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New look Lions to clash with Griffons
June 30, 2009 - Coach Hans Coetzee named the side to clash with the Griffons in Welkom on Friday in a compulsory friendly today, and the side contains the names of a few players that I don't know at all.

Left Wing Johan Jackson, Prop Kevin Buys, and replacements Wayne Swart and Johan Snyman are all new names, while players like Rouan Cloete, Herkie Kruger and Nico Luus are players named in the starting XV that will make their Lions debut.

The full team is:
Michael Killian, Dusty Noble, Rouan Cloete, Walter Venter, Johan Jackson, Herkie Kruger, Chris Jonck, Willem Alberts, Franco van der Merwe, Cobus Grobbelaar(c), Willem Stoltz, Nico Luus, Kevin Buys, Hans van Dyk, JC Janse van Rensburg.

Derek Harwood, Wayne Swart, Johan Snyman, Robert Kruger, Jano Vermaak, Barry Goodes, Pieter Engelbrecht.

You can discuss the match with us on the forum over here.

Six changes for Boks
June 17, 2009 - Coach Peter de Villiers made six changes to the Springbok side to face the British and Irish Lions in the first of three tests in Durban this Saturday.

One of the changes is positional, with captain John Smit moving from Hooker to Tighthead Prop.

The five other changes to the team that played against England seven months ago are: Bismarck du Plessis in at Hooker, Heinrich Brussow and Juan Smith at Flank, Fourie du Preez at Scrumhalf, and Frans Steyn at Fullback.

Morne Steyn is the only uncapped player in the match 22, and will probably get a run sometime in the game to earn his first cap for the Springboks.

The full team is here and you can discuss the match with us on the forum over here.

Vat jou goed en trek!
June 10, 2009 - The President and Vice-President of the Lions both stepped down from their positions late on Tuesday after facing a revolt by the clubs after a poor performance by the team in the 2009 Super 14 competition.

A group of former players have formed a pressure group, which had a meeting with the clubs on Monday. The meeting, at which all 21 clubs were represented, decided unanimously that the President should resign with immediate effect.

The clubs, which have the constitutional power to call for an extraordinary general meeting, met with Ferreira and Manie Reyneke on Tuesday - where they were informed of the pressure group's wishes. However, rather than face a 'vote of no confidence' at an extraordinary meeting, Ferreira and Reyneke decided to step down.

The new President and Vice-President will be elected at the Union's General Meeting in October.


Lions suffer record defeat
June 3, 2009 - The British Lions totally outclassed the local Lions on Wednesday, beating them 74-10 after leading 39-10 at the break. The British Lions ran in 10 tries, five in each half, and really made the local side look very ordinary.

It's not difficult to know what went wrong, absolutely everything! The British Lions dominated from the start and had all the possession, forcing the local side to defend the whole time, and as we saw in the Super 14 that just ended, defense is not the team's strong point.

On attack the local side also could not break the defense of the visitors, and managed to score a single try towards the end of the first half. Louis Ludik was injured early in the first half, and one can only hope that it's not as serious as it looked.

The full team and match report is here.  


Lions vs Lions at Ellis Park
June 3, 2009 - The Xerox Lions are playing the British and Irish Lions at Ellis Park today. The match kicks off at 19:10 local time, and it's been reported that 30000 match tickets have been sold, which would make it the biggest crowd at a rugby match at Ellis Park this year.

The Super 14 match against the Bulls drew a crowd of 27000. It will be the first match under interim coach Hans Coetzee after Eugene Eloff stepped down as coach.

The full team and match report is here.  


SA Under 20 side will burn the boats
May 30, 2009 - The South African Under 20 side received their colours at a ceremony at the OR Tambo airport on Saturday evening, and captain Robert Ebersohn had an interesting tale to tell.

He said that when the Vikings landed at a location that they wanted to attack, they burnt their boats, meaning that they had one of two options, to die or to be victorious, but there was no escape, and in the same way, the side will make sure that they give everything to win the Junior World Cup in Japan this year.

The side leaves for Japan on Sunday, and the 26-player squad contains three Lions, Caylib Oosthuizen, David Bulbring and Rudy Paige, who posed for the picture with this article.

The fixture list for Pool C in which the team was drawn, is:

5 June vs Fiji
9 June vs Italy
13 June vs France

If they top their pool, they progress to the semis on 17 June, against the Winner of Pool B, likely to be England, and the final is on 21 June.


More players set to leave
May 27, 2009 - On the day that we heard that Eugene Eloff will no longer coach the Lions, we also heard that Anton van Zyl has signed a two year contract to move to Western Province.

But van Zyl is not the only player lost to the Lions, on a French website it is claimed that Willie Wepener and Jaque Fourie are both joining the French Top 14 side Clermont Auvergne, while the same site claims that Dewald Senekal is joining RC Toulon.

On Saracens website they also announced today that they have signed Ernst Joubert, who will join the UK club from the 1st of July.

It must be said that we've heard persistent rumours over the last two months or so that these players were looking to move elsewhere, so these announcements come as no surprise.

