. Reyneke has been a part of the Golden Lions Rugby Union since 1974, when he represented the Transvaal U/20 squad during 1976. Since then Reyneke has been very involved with various clubs, and has been a member of the Golden Lions Rugby Union’s Chairman’s Council since 1994, where he has played a vital role in the Union’s club structures.

He was appointed as Chairman of the GLRU’s Chairman’s Council in 2001, a title which he still holds. Reyneke is currently Deputy President of the GLRU (appointed in 2002), a Director on the Board of Ellis Park Stadium (appointed in 2003) and a member of the Golden Lions Sports Trust (appointed in 2000).

Mr. Peet Buys, who was appointed as the Union’s Acting Chief Executive Officer in February this year, will take up the position of Corporate, Financial and Business Director.

President of the Golden Lions Rugby Union, Professor Jannie Ferreira, said that “these two appointments are a part of our restructuring process and will help our plans come into action”. The GLRU is honored to be associated with both Reyneke and Buys, and is looking forward to continuous growth and prosperity under their leadership and guidance.

Jacques Cronje signs for Biarritz
Aug 28, 2007 - Jacques Cronje has signed a two-year contract for French club Biarritz and will leave the Lions at the end of the 2007 Currie Cup campaign. Cronje didn't make the 30 man World Cup squad but did play in the last two warm-up games due to injuries to some of the other loose forwards, and he has hit awesome form in the last couple of months, looking leaner, fitter and stronger than ever before. He has only played in three Currie Cup games for the Lions, scoring 2 tries and 10 points in the process, but he has got 33 Springbok test caps and five test tries to his name.    

Boks blitz Scots at Murrayfield
Aug 27, 2007 - The Boks withstood an early onslaught from the Scots at Murrayfield and then scored three quick tries to take the match 27-3 at Murrayfield on Saturday. In the second half the match fizzled out and only three points, a penalty by Montgomery, was added. This was the last warm-up match of the Boks before they start their World Cup campaign against Samoa on 9 September, and the Boks will be happy with the decent win and the fact that no injuries to any of the players were picked up.  

Lions beat WP in nailbiter
Aug 18, 2007 - The Lions beat WP 19-16 at Ellis Park on Saturday in a nailbiting match where the result wasn't sure until right to the final whistle. The lead changed several times during the match, and the Lions finally went into the lead with 13 minutes to go, and managed to hang on for a great win. Both teams scored one try, so the Lions get four points for the win and Province one log point only for finishing within 7 of the Lions. Louis Ludik was named man of the match, and about 14500 people was at the match, one of the bigger crowds at Ellis Park for a Currie Cup match this year.

Big win for Boks over Namibia
Aug 15, 2007 - The Springboks recorded a 105-13 win over Namibia at Newlands on Wednesday in the first ever test between the two countries in preparation for the World Cup that kicks off on the 7th of September. The Boks scored 15 tries to 1, and Percy Montgomery added 35 points with a try, 2 penalties and 12 conversions to score the most points ever by a Bok in a test match.

Two changes for WP match
Aug 15, 2007 - Coach Eugene Eloff named a side with two changes to play Western Province at Ellis Park on Saturday. Both changes are in the backline, with Thabang Molefe replacing Doppies la Grange on inside centre, and Wylie Human in for Jannie Boshoff on the right wing. It will be interesting to see how Molefe handles the responsibility at no 12, as it's a position where a distributor of the ball is needed in my opinion, and he seems to be more a runner of the ball, suited to play at no 13. I'm also glad to see that Ethienne Reynecke, one of my favourite players, is back in the squad of 22, and I'm looking forward to see him getting some game time in the match.
Click here for the full team.       

Bok side to play Namibia named
Aug 13, 2007 - Coach Jake White today named the Springbok side to play Namibia in a World Cup warm-up match at Newlands on Wednesday. The starting XV is probably very close to the XV that will start in the 1st two round robin matches for the Boks in the World Cup. Namibia is currently ranked 25th in the World, 21 places below the Springboks, and the funny statistic is that the two countries have never met in a test match before, even though they are neigbours. Click here for the full team.       

Victory for Lions in Wellington mudbath
Aug 12, 2007 - The Lions were lucky to escape with a victory over Boland in Wellington on Saturday in conditions that resembled a mudbath after a week of heavy rain in the Western Cape. The Lions ended up winning 15-10 after leading 7-3 at the break. They were down 10-7 with just about ten minutes to go in the match, and it started to look like Boland might pull of a upset victory, but then Louis Strydom kicked a perfect cross-kick that Ryno Benjamin just had to fall on for the try, and just before the end Strydom added a penalty that gave the victory for the Lions. Benjamin was also instrumental in the 1st try of the Lions when he kicked a loose ball ahead, gathered it and passed to Jaco Pretorius who scored, sort of ironic that Benjamin is an ex-Bolander. The win moves the Lions up into thirs place on the Currie Cup log after the 1st round of seven matches, and if they can just improve slightly in the 2nd round, might be able to host a home semi-final.     

Four changes for Boland match
Aug 7, 2007 - Coach Eugene Eloff announced four changes to the side that will play Boland in Wellington on Saturday. One change was forced by injury, with Brian Mujati out for the rest of the season with a wrist injury. He is replaced by Lawrence Sephaka, who will have his first start for the Lions in the Currie Cup this year. Jacques Cronje is back with the Boks on a temp basis, and his place at number eight is taken by Willem Alberts moving from number 7, while Ernst Joubert has recovered from his injury and is back at 7 and also takes over the captaincy again. In the last change Jannie Boshoff replaces Wylie Human on the right wing. The Lions need a win with a bonus point from this match to cement their place in the top 4 on the log. 

