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Cheetahs keep Lions winless in Bloem
June 28, 2008 - The Lions went down 22-18 to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday, continuing with their rather poor start to the Currie Cup season. Heinke van der Merwe was the best Lion on the park, having a huge game in the scrums and destroying his opposition, but what sank the Lions is the fact that they are still struggling to score tries, as all 18 points in the match came from the boot of Earl Rose.  
Sephaka back with the Lions
June 26, 2008 - Lawrence Sephaka arrived in Johannesburg on Wednesday after playing for the French club Toulon since last November, and will start training with the Lions on Monday and could play for the Lions in their match against the Valke next Friday evening. In all 8 matches that he started for the Lions in 2007 it was at Tighthead, and that seems to be where the Lions will be able to use him going forward.
Sephaka has got exactly 50 caps for the Lions, in which he scored two tries and 10 points. He also played in 40 Super Rugby matches, and 24 Test matches for the Springboks, the last of which was on 11 November 2006.
Lions unchanged for Cheetahs clash
June 25, 2008 - Coach Eugene Eloff decided to leave the Lions team unchanged for the Cheetahs clash on Saturday. Rayno Benjamin will have to pass a fitness test after his injury in the match against the Blue Bulls last Saturday, so he is bracketed with Dusty Noble, while Anton van Zyl makes a welcome return on the bench after his long injury lay-off.
Lions shocked at home by Blue Bulls
June 21, 2008 - The Lions started their 2008 Currie Cup campaign in the worst fashion at home on Saturday, going down 21-7 to the Blue Bulls in a match where the home team struggled the whole match to find any kind of rhytm. Mametsa scored three tries in his 100th match for the Blue Bulls and was deservedly named man of the match. The Lions scored one try only and didn't earn any bonus points in the match, a terrible start to the Currie Cup season.
Six changes to Boks to play Italy
June 19, 2008 - Peter de Villiers made six changes to the Springbok team that will face Italy at Newlands on Saturday. Joe van Niekerk is the first ever Lions player picked by the new coach, although it's only on the bench for the Italy game.
The changes are: Bismarck du Plessis for John Smit at Hooker, CJ van der Linde for BJ Botha at Tighthead, Ryan Kankowski for Pierre Spies at number 8, Francois Steyn for Butch James at Flyhalf, Gcobani Bobo for Adrian Jacobs at Outside Centre and Odwa Ndungane for Tonderai Chavhanga on the right wing.
Click here to view the full team.
Loffie names team to face Blue Bulls in Currie Cup opener
June 18, 2008 - Coach Eugene Eloff named the Lions team to face the Blue Bulls in the first game of the Currie Cup this Saturday at Ellis Park. The team is virtually the same as the team that played in the Super 14, with the exception of Joe van Niekerk. Click here to view the full team.
At the same time, Loffie also named a 33-player squad for the Currie Cup campaign. The squad is:
Willem Alberts, Rayno Benjamin, Jannie Boshoff, Ross Geldenhuys, Heinrich Gordon, Cobus Grobbelaar, JC Janse van Rensburg, Chris Jonck, Ernst Joubert, Michael Killian, Wilhelm Koch, Doppies la Grange, Louis Ludik, Derick Minnie, Gerhard Mostert, Gert Muller, Dusty Noble, Jaco Pretorius, Ethienne Reynecke, Earl Rose, Jody Rose, Dewald Senekal, Justin St Jerry, Louis Strydom, Francois Uys, Franco van der Merwe, Heinke van der Merwe, Jaco van Schalkwyk, Anton van Zyl, Walter Venter, Jano Vermaak, Willie Wepener, Justin Wheeler.
Springboks struggle to put Wales away
June 14, 2008 - The Springboks beat Wales 37-21 at Loftus on Saturday, but the score flatters the Boks as it was a much closer affair than what the score says. The Boks only really secured the match in the last 10 minutes, and before that for stages it looked like Wales might score the upset victory. It looked like the Springboks thought they were playing the third half of last weeks match, and it almost caught them out. Jean de Villiers scored two tries and was named man of the match, the other two tries coming from Enrico Januarie and Bismarck du Plessis.
4 changes to Springbok team to play Wales
June 12, 2008 - Coach Peter de Villiers announced four changes to the team that will play Wales in the 2nd test at Loftus on Saturday. The obvious problem in the scrum is addressed with BJ Botha in for Brian Mujati at Tighthead, and Tendai Mtawarira will also make his debut at Loosehead in the place of Gurthro Steenkamp. Enrico Januarie is back from suspension and will start at Scrumhalf, while Victor Matfield will start at Lock in the place of Andries Bekker.
Click here to view the full team.
Squad of 22 players for compulsory friendly announced
June 11, 2008 - The Lions play a compulsory friendly against an Eastern Cape Combined XV on Friday, and the following 22 players were selected for this match:
Forwards: Heinke van der Merwe, JC Janse van Rensburg, Gert Muller, Ethienne Reynecke, Willie Wepener, Dewald Senekal, Franco van der Merwe, Gerhard Mostert, Francois Uys, Cobus Grobbelaar, Justin Wheeler, Willem Alberts.
Backs: Chris Jonck, Jano Vermaak, Louis Strydom, Jaco van Schalkwyk, Wigan Pekeur, Walter Venter, Rayno Benjamin, Louis Ludik, Michael Killian, Earl Rose.
The match XV will be finalised after the captain's run on Thursday.
Springboks crush Wales in Bloemfontein
June 7, 2008 - New Springbok coach Peter de Villiers couldn't have asked for a better start from his team, they outplayed Wales in Bloemfontein on Saturday, beating them 43-17. Butch James kicked 5 penalties and 4 conversions to add 23 points with the boot, and also claim the man-of-the-match title. The Boks scored four tries through Jantjes, De Villiers, Spies and Montgomery. Wales points came from a penalty, two tries and two conversions. 