Hans Coetzee appointed as caretaker coach
May 27, 2009 - Because of the Auto & General Super 14 Lions' performance in the 2009 Vodacom Super 14, the Golden Lions Rugby Union felt that it was vital to have a complete audit on the whole system and structures within the Union, and therefore invited Jake White's Winning Ways (Pty) Ltd to do this audit.

It immediately became apparent that in order for the GLRU to move forward, they would have to make immediate changes to allow for a proper build up for the British & Irish Lions vs. Xerox game and the 2009 Absa Currie Cup.

For these reasons a meeting was held this morning with Mr. Eugene Eloff, and he was asked to stand down as the Senior Team Head Coach with immediate effect. Mr. Eloff will be re-deployed within the structures of the GLRU.

In the interim, Mr Hans Coetzee will take over the reins of Head Coach.

Mr Coetzee is a vastly experienced Coach who has been in rugby coaching for more than 20 years, during which time he coached, amongst others, the Monument High 1st team for 18 years, the Lions' Craven week team for 8 years as well as SA Academy and SA Schools teams.

The GLRU is confident that by initiating these corrective measures now and in conjunction with the ongoing audit being conducted by Jake White's company, that we will in due course again become a competitive force in all rugby competitions.

GLRU Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Manie Reyneke also had meeting with players this morning, whereby the current positions were explained to them.

Jake White to do Audit and Assessment at GLRU
May 26, 2009 - Following the Vodacom Super 14, the Golden Lions Rugby Union directors and executive committee have had in depth discussion as to the state of the rugby presently at the GLRU.

Planning the way forward, the GLRU have decided to appoint the company Jake White's Winning Way (Pty) Ltd to do a full assessment and audit on the rugby structures of the union, from senior down to junior level.

There is a great deal of expertise in Jake's company, and due to this, the GLRU feel an audit will be extremely beneficial. With the likes of Eddie Jones (winner of the Super 14 with the Brumbies), Jake White and Derek Coetzee (a World Cup winning conditioning coach), and many more, the GLRU feel confident that we will see dramatic benefits for rugby in Johannesburg.

After the audit, White's company will make recommendations on how they see the way forward.

Lions lose in gutsy performance
May 15, 2009 - The Lions went down 38-33 to the Waratahs at Ellis Park on Friday, after trailing 28-13 at the break.

The Lions were still leading with less than 10 minutes to go, but then let in the try that lost the match.

Just before the hooter it looked like they snatched it back, but the last pass from Pretorius to Deon van Rensburg was ruled forward.

The Waratahs scored five tries to the three from the Lions, so the Waratahs take five log points from the match to keep their semi-final hopes alive, while the Lions get one point to move one spot up to tenth on the log.

The full team and match report is here.  

The men behind the Lions song
May 14, 2009 - What started as a joke one night at a party turned into fame, performances at Ellis Park, and a record deal for Juan Boucher and Drickus Bezuidenhout, two friends from Vereeniging.

They started making music together a few years ago, and on that particular evening, Juan's uncle, a Lions supporter, asked them to work on a song for the Lions.

They played around a bit and quickly came up with the beginnings of a nice tune and lyrics. Everyone liked it and the song was requested wherever they performed.

I remember that I heard the song for the first time when Juan performed it live at the Super 14 match between the Lions and the Waratahs on 2 February 2007, and I immediatly liked the song and felt that it was the best Lions song that I've heard and that it should be the official Lions song.

I tried to get hold of the singers, which proved a bit difficult as no one at the union had their details, but eventually managed to set up a meeting with Juan at his house, where he gave me a copy of the song and gave me permission to make it available for download on my website. The download proved to be popular, with the number of downloads quickly reaching 1000 downloads!

This year Manie Reyneke, CEO of the Lions, invited Juan and Drickus to perform the song at the 1st Super 14 match at Ellis Park, and a deal was struck to make it the Official Lions song, something that the two are very proud of, and something that makes me very happy!

A short clip of the song can still be downloaded here.  

Lions change five for Waratahs clash
May 13, 2009 - The Lions made five changes to the side that will play the Waratahs at Ellis Park this Friday evening. Kick off is at 19:10.

Two of the changes are positional, Louis Ludik moves back from Wing to Fullback, replacing Earl Rose who is on the bench. Lawrence Sephaka moves from Tighthead to Loosehead in the place of JC Janse van Rensburg, who is also on the bench.

The three full changes are Franco van der Merwe in at Lock for Jannes Labuschagne, who suffered a knee injury in the Highlanders match, Dusty Noble at Right Wing, and Gert Muller at Tighthead.

I am pleased to see Franco back in the starting XV, he is a hard worker on the field, always giving 100%, and he seems to be able to contest well at the line-outs.

The full team and match report is here.  

Lions stage big come-back in second half to beat Highlanders
May 8, 2009 - The Lions recorded a great and rare victory against the Highlanders at Ellis Park on Friday, winning 29-22 after trailing 19-5 at the break. They also scored four tries to get a full five points from the match.

Jano Vermaak was named man of the match, but Willem Alberts, Franco van der Merwe, Deon van Rensburg, Johan van Deventer and Louis Ludik all had great games as well.

The Lions seemed to play with much better urgency and commitment in the second half, while the Highlanders seemed to run out of steam.

This allowed the Lions to stage a big come-back and grab a win from a match that looked lost at the break.