Lions get five points against Griquas
Aug 4, 2007 - Griquas hasn't won a Currie Cup match at Ellis Park since 1988, and on Saturday it was no different, with the Lions running out 45-24 winners at Ellis Park, scoring six tries to four and the Lions earning the vital five log points from the match. Coach Eugene Eloff must be a happy man, with the Lions looking like they finally "clicked", as they played really good rugby against a Griquas team that really isn't bad at all. Click here to view the full match report. 

Lions change three for Griquas
Aug 2, 2007 - Coach Eugene Eloff made three changes to the team that will play Griquas at Ellis Park on Saturday. Brian Mujati had a storming game from the bench, scrumming well and also getting involved in carrying the ball up and breaking tackles, and he is given a start ahead of Bertus Smit at tighthead prop. Willem Alberts replaces Wilhelm Koch, who also had a decent game, at blindside flanker, giving a bit more bulk to the pack, while Jaco Pretorius has recovered from his injury and is back at outside centre in the place of Jannie Boshoff. The Lions can not afford to slip in this match, they need a win and a bonus point to break into the top four on the Currie Cup log. Click here to view the full team. 

Lions demolish Valke
July 27, 2007 - The Lions beat the Valke 62-5 in Brakpan on Friday night, scoring 9 tries to 1, after leading 31-0 at half time. Jacques Cronje played his best game for the Lions since joining the union, and was also named man of the match. The Valke just had no answer to the attacking play of the Lions, and were also hit by early injuries to Lemmer and Pretorius. With the win the Lions moved up to fourth place on the log, but with 3 games still to be played on Saturday.

Lions change four for Brakpan clash
July 26, 2007 - Coach Eugene Eloff made four changes to the team that will play the Valke in Brakpan on Friday night. Bertus Smit replaces Brian Mujati at tighthead prop, Wilhelm Koch takes the place of injured Ernst Joubert at number 7, Jacques Cronje is back from Bok duty at number 8, and Jannie Boshoff comes in at outside centre in the place of injured Jaco Pretorius. The team started with a stutter in the 2007 Currie Cup, losing 3 of the first 4 matches, and would like to win the next 3 matches against the 3 "smaller" unions to get the season back on track.

Lions outclassed by Cheetahs
July 21, 2007 - The Lions lost 11-27 to the Cheetahs at Ellis Park on Saturday, this after leading 11-10 at the break. The Cheetahs added an unanswered 17 points in the second half to clinch the match, and the Lions will quickly have to learn how to score tries again to get their season back on track. They have now lost 3 of their first 4 matches of the Currie Cup season, and need to start winning some matches again. Click here to view the match report. 

Jaco Pretorius and Heinke to face Cheetahs
July 18, 2007 - Jaco Pretorius and Heinke van der Merwe is back from Springbok duty in Australasia and coach Eugene Eloff wasted no time in including the two game-breakers in the Lions side to play the Cheetahs at Ellis Park this Saturday. The Cheetahs are currently at the top of the Currie Cup log, a full ten points ahead of the Lions, and it will definitely be the toughest match up to this stage in the competition for the Lions. Click here to view the full team. 

Free Rugby Quiz
July 12, 2007 - The Rugby15 website based in the UK, that also did a featured article on my website in April this year, is running a fun quiz at their website that could also give you a chance to win World Cup tickets if you manage to complete the quiz. I got seven of the nine names that you have to guess, give it a go at http://www.rugby15.co.uk/rugby.html

Lions lose the plot at Loftus
July 7, 2007 - Scary stuff, that's about the only thought that came to mind when I had to describe what happened at Loftus on Saturday. The Lions were poor, and I'm quite glad that I ended up not being able to go watch the game at Loftus. The Blue Bulls ran out 25-11 winners in the end, scoring 3 tries to our 1. We desperately need to get our act together, if not this is going to be a long and difficult season for the Lions and their supporters.

Aussies beat Boks in Sydney
July 7, 2007 - The Wallabies beat the Springboks 25-17 in Sydney on Saturday, but had to work hard for the victory after the Boks were leading 17-0 early in the game. Turning points in the match were two yellow cards dished out to the Boks, one to Gary Botha for playing the ball on the ground, and one to Johan Muller for punching. This means the Boks played 20 minutes with just 14 men on the field, which obviously did not help their cause. Wikus van Heerden had a great game, stealing lots of Wallabie ball at the breakdown, and he was my Bok of the match.

Bok emblem under threat
July 6, 2007 - The Springbok emblem is under threat - again. I just wish the politicians would keep out of sport, and instead stick to their day-jobs, and try and fix the serious problems in our country, instead of messing with stuff that does not need messing with. To show your support for the Bok emblem, please visit these two sites and vote to keep the Bok!



Lions change two for Blue Bulls
July 4, 2007 - Coach Eugene Eloff made two changes to the side that will play the Blue Bulls at Loftus this Saturday. Loosehead prop Heinke van der Merwe was called up to the Boks and flew out to Australia on Wednesday, so his place is taken by Kenny MacKenzie, while Geo Cronje has recovered from his illness and is back at Lock with Franco van der Merwe moving to the bench.

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