Pretorius ruled out for a further six months
June 6, 2008 - The Lions received the worst possible news on Thursday, Flyhalf Andre Pretorius will be out for at least another six months, ruling him out of the whole Currie Cup season.
The operation on his foot wasn't a success and will have to be done again. The player and coach remain hopefull that he will be able to play in next year's Super 14 campaign for the Lions. Pretorius has got 44 caps for the Lions, having played his last game on 29 September 2006. 

11 changes to Springbok team to play Wales
June 5, 2008 - Coach Peter de Villiers named his first Springbok side on Thursday since taking over as Springbok coach, and it shows 11 changes from the last test that the Springboks played, also against Wales at Cardiff on 24 November last year. Only John Smit, Bakkies Botha, Juan Smith and Bryan Habana keep their places from that last test. Click here to view the full team.

Now you can rate the players!
May 21, 2008 - I have added brand new functionality to my website, now you can rate the players on their performance after a match by giving them stars, 1 star if the player didn't do so well, and 5 stars if he couldn't have been better. Click here to rate the players based on what they did in the Stormers match.

Six Lions named in Springbok training squad
May 17, 2008 - Peter de Villiers named 42 players in his Springbok training squad on Saturday, and 6 players from the Lions made the squad, they are: Jaque Fourie, Louis Ludik, Earl Rose, Gerhard Mostert, Heinke van der Merwe and Joe van Niekerk. Because the Sharks qualified for the playoffs of the Super 14, no Sharks were included in the squad. The full squad is:
Backs: Heini Adams, Gcobani Bobo, Meyer Bosman, Tonderai Chavanga, Jean de Villiers, Isma-eel Dollie, Fourie du Preez, Jaque Fourie, Peter Grant, Bryan Habana, Butch James, Enrico Januarie, Conrad Jantjes, Zane Kirchner, Louis Ludik, Percy Montgomery, Akona Ndungane, Jongi Nokwe, Wynand Olivier, Earl Rose.

Forwards: Andries Bekker, Bakkies Botha, Schalk Brits, Schalk Burger, Wian du Preez, Kabamba Floors, Hilton Lobberts, Victor Matfield, Gerhard Mostert, Brian Mujati, Chiliboy Ralepele, Danie Rossouw, John Smit(c), Juan Smith, Pierre Spies, Gurthro Steenkamp, CJ van der Linde, Heinke van der Merwe, Wikus van Heerden, Joe van Niekerk, Duane Vermeulen, Luke Watson.       

Stormers overcome brave Lions
May 17, 2008 - The Lions put up a brave fight at Ellis Park on Saturday, but in the end the Stormers managed to score two quick tries in the last five minutes of the match and win 22-13. The Stormers probably needed four tries to qualify for the play-offs, so the Lions might have spoilt their Super 14 chances.
For the full match report click here.

Lions unchanged for Stormers match
May 14, 2008 - As expected after their win over the Chiefs last Saturday, the Lions team for the Stormers match is unchanged. Jano Vermaak was supposed to start against the Chiefs, but was ill and Chris Jonck grabbed the opportunity and performed so well that he was also named man of the match, so he gets another start against the Stormers this Saturday. Jano Vermaak will be on the bench in the place of Freddie van Zyl.
For the full match report and full teams click here.