The full match report is here.  

Jaque Fourie out with hamstring injury
May 7, 2009 - Jaque Fourie injured his hamstring at training yesterday and had to withdraw from the match against the Highlanders that is taking place on Friday ate Ellis Park.

Deon van Rensburg will move to Outside Centre, Michael Killian from the bench to Wing and Dusty Noble will be on the bench.

Andre Pretorius will captain the side in the absence of Fourie.


Lions change four for Highlanders clash
May 6, 2009 - The Lions made four changes to the side to play the Highlanders this Friday at Ellis Park.

Earl Rose replaces Louis Ludik at Fullback, Ludik moving to Right Wing, in the place of Deon van Rensburg, who moves to Left Wing in the place of injured Jannie Boshoff.

Robert Kruger replaces Ernst Joubert at Flanker in the other change. Walter Venter makes a welcome return on the bench, and will play in his first Super 14 match of the season if he gets game time.

The Highlanders are tenth on the log and the Lions 12th, both teams will not be happy with their season and will look to this game to try and salvage something from the season.

Coach Eugene Eloff will also feel the pressure that a 27% win record in the competition brings.

The full team and match report is here.  


Ethienne Reynecke heading for Saracens
May 1, 2009 - Saracens rugby club in the UK announced on their website that they have signed Ethienne Reynecke for their upcoming season.

Reynecke was in the last year of a three year contract with the Lions, and probably because he was getting limited opportunities this season, he decided to join the UK club.

I really enjoyed Ethienne's game when he burst onto the scene after the departure of Schalk Brits to WP, and what was so great of Ettas was that he always had time for a friendly chat to his fans.

He made his debut for the Lions in 2006, and played in 31 Currie Cup matches and 20 Super 14 matches, scoring three tries in the Currie Cup. This year he captained the Young Lions in the Vodacom Cup.

We at www.transvaal.co.za wish you well for the future!

This is the article from the Saracens website:

Saracens have added to their front row resources with the signing of hooker Ethienne Reynecke from the Lions.

The 27-year-old has been a regular with the Lions in their Super 14 and Currie Cup campaigns and with the likes of Carlos Nieto, Fabio Ongaro and England Saxons prop Tom Mercey all battling it out for front row spots in the Saracens starting line-up next season, the signing of Reynecke adds to the significant strength in depth to the team.

The 6ft, 16 stone hooker’s speed and power allows him to cover ground like a loose forward and since making his Super 14 debut in 2007, he has made 20 appearances for the franchise while also appearing 34 times at a provincial level for the Golden Lions.

“Ethienne is fiery, competitive and physical and he fits the profile of the kind of player that we feel will be successful in the Guinness Premiership,” explained Sarries incoming Director of Rugby Brendan Venter. “He’s a player who comes to us with Super 14 experience and his signing adds more depth to our front row. We’re delighted to have secured his services.”

Click here to view the article.  


Lions beaten by Crusaders
May 1, 2009 - The Lions played a gutsy game on Friday at Ellis Park, but the Crusaders just did enough to take the match 32-20 and to get the five bonus points they needed from the game. The Crusaders scored four tries to the three from the Lions.

At the break the score was 17-15 for the Crusaders, and the Lions were certainly still in the game, but in the second half the Crusaders made sure they outscored the Lions and also keep the Lions from getting a bonus point from the game.

Young Johan van Deventer scored a try in his debut match, and certainly did well in his first Super 14 game.

The full team and match report is here.  

Grobbelaar ruled out
Apr 30, 2009 - Cobus Grobbelaar was ruled out of the Crusaders match on Thursday, this after the captain's run in the morning when his ankle flamed up again.

This means that Johan "Biscuit" van Deventer will make his Super 14 debut for the Lions, this after he has made his mark as a fetcher for the Young Lions in the Vodacom Cup competition this year.

Jaque Fourie will take over as captain in the absence of Grobbelaar.

Van Deventer hasn't made his Currie Cup debut yet, but will no doubt jump at the opportunity to show off his fetching skills.

He is only 21 years old, 1.77 meters tall and weighs 90kg, but comes with an impressive pedigree, having captained the Lions Craven Week sides at under 16 and under 18 level, as well as the SA Academy side, and he was in the Under 19 squad for the Junior Boks in 2006 and 2007, and the Junior Boks Under 20 squad in 2008.


Jaque Fourie back for Crusaders clash
Apr 29, 2009 - The Lions received some good news on Wednesday when Jaque Fourie was cleared to face the Crusaders in their Super 14 clash this Friday at 3pm.

The team shows six changes from the one that suffered a big loss against the Force last Friday.

Louis Ludik is back at Fullback in the place of Earl Rose, Deon van Rensburg moves from Outside Centre to Right Wing, Jannie Boshoff moves from Right Wing to Left Wing, Jaque Fourie is back at Outside Centre, Willie Wepener is back at Hooker, and Cobus Grobbelaar is bracketed with Johan van Deventer at Number six.

Cobus will undergo a fitness test on his ankle after Wednesday's training, and if he can't play, the exciting Van Deventer will make his Super 14 debut.

The full team and match report is here.  


Lions get a hiding from the Force
Apr 26, 2009 - The Lions suffered another humiliating loss, this time at the hands of the Force, going down 55-14 in Perth on Friday.

Once it again it was their defense that lead them down, as they let in eight tries to two. Two of the Force tries were penalty tries, also leaving a question mark about the Lions discipline.

The Force lead 29-7 at half time, on their way to their biggest victory yet in the competition.

The sooner the Super 14 ends for the Lions, the better.

Come and discuss the match on the forum with us over here and the full team and match report is here.  

Lions change three for Force clash
Apr 23, 2009 - The Lions made three changes to the side to play the Force on Friday.

Robert Kruger gets a start in the place of Todd Clever, so does Hans van Dyk in the place of Willie Wepener, and JC Janse van Rensburg starts at Loosehead Prop in the place of injured Heinke van der Merwe.

The Lions are just two log positions below the Force, and will be hoping to record another upset win against an Aussie side.

*The Young Lions play the Sharks in a Vodacom Cup quarter final on Friday, and the Lions side will be unchanged for this match. The team is:

Earl Lewis; Dusty Noble, Walter Venter, Barry Goodes, Bernardo Botha; Jody Rose, Straatkat van Zyl; Warren Perkins, Derrick Minnie, Johan van Deventer, Gareth Hemingway, Rob Andrew, KP du Plessis, Ethienne Reynecke ©, Wayne Swart.

Reserves: Derek Harwood, Jacques George, David Bullbring, Tulip Marole, Allister Siegelaar, André Smith, Justin St. Jerry

Come and discuss the match on the forum with us over here and the full team and match report is here.  

Lions pay for victory over Reds
Apr 20, 2009 - The Lions recorded a rare win on Saturday when they beat the Reds 31-20 in Brisbane.

Unfortunately Loosehead Prop Heinke van der Merwe was injured in the match, and might be out for between three and six months, a heavy blow for the Lions.

The Reds played everything wide from the start of the game, probably hoping to put the Lions under pressure with a quick try or two, but this game-plan backfired as the Lions defended well and then managed to score the opening try, a brilliant long-range try started by Earl Rose in the Lions 22 meter area.

The rest of the match was pretty even, but the Lions scored three more tries where the bounce of the ball favoured them, instead of the Reds, and this made the victory possible, even though the Lions had to play with 13 men for a period in the second half when Van Zyl and Kruger received Yellow cards from the referee.

Come and discuss the match on the forum with us over here and the full team and match report is here.  

Young Lions win and qualify for play-offs
Apr 20, 2009 - The Young Lions recorded only their second win in the 2009 Vodacom Cup on Saturday when they beat the Valke 59-26 at the Pirates grounds in Greenside on Saturday.

In the process they scored nine tries to four, and because the Blue Bulls managed to beat the Pumas, this means that the Young Lions end in fourth place on the log, and will qualify for the play-offs of the competition, meeting the Sharks in Durban in the quarters this weekend.

The team lost their first four matches before winning their last two, and hopefully they can take this good form into the quarters.

Scorers for the Lions:
Tries: Walter Venter, Dusty Noble(2), Barry Goodes, Rob Andrew, David Bulbring, Warren Perkins, Bernardo Botha(2)
Conversions: Jody Rose(4), Earl Lewis(3)

The Valke scored 4 tries and converted 3 of them. 


Injuries force Lions to make eight changes
Apr 16, 2009 - The Lions were forced to make no less than eight changes to the side to play the Reds on Saturday, after injuries to Louis Ludik, Cobus Grobelaar, and Jaque Fourie.

Cobus is already on his way home and sounds like he will be out for at least a month.

Ernst Joubert will captain the side on Saturday, the third captain that the Lions have used this season.

Come and discuss the match on the forum with us over here and the full team and match report is here.  

Lions suffer heavy loss against Blues
Apr 10, 2009 - The Lions suffered another heavy loss in their Super 14 campaign, going down 36-12 against the Blues in Auckland on Friday.

The score at the break was 14-0 for the Blues. The Blues scored six tries to the two from the Lions.

Jaque Fourie left the field early on in the match with an injury, and one can only hope that it's not a serious one, as he is one of the key players in the team.

The Lions had very little ball and territory in the match, and therefore spent most of the match tackling, making 133 tackles according to the television stats, and missing 35. The problem with having to defend that much in a match is that eventually it wears you out and gaps open for the opposition.

Come and discuss the match on the forum with us over here and the full team and match report is here.  


Jaque Fourie to captain Lions against Blues
Apr 9, 2009 - Jaque Fourie will captain the Lions against the Blues in their Super 14 match on Friday in the absence of regular captain, Cobus Grobbelaar, who injured his ankle in the match against the Chiefs last week.

Doppies la Grange is also out injured with a hamstring injury
, and Deon van Rensburg will take his place at Inside Centre. He is an Outside Centre, so this will be a big test of his abilities at this level.

The full team is:
Louis Ludik, Shandre Frolick, Jaque Fourie(c), Deon van Rensburg, Henno Mentz, Andre Pretorius, Chris Jonck, Willem Alberts, Ernst Joubert, Todd Clever, Gerhard Mostert, Anton van Zyl, Gert Muller, Willie Wepener, Heinke van der Merwe.
Hans van Dyk, Lawrence Sephaka, Franco van der Merwe, Robert Kruger, Jano Vermaak, Earl Rose, Jannie Boshoff.