Lions shock the Chiefs
May 10, 2008 - The Lions did the unthinkable at Ellis Park on Saturday, beating the Chiefs, who are in the run for a semi-final place in this years Super 14 competition. The score was 33-27, and this after the Chiefs scored two quick tries in the last two minutes of the game. Chris Jonck was named man of the match, and he wasn't even supposed to play, he only replaced Jano Vermaak at a late stage after Vermaak had to withdraw with a stomach bug.
For the full match report click here.

Jaque Fourie to start against Chiefs
May 7, 2008 - Coach Eugene Eloff wasted no time in naming Jaque Fourie in the starting line-up for Saturday's match against the Chiefs at Ellis Park.
Fourie has missed the whole season so far because of injury, and has only had a bit of game time off the bench in the Vodacom Cup quarter final match against the Blue Bulls, in which the Young Lions suffered a heavy loss.
It's great to have Fourie back, he is one of our best players, always giving everything when he plays, but I'm not sure that it's a good thing to rush him back so quickly.
The six changes are: Louis Ludik back at wing in the place of Jannie Boshoff who moves to the bench, Jaque Fourie at outside centre in the place of Walter Venter, who moves to inside centre in the place of Doppies la Grange, Rayno Benjamin back at wing in the place of Dusty Noble, who moves to the bench, and Willem Alberts back at number eight, with Joe van Niekerk moving to seven in the place of Franco van der Merwe, who moves to the bench.
For the match report and full teams click here.

Lions blown away by Hurricanes
May 3, 2008 - The Lions continued their poor form in the 2008 Super 14, going down 38-12 to the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday. They managed to score two tries to the five from the Hurricanes, one by Willie Wepener and one by Janie Boshoff. Luckily for me we were load-shedded in the first half, so I only witnessed the carnage in the 2nd half.
We've had a terrible season, and one can only hope that the people in charge have identified the problems that caused our poor run, and are in the process of rectifying them. I certainly did not expect the team to end up on the bottom of the log this year, and it's just not good enough for a proud union like the Lions to find ourselves in that position.
Six changes for Hurricanes match
May 1, 2008 - Coach Eugene Eloff made six changes to the team to play the Hurricanes this Saturday. Louis Ludik took a few heavy knocks in the Brumbies match, and is rested, his place taken by Jannie Boshoff, who played outside centre against the Brumbies. Walter Venter moves from inside to outside centre, while Doppies la Grange comes in at inside centre. Dusty Noble replaces Rayno Benjamin at right wing, while Joe van Niekerk moves to number eight in the place of injured Willem Alberts, with Franco van der Merwe coming in at number seven.
The full team is: Earl Rose, Jannie Boshoff, Walter Venter, Doppies la Grange, Dusty Noble, Jaco van Schalkwyk, Jano Vermaak, Joe van Niekerk, Franco van der Merwe, Cobus Grobbelaar(c), Gerhard Mostert, Dewald Senekal, JC Janse van Rensburg, Willie Wepener, Heinke van der Merwe.
Reserves: Ethienne Reynecke, Ross Geldenhuys, Cobus Grobler, Wilhelm Koch, Chris Jonck, Rudi Vogt, Louis Ludik. 
Brumbies edge Lions at the death
Apr 25, 2008 - The Brumbies edged the Lions 28-21 on Friday when they scored the winning try right at the end of the match. Both teams scored three tries, the three by the Lions scored by Earl Rose with two tries and one by captain Cobus Grobbelaar. The Lions will be pleased with the three tries as they didn't score any in the previous two games, and also with the bonus point they earned, but once again this was a match where they could have done better.

Four changes for Brumbies Match
Apr 23, 2008 - Coach Eugene Eloff made four changes, of which one is positional, to the Lions side to play the Brumbies at Canberra Stadium this Friday.
Earl Rose replaces Louis Ludik at Fullback, with Ludik moving to Right Wing in the place of Dusty Noble. Jannie Boshoff replaces the injured Jaco Pretorius at Outside Centre, while Walter Venter is back at Inside Centre in the place of Doppies la Grange.
The Lions will hope that the backline changes will spark something, as the team haven't scored any tries in their last two outings.
The full team is: Earl Rose, Louis Ludik, Jannie Boshoff, Walter Venter, Rayno Benjamin, Jaco van Schalkwyk, Jano Vermaak, Willem Alberts, Joe van Niekerk, Cobus Grobbelaar(c), Gerhard Mostert, Dewald Senekal, JC Janse van Rensburg, Willie Wepener, Heinke van der Merwe.
Reserves: Ethienne Reynecke, Eugene Maqwelana, Franco van der Merwe, Wilhelm Koch, Chris Jonck, Rudi Vogt, Dusty Noble.

Jaco Pretorius also out injured
Apr 23, 2008 - Centre Jaco Pretorius picked up a groin injury in the match against the Waratahs and will return home as there are only two overseas matches left for the Lions. This leaves the door open for either Jannie Boshoff or Jaco van Schalkwyk to play at outside centre for the Lions against the Brumbies on Friday, and all eyes will also be on Jaque Fourie, who makes his return from injury for the Vodacom Cup side on Friday night.       

Waratahs too strong for game Lions
Apr 19, 2008 - The Lions put up a spirited performance against the Waratahs on Saturday, managing to go into the break with the score on 0-0, but in the end the Waratahs showed their class and they took the match 26-3. The Lions were their own worst enemy in the second half, when they let in a few soft Waratahs tries by rather silly mistakes.       

Question and Answer session with CEO Manie Reyneke
Apr 17, 2008 - In a first for my website, the CEO of the Golden Lions Rugby Union and Super 14 Lions, Manie Reyneke, agreed to do a monthly Question and Answer session with us. What I did was post a message on my forum page and invite you, the visitors, to post questions that you wanted answered, and these I then put to Manie, who supplied the answers. Click here to have a look at the Questions and answers, and remember, we are going to do this once a month!     

Four changes for Waratahs
Apr 16, 2008 - Coach Eugene Eloff made four changes to the side that will play the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday. Jaco Pretorius replaces Jannie Boshoff at outside centre, Jano Vermaak replaces Chris Jonck at Scrumhalf, JC Janse van Rensburg starts at Tighthead in the place of Ross Geldenhuys and Willie Wepener replaces Ethienne Reynecke at Hooker.
The full team is: Ludik, Noble, Pretorius, La Grange, Benjamin, Van Schalkwyk, Vermaak, Alberts, Van Niekerk, Grobbelaar(c), Mostert, Senekal, Janse van Rensburg, Wepener, Van der Merwe.
Reserves: Reynecke, Geldenhuys, Franco van der Merwe, Koch, Jonck, Vogt, Boshoff.
The Lions are currently at the bottom of the Super 14 log, while the Waratahs are in 4th place.     

Rose and Varkhond called up
Apr 15, 2008 - Earl Rose and Cobus "Varkhond" Grobler will fly out to Australia on Wednesday evening to replace the injured Justin St Jerry and Anton van Zyl. St Jerry picked up concussion in the match against the Crusaders last Saturday, while Van Zyl picked up a calf injury before the match and had to withdraw from the match 22. Both injured players will fly back to South Africa and won't be available for the remaining overseas matches of the Lions.   

Crusaders crush Lions
Apr 14, 2008 - The Crusaders were too good for the Lions on Saturday, beating them 31-6 after the Lions lead 6-3 at the break. The Lions played well in the 1st half, and for a while it looked like they might cause the upset of the season, but then the Crusaders scored the first try after the break, one that the TMO had to look at, and it must be said a bit dodgy as well, and after that the Lions battled to keep up the defenses and the Crusaders managed to run in three more tries for the bonus point victory. 

Seven changes for Crusaders
Apr 9, 2008 - Coach Eugene Eloff made seven changes to the team to play the Crusaders on Saturday. The changes are: Jannie Boshoff at outside centre for Jaco Pretorius, Doppies la Grange at inside centre for Walter Venter, Chris Jonck at scrumhalf for Jano Vermaak, Joe van Niekerk at Flank for Franco van der Merwe, Dewald Senekal at lock for Anton van Zyl, Ross Geldenhuys at tighthead prop for Eugene Maqwelana, and Ethienne Reynecke at hooker for Willie Wepener.
The full team is: Ludik, Noble, Boshoff, La Grange, Benjamin, Van Schalkwyk, Jonck, Alberts, Van Niekerk, Grobbelaar(c), Mostert, Senekal, Geldenhuys, Reynecke, Van der Merwe.
Reserves: Wepener, Janse van Rensburg, Van Zyl, Franco van der Merwe, Vermaak, Vogt, St Jerry.  

Update from Ethienne ”Ettas” Reynecke
Apr 5, 2008 - The Lions are gone for six weeks on their Super 14 tour of Australasia, and I thought that it would be a great idea to get one of the players to give us a regular update from the "inside". My favourite hooker, Ethienne "Ettas" Reynecke agreed to keep us updated, and you can click here to read his thoughts on the games and the tour.