Come and discuss the match on the forum with us over here and the full team and match report is here.  

Lions change one for Hurricanes clash
Mar 26, 2009 -
Coach Eugene Eloff made just one change to the Lions side for their Super 14 match against the Hurricanes that takes place at Ellis Park this Saturday.

Doppies la Grange has recovered from injury and replaces Barry Goodes who falls out of the match 22.

Goodes will be in action for the Young Lions against Griquas in a Vodacom Cup match on Friday.

The Lions unexpectedly beat the Brumbies last Saturday, and will be hoping to continue that good form against the Hurricanes, as that should lift them from 13th place on the Super 14 log.

Come and discuss the match on the forum with us over here and the full team and match report is here.  

Leon Boshoff relieved of his contract
Mar 25, 2009 -
Leon Boshoff was relieved of his contract with the Lions after a marathon hearing at the union on Wednesday. The hearing started at 9:00 and only ended six hours later at 15:00.

Boshoff was found not guilty on the charges of making racial remarks after the union ruled that the allegations could not be substantiated. Regarding the charge of abusive language, Boshoff was found guilty and was issued with a written warning.

In the best interest of the Golden Lions Rugby Union and the team, both parties agreed to relieve Boshoff from his contractual obligations with immediate effect, and the union will not be making use of his services going forward.

Come and discuss the issue on the forum with us over here.  

Young Lions named for Griquas clash
Mar 25, 2009 -
The Young Lions side to play Griquas in a Vodacom Cup match this Friday, was named on Wednesday.

The two surprises is that Barry Goodes has been omitted from the Lions Super 14 group to tour Australia and now finds himself as the Inside Centre in the Vodacom Cup side, and also that Ross Geldenhuys, who I rate as a scrummer finds himself on the bench.

The team is still winless after the halfway stage of the competition, and is unlikely to reach the playoffs even though there are quite a few players in the side with Super 14 experience.

The team is:
Michael Kilian; Dusty Noble, Walter Venter, Barry Goodes, Bernardo Botha; Jody Rose, Straatkat van Zyl; Warren Perkins, Derrick Minnie, Biscuit van Deventer, David Bullbring, Gareth Hemingway, KP du Plessis, Ethienne Reynecke ©, Jacques George.
Reserves: Derek Harwood, Ross Geldenhuys, Rob Andrew, Justin Wheeler, Whestley Moolman, Rouan Cloete, Earl Lewis.  

Come and discuss the match on the forum with us over here

Lions score great win against Brumbies
Mar 21, 2009 -
The Lions did the unexpected, and scored a great victory against the Brumbies at Ellis Park on Saturday, winning 25-17 after leading 15-10 at the break.

The match was a close affair, and was in the balance right up to the end, when the Brumbies were desperate and ran a ball from their try-line, knocked it on, and Louis Ludik picked it up and scored the try to seal the win for the Lions.

Ludik was also named man of the match. The Lions scored three tries to the two from the Brumbies.
Come and discuss the match on the forum with us over here and the full team and match report is here

Lions change two for Brumbies clash
Mar 19, 2009 -
The Lions announced only two changes to the side to face the Brumbies on Saturday.

Ernst Joubert replaces Willem Alberts at number Eight, with Alberts moving to the bench, and Todd Clever gets his first start at number Seven in the place of Franco van der Merwe.

I find these two changes a bit surprising, Alberts and Van der Merwe are two of the stars in the side, and even though they might have been guilty of a few missed tackles last Saturday, they will be missed against the Brumbies.

Come and discuss the match on the forum with us over here and the full team and match report is here

Leon Boshoff suspended
Mar 17, 2009 -
The Lions announced on Tuesday morning that forwards coach Leon "Bossie" Boshoff was suspended with immediate effect after allegations of verbal abuse was made against the coach.

“Allegations have been made against Leon, but until our investigations are complete, we cannot comment further”, Golden Lions Rugby Union CEO Manie Reyneke said.

The Golden Lions Rugby Union will not be replacing Boshoff, whilst the investigations are underway.

One can only assume that this is fallout after the very poor performance from the Lions side against the Stormers in their Super 14 match on Saturday, where the Lions were hammered 56-18.

Come and discuss the issue on the forum with us over here.  

Lions humiliated by Stormers
Mar 14, 2009 -
The Lions were humiliated in their match against the Stormers on Saturday, going down 56-18 in a shocking display of bad rugby.

They started well, and were leading after two great tries by Louis Ludik and Henno Mentz, but then Jannes Labuschagne failed to secure a ball from the kick off which lead to a try by Schalk Burger, and from there on it was one way traffic with the Stormers scoring another 7 tries.

It's a sad, sad day for Lions rugby and it's very difficult to see how we are going to find a way to dig ourselves out of this deep hole.

Come and discuss the match on the forum with us over here and the full team and match report is here

Lions change five for Stormers clash
Mar 12, 2009 -
Coach Eugene Eloff made five changes to the Lions side to play the Stormers this Saturday at Newlands.