Lions beaten by bottom-of-the-log Highlanders
Apr 4, 2008 - The Lions were beaten 29-20 by the Highlanders in Dunedin on Friday, dropping to 13th place on the Super 14 log in the process. It's bad news for the Lions, as this was probably the easiest match of the five that they play overseas, and it could mean that the Lions return to South Africa winless from the overseas leg of their Super 14. It's already a bit of a nightmare season, and at this stage we have won 1 game from 7 starts, just not good enough.

Lions change two for Highlanders
Apr 2, 2008 - Coach Eugene Eloff made two changes to the team to play the Highlanders in New Zealand on Friday. Captain Ernst Joubert is out for four months with a shoulder injury, so Willem Alberts come in at number eight and Big Joe moves to number seven, while Eugene Maqwelana comes in at tighthead prop in the place of Ross Geldenhuys, who moves to the bench. The full team is: Louis Ludik, Dusty Noble, Jaco Pretorius, Walter Venter, Rayno Benjamin, Jaco van Schalkwyk, Jano Vermaak, Willem Alberts, Joe van Niekerk, Cobus Grobbelaar(c), Gerhard Mostert, Anton van Zyl, Eugene Maqwelana, Willie Wepener, Heinke van der Merwe.
Reserves: Ethienne Reynecke, Ross Geldenhuys, Dewald Senekal, Franco van der Merwe, Chris Jonck, Rudi Vogt, Jannie Boshoff.

Hoskins re-elected President
Mar 28, 2008 - Oregan Hoskins was re-elected as president of SARU at the 8th annual general meeting in Cape Town on Friday. He was opposed by Mike Stofile, the only other nomination at the annual general meeting.  

Lions unable to hang on for win
Mar 22, 2008 - The Lions drew 24-all with the Reds at Ellis Park on Saturday, this after leading 24-17 with time up on the clock, but the Reds kept the ball alive in the final seconds and eventually broke the Lions defense to force the draw. Jaco van Schalkwyk was named man of the match after having a hand in both Lions tries. . Click here for the full match report. The Lions scored two tries and the Reds three, so both teams get two points only from the match.  

Loffie names unchanged side for Reds
Mar 19, 2008 - Coach Eugene Eloff named an unchanged side to face the Reds at Ellis Park this Saturday. The players did well against the Sharks last Saturday, and if it wasn't for a few critical errors the result might have been different. The match kicks off at 17:00. Click here for the full team and match report. 

Lions lose another home game
Mar 15, 2008 - The Sharks beat the Lions 16-8 at Ellis Park on Saturday, both teams scoring only one try and the difference between the teams three penalties from Rory Kockott. Rain started falling 20 minutes into the game, but both teams still ran the ball and it didn't look like the rain affected play too much. Both teams had plenty more scoring opportunities, and need to work on finishing those chances. The Lions are now starting to look like they might not achieve their objective of finishing in the top half of the Super 14. Click here for the full match report. 

Two changes for Sharks match
Mar 13, 2008 - Coach Eugene Eloff made two changes to the side that plays the Sharks at Ellis Park on Saturday. Louis Strydom is out injured for a month, and is replaced at Flyhalf by Jaco van Schalkwyk, while Anton van Zyl replaces Willem Stoltz at Lock. The great news for the Lions is that Cobus Grobbelaar is fit to play, this after suffering a hip injury early in the game against the Bulls last Friday. The Lions are up against it in this game, they are currently 12th on the log, while the Sharks are 2nd and remain the only unbeaten South African side. Click here for the full teams and my match report that will be done live from Ellis Park.  

Hougaard superb in Bulls victory over Lions
Mar 7, 2008 - The Bulls tasted victory over the Lions at Loftus on Friday, winning 31-17 after leading 25-5 at the break. The Bulls scored two tries to the three from the Lions, but Hougaard was the big match winner once again for the Bulls, adding 21 points with the boot and also named as man of the match.
The Lions were their own worst enemy, conceding far too many penalties in the early stages of the game and therefore never gaining any momentum, and even with Kirchner red carded for a spear tackle and Bakkies Botha yellow carded for a head-butt, the Bulls still managed to go and score a try while the Lions should have been dominating.
Jano Vermaak was brilliant, and was certainly the best performer on the field for the Lions.  

Lions change one for Bulls match
Mar 4, 2008 - Coach Eugene Eloff on Tuesday announced the Lions side to play the Bulls at Loftus this Friday, it includes just the one change, Walter Venter comes in at Inside Centre in the place of Doppies la Grange, who injured his hamstring in the move that lead to the only try by the Lions in the match against the Western Force at Ellis Park last Friday.

Last year the Bulls won this encounter 31-7 at Ellis Park, scoring 5 tries to 1, but this year the Lions will fancy their chances, even though the Bulls will be favourites to win the match. The Bulls lost a number of top players to overseas clubs, including greats like Victor Matfield and Gary Botha, they are hit by the suspension of two players (JP Nel and Jaco Engels) due to foul play, and they are also struggling under new coach Frans Ludeke, who hasn't really been successful at Super Rugby Level.

The Lions are also struggling with injuries, perhaps showing that there is a slight lack of player depth, but Eloff will be happy with the fact that he could name virtually the same side that narrowly went down the the Force last Friday, and Walter Venter who is the only new player in the team, certainly does not weaken the team, he started at Inside Centre in the last four Currie Cup matches for the Lions in the 2007 season including the semi-final and final, also scoring two tries in the four games. 

Flyhalf Louis Strydom will also undergo a fitness test on Thursday, if he can't play Jaco van Schalkwyk will be at Flyhalf. 


Lions pipped in close match by the Force
Feb 29, 2008 - The Lions went down to the Force in a close match at Ellis Park on Friday night, the score 18-16 to the Force after the Lions lead 16-15 at the break. The second half produced only 3 points, although it seemed as if a fair try by Jano Vermaak wasn't allowed by the referee who ruled that the ball was knocked on. The Force scored two tries to the one of the Lions, but it must also be said that the Lions defense was much better than last week against the Blues. You can read the match report here

Jaco Pretorius fails fitness test
Feb 29, 2008 - Jaco Pretorius failed a fitness test on Friday and will not take the field against the Western Force. He had a hamstring problem after the Blues game and will probably only be ready for the Bulls match next weekend. His place at outside centre is taken by Jaco van Schalkwyk, who scored our only try against the Blues, while Jannie Boshoff comes in on the bench. Remember that I will be doing my match report LIVE from Ellis Park on Friday, the page can be found here

Lions change three for Force
Feb 27, 2008 - The Lions made three changes to the team that will play against the Western Force at Ellis Park this Friday. This after the team suffered a big defeat against the Blues on Saturday. All three changes are in the forwards, with captain Ernst Joubert back at number 7, Joe van Niekerk getting a start at number eight after looking good as a sub in the previous two games, and Willem Stoltz coming in at lock, certainly adding bulk and height to the pack. You can have a look at the full team here, and also remember that this year I'm doing my match reports LIVE from Ellis Park, that will be on that same page on Friday.

Lions blown away by Blues
Feb 23, 2008 - The Lions suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of the Blues at Ellis Park on Saturday, losing 55-10 after trailing 31-3 at the break. The Blues scored seven tries to the one from the Lions. The Blues were just too good for the Lions, breaking through the midfield defense at will, and the Lions also didn't do themselves any favours by kicking a lot of valuable possession to the dangerous Blues runners.

Lions change one for Blues match
Feb 20, 2008 - The Lions side that was announced today shows only one change from the side that beat the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday. Willem Alberts has recovered from his knee injury and is back at number eight in the place of RW Kember. The match kicks off at 19:05 at Ellis Park on Saturday evening, and promises to be a bruising encounter, as the Blues showed on the weekend that they are one of the stronger teams in this year's competition.

Lions beat Cheetahs in Bloem
Feb 16, 2008 - It's Eugene Eloff's 2nd season in charge of the Lions for the Super 14, and the team made him proud on Saturday in a nail biting 23-22 victory over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein. We couldn't beat a South African team last year, and now we've got one from one, and if we can build on that, it promises to be a better season than 2007. The Cheetahs lead 19-13 at the break, and it must be said that they were helped by quite a few dodgy calls from Kaplan in the match, where all the 50-50 calls seemed to go in the favour of the home team. Franco van der Merwe scored a spectacular try for the Lions, and Doppies la Grange scored our other try, while Strydom added 2 penalties and a conversion, and Rose added a penalty and conversion. The Cheetahs managed to score three tries, all of them in the 1st half.

Lions for Super 14 season-opener named
Feb 13, 2008 - Coach Eugene Eloff on Wednesday announced the team for the Super 14 season-opener against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein this Saturday. One of the things that went wrong with the Lions season in 2007 was the lack of victories over South African teams, surely something that Loffie would like to fix from the first game in 2008. The team is Louis Ludik, Dusty Noble, Jaco Pretorius (v/c), Doppies la Grange, Rayno Benjamin, Louis Strydom, Jano Vermaak, RW Kember, Franco van der Merwe, Cobus Grobbelaar (c), Gerhard Mostert, Anton van Zyl, Ross Geldenhuys, Willie Wepener, Heinke van der Merwe.
Reserves: Gert-Andries van der Merwe, Gavin Williamson, Alten Hulme, Joe van Niekerk, Chris Jonck, Earl Rose, Jaco van Schalkwyk.