Two of the changes were no-brainers as Doppies la Grange is injured, so he is replaced by Barry Goodes, who will make his debut for the Lions, and Heinke van der Merwe has served his one match suspension and is back at Loosehead prop.

In the other changes Lawrence Sephaka moves from Loosehead to Tighthead with Gert Muller dropping to the bench, Jannes Labuschagne is back after his knee operation and replaces Gerhardt Mostert at Lock, and Franco van der Merwe replaces Ernst Joubert at Flank.

Come and discuss the match on the forum with us over here and the full team and match report is here

Lions expect huge onslaught from Stormers
Mar 11, 2009 -
The Lions expect a huge onslaught from the Stormers in their Super 14 match at Newlands on Saturday.

The Stormers had hopes of reaching the top 4 this season, but after four matches have only won one, and are under pressure to lift their game.

It looks like the Stormers are going to stick with Willem de Waal at Flyhalf for the match, and therefore can be expected to play the same tactical game that they used against the Bulls. The Lions will probably prefer this type of match from the Stormers, so one has to question if this will be the right tactics from them.

On the Lions side, it looks like Jannes Labuschagne has recovered from the knee operation from early February, and might be on the bench, while Doppies la Grange is struggling with an injury and we might see Barry Goodes take his place.

Come and discuss the match on the forum with us over here.

Lions lose to Bulls at home
Feb 28, 2009 -
The Lions lost at home to the Bulls on Saturday, going down 16-9 after trailing 16-0 at the break. One thing they did right was to at least get a bonus point for ending within 7 points of the Bulls, something which they failed to do in the past when they lost games.

The match was played in rainy conditions, and this obviously caused the low score in the match, the only try scored by Pierre Spies, with all the other points coming from kicks.

Come and discuss the match on the forum with us over here and the match report is here.

Ernst Joubert back for Bulls clash
Feb 26, 2009 - Coach Eugene Eloff named two changes to the Lions side to face the Bulls at Ellis Park on Saturday, Ernst Joubert is back at number 7, with Franco van der Merwe moving to the bench, and Lawrence Sephaka will start, either at Loosehead or Tighthead, depending on the outcome of Heinke van der Merwe's appeal to his one match ban, that hearing taking place at 23:00 on Thursday.

If Heinke can play, Sephaka will start at Tighthead with Gert Muller on the bench, otherwise Sephaka will start in Heinke's place at Loosehead with Muller staying at Tighthead and JC Janse van Rensburg as prop cover on the bench.

Andre Pretorius might also not make the bench, his place might be taken by Divan Kotze.

Come and discuss the match on the forum with us over here and the match report is here.

Heinke handed one week ban
Feb 25, 2009 - Heinke van der Merwe was handed a one week ban by Dekker Govender after he was cited for a spear tackle on Francois Steyn in the Super 14 match between the Sharks and the Lions last Saturday.

Jannie Boshoff appeared on the same charge, but was found not guilty.

This means that Heinke will miss the next match of the Lions, although the Lions indicated that they plan to appeal the verdict.

This is a major blow for the Lions ahead of their match against the Bulls this Saturday, as Heinke is one of the stalwarts of the Lions team, and his work in the scrums will be missed against the Bulls, who are also known for their good scrumming.

If he doesn't play, his place will be taken by either Lawrence Sephaka or JC Janse van Rensburg.

Come and discuss the match on the forum with us over here

Louis Strydom to play in France
Feb 21, 2009 - Louis Strydom has joined French Top 14 side Bayonne and will start training with them on Monday.

The Cheetahs were also interested in Strydom, but couldn't come up with the transfer fee that the Lions required, and Strydom had therefore little option other to look overseas.

The 28-year old failed to make the Lions Super 14 squad this year, after making his Lions debut in 2007 and earning 24 caps and scoring one try and 120 points in the two seasons with the Lions, and also earning 12 Super 14 caps in the same time.

Lions come up short in Durban
Feb 21, 2009 - The Sharks outclassed and outplayed the Lions in Durban on Saturday, winning 25-10 after leading 8-3 at the break.

The Lions briefly took the lead early in the second half when Ashwin Willemse scored their only try, but after that the Sharks took control of the match and almost won by a bigger margin, but luckily Francois Steyn's boot touched the line as he went over in the corner.

The highlights for the Lions were that Gerhard Mostert had a few good ball carries, and that Andre Pretorius looked better than last week in the 20 minutes that he played.

The line-outs again was a huge problem, and it's surprising that this wasn't sorted out after this was highlighted as a problem area last week.

Next up we play the Bulls at Ellis Park, they demolished the Blues and it's going to be a real test for our players.

Come and discuss the match on the forum with us over here and the match report is here.

Loffie names unchanged side for Sharks clash
Feb 19, 2009 - Coach Eugene Eloff on Thursday named an unchanged Lions side to play the Sharks in the second round of the Super 14 in Durban this coming Saturday.

The side managed to score a win against the Cheetahs at home in round one, and the coach showed faith in the players and didn't make any changes. It must be said that the Sharks match is going to be much more difficult, as the Sharks are on top of their game and is arguably the strongest South African franchise in the competition, so beating them in their own back yard will take some doing.