Loffie announces Super 14 squad
Feb 7, 2008 - Eugene Eloff announced a squad of 29 players for the 2008 Super 14 on Thursday. Ernst Joubert was named as captain, with Jaco Pretorius as vice-captain. Andre Pretorius, Jaque Fourie and Dewald Senekal were listed as injured and not included in the squad at this stage. The full squad is:
Loosehead Props: Heinke van der Merwe and JC Janse van Rensburg
Hookers: Willie Wepener and Ethienne Reynecke
Tighthead Props: Eugene Maqwelana and Ross Geldenhuys
Locks: Anton van Zyl, Cobus Grobler, Gerhard Mostert and Alten Hulme
Open Side Flankers: Cobus Grobler and RW Kember
Blind side Flankers: Ernst Joubert and Franco van der Merwe
Number 8: Joe van Niekerk and Willem Alberts
Scrumhalfs: Jano Vermaak and Chris Jonck
Flyhalfs: Louis Strydom and Earl Rose
Left Wing: Rayno Benjamin
Inside Centres: Doppies la Grange and Thabang Molefe
Outside Centres: Jaco Pretorius and Jannie Boshoff
Right Wings: Dusty Noble and Wigan Pekeur
Fullbacks: Louis Ludik and Jaco van Schalkwyk

Big win for Sharks in Durban warm-up match
Feb 6, 2008 - The Lions suffered a big loss in Durban against a strong Sharks side in their Super 14 warm-up match on Wednesday. The Sharks won 33-5 after leading 14-0 at the break, scoring 5 tries to 1 in the process. Loffie started with much the same team that went down against the Bulls on Thursday last week, perhaps shielding his best players from further injury. Hopefully Loffie has seen enough to be able to announce the squad of 30 players that will play for the Lions in this year's Super 14, and the squad announcement is expected on Thursday. 

Auto & General announces Lions sponsorship
Feb 4, 2008 - Auto & General Insurance announced the signing of a three year naming rights sponsorship of the Super 14 Lions on Monday at the Saxon Hotel in Sandhurst, Johannesburg. The deal is worth R30 million over the next three years. Commenting on the deal, Leon Vermaak, CEO of Auto & General, said: "We are proud to be associated with the Super 14 Lions because as a team, they embody what Auto & General believes have been the key ingredients to it's own team's success: a positive attitude, teamwork, passion, commitment, perseverance and, a healthy competitive spirit." 

Bulls win in Windhoek
Feb 2, 2008 - The Bulls won the Super 14 warm-up match against the Lions in Windhoek, Namibia on Saturday, running out 28-14 winners and scoring 4 tries to 2. By all accounts Jaco Pretorius was the best Lion on the park, and he also scored both tries for the Lions, with Louis Strydom and Chris Jonck adding a conversion each. The Bulls tries were scored by Brian Habana, Gurthro Steenkamp, Dewald Potgieter and Werner Kruger, with Derick Hougaard converting all four.

And the winners are...
Feb 1, 2008 - The 2008 double Season ticket competition, that was sponsored by the GLRU, came to an end yesterday, and I received a record 78 entries. Unfortunately there can only be three winners, and the three names that were drawn are:

Cathy Snowdon;
Rupert Nagel;
Ruben Olivier.

Congratulations to the three winners, hope you make good use of the tickets, and hopefully you will witness the Lions having a great season in the Super 14 and the Currie Cup.

The competition question was: Against which team is this year's Tri-Nations match at Ellis Park?

And the answer is: Australia

Bulls beat Lions at Wits
Jan 31, 2008 - The Bulls beat the Lions 32-24 in a Super 14 warm-up match at Wits on Thursday. Both teams scored four tries, with just the boot of Burton Francis the difference between the teams. The Bulls dominated the first half and were leading 25-7 at the break, with the Lions playing much better in the 2nd half, with Earl Rose making the big difference for the Lions when he came on as a replacement. Chris Jonck(2), Roland Bernard and Doppies la Grange scored the tries for the Lions. Lions players that stood out: Earl Rose when he came on, Chris Jonck, even though he played out of position in the 2nd half, Wigan Pekeur, taking at least five high balls in the game and looking good on attack, Ethienne Reynecke and Thabang Molefe, while Wilhelm Koch and Roland Bernard also played well.     

Lions for Bulls warm-up game in Namibia named
Jan 31, 2008 - The Lions team to play the Bulls in Namibia in a warm-up match on Saturday was named on Thursday. The team doesn't really show any surprises, obviously Loffie is showing that he wants to stick to the tried and tested players. The only newcomers are Eugene Maqwelena at tighthead prop and Dusty Noble on the right wing.
The team is: Louis Ludik, Dusty Noble, Jaco Pretorius, Doppies la Grange, Rayno Benjamin, Louis Strydom, Jano Vermaak, Willem Alberts, Ernst Joubert(c), Cobus Grobbelaar, Franco van der Merwe, Cobus Grobler, Eugene Maqwelana, Willie Wepener, Heinke van der Merwe.
Reserves: JC Janse van Rensburg, Ethienne Reynecke, Ross Geldenhuys, Wilhelm Koch, Gerhard Mostert, Chris Jonck, Earl Rose, Thabang Molefe, Jaco van Schalkwyk, Michael Killian.   

Lions for Bulls warm-up game at Wits named
Jan 29, 2008 - The Lions play their first warm-up game for the 2008 Super 14 against the Bulls at Wits University Rugby grounds on Thursday 31 January. The game kicks off at 18:00, and entrance will be R20 per adult and R10 for children under 12. The Lions team is: Earl Rose, Wigan Pekeur, Jaco van Schalkwyk, Thabang Molefe, Heini Gordon, Michael Killian, Chris Jonck, RW Kember, Wilhelm Koch(c), Kaunda Ntunja, Gerhard Mostert, Cobus Grobler, Gert Muller, Ethienne Reynecke, JC Janse van Rensburg.
Reserves: Gert-Andries van der Merwe, Gavin Williamson, Alten Hulme, Charl du Plessis, Theo van Wyk, Roland Bernard, Doppies la Grange, Dusty Noble.   

De Villiers named as new Bok coach
Jan 9, 2008 - Peter de Villiers was named as the new Springbok coach on Wednesday, replacing Jake White. De Villiers becomes the first black coach of the Springboks and he was picked from a shortlist that included three other candidates, Heyneke Meyer, Allistair Coetzee and Chester Williams.
De Villiers won the IRB Under-21 title in Argentina in 2005 and finished second to the hosts in France a year later and last year coached the Emerging Springbok side to the IRB Nations Cup title in Romania. He also had two seasons coaching the Falcons in the Currie Cup. His first test match in charge is against Wales in Bloemfontein on June 7.
I still can't believe that Jake White, who steered the Springboks to World Cup victory, was not retained as Bok coach, and I'm a bit skeptical about the future of the Springboks from here onwards. 

Lions Super 14 Provisional Squad Announced
Jan 9, 2008 -
The 40 man provisional Lions Super 14 squad for the 2008 season has been named by coach Eugene Eloff, and is as follows (in alphabetical order):

1. Alten Hulme
2. Andre Pretorius
3. Anton van Zyl
4. Chris Jonck
5. Cobus Grobbelaar
6. Cobus Grobler
7. Dewald Senekal
8. Doppies la Grange
9. Dusty Noble
10. Earl Rose
11. Ernst Joubert
12. Erwee Kember
13. Ethienne Reynecke
14. Eugene Maqwelana
15. Franco van der Merwe
16. Freddie van Zyl
17. Gavin Williamson
18. Gerhard Mostert
19. Gert Muller
20. Gert-Andries van der Merwe
21. Heini Gordon
22. Heinke van der Merwe
23. Jaco Pretorius
24. Jaco van Schalkwyk
25. Jannie Boshoff
26. Jano Vermaak
27. Jaque Fourie
28. JC Janse van Rensburg
29. Joe van Niekerk
30. Kaunda Ntunja
31. Louis Ludik
32. Louis Strydom
33. Michael Killian
34. Ryno Benjamin
35. Thabang Molefe
36. Theo van Wyk
37. Walter Venter
38. Wilhelm Koch
39. Willem Alberts
40. Willie Wepener

The final, 30 man squad, will be announced in early February.

Win 2008 Ellis Park season tickets
Dec 7, 2007 - The good folks at the Lions Rugby Union supplied me with 3 double season tickets for Ellis Park for the 2008 season. 3 Lucky visitors to this website will each win one of these double season tickets by answering an easy question on the competition page. This season ticket allows you to watch 6 Super 14 matches, 7 Currie Cup matches as well as 1 Tri-Nations test match, as well as some other benefits as explained on the competition page. Good Luck!

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