The Lions will have worked a bit on their line-outs that didn't go to well against the Cheetahs, and will also hope to maintain their concentration during the match, as it slipped a bit in the middle stages of the Cheetahs match, allowing the Cheetahs to almost snatch a win after they looked dead and buried early in the match.

The Sharks have a great forward pack, and that's obviously where the Lions will have to take them on, because if they can win that battle, it might just win the match for us as well.

Come and discuss the match on the forum with us over here and the match report is here.

Young Lions in big win over Valke
Feb 18, 2009 - The Young Lions beat the Valke 43-24 in a warm-up match at the Barnard stadium in Kempton on Wednesday, after leading 26-14 at the break.

The Lions scored six tries to three, with three of the Lions tries coming in the first 20 minutes to put them in a commanding 21-0 lead, and looking like they were going to pile up a huge score.

The Valke then staged a fight back with two converted tries of their own, and then in the second half the match lost most of it's rhythm and there were also a few off the ball incidents.

The players that stood out for the Lions were Lu-Wayne Botes and Bernardo Botha, who each scored two tries, Dauw Steyn at Flyhalf who looks like he's got a huge boot on him, and in the forwards Warren Perkins kept the Valke busy.

Tries: Bernardo Botha(2), Rudi Bezuidenhout, Lu-Wayne Botes(2), Wigan Pekeur.
Conversions: Dauw Steyn(4), Straatkat van Zyl
Dropgoals: Dauw Steyn

Valke: 3 tries, 3 conversions and one penalty

Lions snatch win with two dropgoals
Feb 13, 2009 - The Lions started their 2009 Super 14 campaign with a close win at home over the Cheetahs, grabbing victory with two late dropgoals from Andre Pretorius and Earl Rose after the scores were level at 28-all with just about 5 minutes left in the match.

The Lions were helped by poor discipline from the Cheetahs, who had two players, Brussouw and Bosman, sin-binned during the match, and in the 20 minute period where the Cheetahs played with 14 men, the Lions scored 3 of their 4 tries.

The Lions won't be that happy with the way that they let the Cheetahs back in the game, at one stage it looked like a certain win for the Lions but then some poor defense in the second half let the Cheetahs in for a few tries and almost cost the Lions the match.

Come and discuss the match on the forum with us over here and the match report is here.

Lions for Super 14 opener against Cheetahs named
Feb 11, 2009 - The Lions named the team to meet the Cheetahs at Coca-Cola Park on Friday evening in the first round of the 2009 Super 14 on Wednesday.

There weren't any surprises, but with Gerhard Mostert fit to play, it allowed coach Eugene Eloff to name Franco van der Merwe at Flank with Todd Clever and Rynard Landman as cover on the bench.

Henno Mentz will make his debut for the Lions on the left wing, and Ashwin Willemse is also back after a short stint in France. He will start on the right wing.

The team is: Louis Ludik, Ashwin Willemse, Jaque Fourie(v/c), Doppies la Grange, Henno Mentz, Earl Rose, Jano Vermaak, Willem Alberts, Franco van der Merwe, Cobus Grobbelaar(c), Gerhard Mostert, Anton van Zyl, Gert Muller, Willie Wepener, Heinke van der Merwe.

Reserves: Hans van Dyk, Lawrence Sephaka, Rynard Landman, Todd Clever, Chris Jonck, Andre Pretorius, Jannie Boshoff.

Come and discuss the team selection on the forum with us over here and the match report is here.

Lions name official Super 14 Squad
Feb 6, 2009 - The Lions named their official squad of 30 players for the 2009 Super 14 on Friday, and even though I warned that we should be prepared for some shocks, I wasn't ready for this one, Andre Pretorius was not named in our squad.

Ernst Joubert, Gerhard Mostert and Dewald Senekal were also not included, apparently because they are all three still injured. These four players that I thought would be there are instead replaced by Thulip Marole, Dusty Noble, Alastair Siegelaar and Deon van Rensburg.

What this means for the Lions and Andre Pretorius I'm really not sure, I was under the impression that he has fully recovered from his injury picked up in 2007, but now it looks unsure.

The official squad of 30 players are:

Willem Alberts, Jannie Boshoff, Todd Clever, Jaque Fourie, Shandré Frolick, Barry Goodes, Cobus Grobbelaar (k), JC Janse van Rensburg, Chris Jonck, Michael Killian, Divan Kotze, Robert Kruger, Doppies la Grange, Rynard Landman, Louis Ludik, Henno Mentz, Thulip Marole, Gert Muller, Dusty Noble, Earl Rose, Lawrence Sephaka, Alastair Siegelaar, Franco van der Merwe, Heinke van der Merwe, Hans van Dyk, Deon van Rensburg, Anton van Zyl, Jano Vermaak, Willie Wepener, Ashwin Willemse

Come and discuss the squad selection on the forum with us over here

Lions set to shock with Super 14 Squad
Feb 5, 2009 - The Lions are set to shock a few supporters when they announce their Super 14 squad some time after Saturday.

The squads had to be presented to SARugby on Thursday, and then the franchises are allowed to announce the squads to the media and public on Saturday or later.

The players already know who made the squad and who didn't, and it's an open secret that the squad announcement will shock some supporters and rugby lovers alike.

Players like Ross Geldenhuys, Ethienne Reynecke, Louis Strydom, Walter Venter and Justin Wheeler seem to have fallen out of favour with the coaching staff and will find themselves in the Super 14 wilderness.

The squad of 30 players is likely to be:

Willem Alberts, Jannie Boshoff, Todd Clever, Jaque Fourie, Shandré Frolick, Barry Goodes, Cobus Grobbelaar (k), JC Janse van Rensburg, Chris Jonck, Ernst Joubert, Michael Killian, Divan Kotze, Robert Kruger, Doppies la Grange, Rynard Landman, Louis Ludik, Henno Mentz, Gerhard Mostert, Gert Muller, André Pretorius, Earl Rose, Dewald Senekal, Lawrence Sephaka, Franco van der Merwe, Heinke van der Merwe, Hans van Dyk, Anton van Zyl, Jano Vermaak, Willie Wepener, Ashwin Willemse.

Come and discuss the squad selection on the forum with us over here

Dream start for the Lions
Jan 24, 2009 - The Lions could not have asked for a better start to their 2009 season, they totally outplayed the Bulls at Wits on Saturday to beat them 44-21 after leading 34-0 at the break.

The Lions also won the curtain raiser where the B-Teams met, 22-13 the score after leading 12-3 at the break.

The Lions could do nothing wrong in the first half of the main match, and deservedly lead 34-0 at the break after scoring five great tries from backline moves.

In the second half the Lions started using the bench and the Bulls also brought on some of their replacements like Bakkies Botha, Zane Kirchner and Bryan Habana, and this certainly made the second half more of a contest, and in this period the Lions scored two more tries to three from the Bulls.

Lions: Tries by Ashwin Willemse, Henno Mentz, Gert Muller, Earl Rose, Jaque Fourie, Michael Killian and Jano Vermaak.
Earl Rose also kicked a penalty and 2 conversions, while Divan Kotze added a conversion as well.

Bulls: Tries by Deon Stegmann(2) and Akona Ndungane with 2 conversions from Burton Francis and one from Bryan Habana.

Come and discuss the results of the two matches on the forum with us over here

Surprises in White and Red teams
Jan 16, 2009 - The Lions are going to come with a few surprises when the White and Red teams that will play the Bulls at Wits University on Saturday 24 January are named.

The biggest surprise is that Andre Pretorius will not start at Flyhalf, instead it will be Earl Rose, who had a up and down season with the Lions in the 2008 season, while other surprises are that Gert Muller will start at tight head and Jannes Labuschagne starting at Lock.

The likely White team:
15 Louis Ludik, 14 Ashwin Willemse, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Henno Mentz, 10 Earl Rose, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Willem Alberts, 7 Franco van der Merwe, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar(c), 5 Anton van Zyl, 4 Jannes Labuschagne, 3 Gert Muller, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Reserves: Hans van Dyk, Lawrence Sephaka, Todd Clever, Andre Pretorius, Barry Goodes, Michael Killian.

The likely Red team:
15 Shandrè Frolick, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 Deon van Rensburg, 12 Walter Venter, 11 Dusty Noble, 10 Louis Strydom, 9 Chris Jonck(c), 8 Robert Kruger, 7 Justin Wheeler, 6 Derek Minnie, 5 Anthonie Gronum, 4 Rynard Landman, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Ethienne Reynecke, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Reserves: Gert-Andries van der Merwe, Derek Harwood, Martin Bezuidenhout, Lehan Koekemoer, Thiliphatu Marole, Alistair Siegelaar, Divan Kotze, Jody Rose, Luan Steenkamp, Jan van Zyl, Johan van Deventer.

Come and discuss the selection of the two teams on the forum with us over here


Henno Mentz training with the Lions
Jan 8, 2009 - Henno Mentz is currently training with the Lions and might be a solution for the headache that the team experienced on the wing last year.

He hasn't got a contract with the Lions, but is currently training as starting wing with Ashwin Willemse. Jano Vermaak, Andre Pretorius, Doppies la Grange, Jaque Fourie and Louis Ludik makes up the rest of the starting backline in training at the moment.

Mentz played in two test matches in 2004 when he forced himself into the Springbok team after a great season in the Super 12, but unfortunately was unable to achieve the same great play at test level.

Todd Clever has slotted in nicely with the players, he seems super fit and already a favourite with his fellow players.

It's still not certain when Ernst Joubert will be ready for action after his hand injury, but it looks like Senekal, Mostert and Alberts have fully recovered from their injuries.

There will be a warmup match against the Bulls at the Wits grounds on 24 January, be sure to join me then!
All the best for the new year!
Jan 1, 2009 - I want to wish all the visitors to www.transvaal.co.za all the best for 2009. May it be a year of spectacular success for all of us, including the Lions rugby team!

Looking forward: The Super 14 kicks off in February, so we will probably see a squad announcement in middle January, and this is also the year that the British Lions are touring South Africa, the first time since 1997 when they managed to edge the Springboks in the test series.

The Currie Cup kicks off in June, and since we last won the Currie Cup in 1999, that means it's ten years without success, so the team MUST win this for us this year.

What many visitors to my site might not know, is that we have a forum where we talk rugby all the time, to come and join us, click here  


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