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Liaan Kirkham killed in car crash
October 11, 2010 - Ex-Transvaal Fullback Liaan Kirkham sadly passed away after being involved in a motor accident on Saturday 10 October.

Liaan made his debut for Transvaal in 1980 and commanded a place in the starting XV until 1987. He was an exciting player to watch, as he liked a style of running and attacking play from Fullback. He played in 71 matches for the union, scoring 13 tries and 204 points. He played in two Currie Cup finals for Transvaal, in 1986 on the Right Wing against WP, but unfortunately Transvaal went down 9-22 that day, and also in 1987 against Northern Transvaal at Fullback, and again Transvaal lost 18-24.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family in this difficult time.   


 
Three or four changes for Pumas clash
October 5, 2010 - Coach John Mitchell made what looks like a possible four changes to the side that will face the Pumas at Ellis park on Friday. Doppies la Grange was bracketed with Burton Francis and might not be fit to play on Friday, while Warren Whiteley replaces Joshua Strauss at number eight, while Strauss moves to Flanker in the place of Wikus van Heerden, who drops to the bench. Trevor Hall also replaces George Earle at Lock.

The changes brings the total number of changes Mitchell has made in the Currie Cup season to 33, which should be the final figure as it seems to be the last match for the year for the Lions. This can be compared to the 56+ changes that Dick Muir made in the Super 14 season in about the same number of matches, so it goes to show that Muir clearly never settled on who his best XV was.

The match is of academic value for the Lions, as they only have a very small mathematical chance to reach the playoffs, it can only happen if the Bulls lose to Griquas or Free State lose to the Leopards, both seeming unlikely to happen. The Lions will look for a big win, as they have a 82% win ratio over the Pumas, having only lost three matches against the Witbank side since 1991, with two of the losses in 1998 and 1999 in the Vodacom Cup in Witbank, and once in 2004 in the Currie Cup at Ellis Park. Since 1991 the two sides have played each other in 23 matches with 19 victories for the Lions and 3 for the Pumas, with one draw, giving the Lions a 82% win ratio in the 19 years. It should be an easy win for the Lions, my prediction by 25+

The team is:
15 Michael Killian, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Doppies la Grange/Burton Francis, 11 Deon van Rensburg, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Joshua Strauss, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe(c), 4 Trevor Hall, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Reserves: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Wayne Swart, 18 Johan Snyman, 19 Wikus van Heerden, 20 JP Joubert, 21 Burton Francis/Marius Delport, 22 Marius Delport/Wandile Mjekevu.   


 
Two changes for crucial Cheetahs clash
September 30, 2010 - Coach John Mitchell made two changes to the side that will face the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday. Jaco Taute was ruled out and Michael Killian moves from Wing to Fullback in his place, while Deon van Rensburg takes the place of Killian at Left Wing.

The changes brings the total number of changes Mitchell has made in the Currie Cup season to 29, with only one more side to be named if the team doesn't qualify for the playoffs.

It's a crucial match for both teams, as the losing side will most likely not make the playoffs, and the winner most likely to qualify in fourth place. Last year in Bloemfontein the Lions lost 16-20, and from the last five encounters between the two sides, the Lions won two, with three victories for the Cheetahs. In 2007 and 2008 the Cheetahs had a five match winning streak. Since 1991 the two sides have played each other in 41 matches with 19 victories for the Lions and 20 for the Cheetahs, with two draws, giving the Lions a 46% win ratio in the 19 years. It's difficult to predict a winner for this match, as it's a mini-final for both teams, but I'm going to predict a home win by less than 7.

The team is:
15 Michael Killian, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Deon van Rensburg, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Joshua Strauss, 7 Wikus van Heerden, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe(c), 4 George Earle, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Reserves: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Wayne Swart, 18 Trevor Hall, 19 Warren Whiteley, 20 JP Joubert, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Marius Delport.   


 
Two changes for Loftus clash
September 16, 2010 - Coach John Mitchell made two changes to the side that will face the Blue Bulls at Loftus on Saturday. George Earle replaces Johan Snyman at Lock, while Doppies la Grange has recovered from his hamstring niggle and replaces Burton Francis at Inside Centre. Wikus van Heerden was also named on the bench after injuring the same arm in July against WP that he broke in the Super 14.

The changes brings the total number of changes Mitchell has made in the Currie Cup season to 25, with only three more sides to be named if the team doesn't qualify for the playoffs.

Last year at Loftus the Lions lost 13-19, and from the last five encounters between the two sides, the Lions won two, with three victories for the Blue Bulls. Since 1991 the two sides have played each other in 50 matches with 25 victories for the Lions and 23 for the Blue Bulls, with two draws, giving the Lions a 50% win ratio in the 19 years. The Blue Bulls named an unchanged side from the one that went down to the Cheetahs, but they are playing at home and playing for Currie Cup survival, so I think it will be Bulls by 5.

The team is:
15 Jaco Taute, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Joshua Strauss, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe(c), 4 George Earle, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Reserves: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Wayne Swart, 18 Johan Snyman, 19 Wikus van Heerden, 20 JP Joubert, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Marius Delport.   


 
One change for Griquas clash
September 9, 2010 - Coach John Mitchell made only one change to the side that will play Griquas at Ellis Park on Saturday. George Earle was slightly concussed against WP and it was decided not to risk him in the game, so his place is taken by Johan Snyman, who scored two tries in his last match against the Leopards.

The single change brings the total number of changes Mitchell has made in the Currie Cup season to 22, with only four more sides to be named if the team doesn't qualify for the playoffs.

The Lions lost this encounter last year in a very close match 19-23, and from the last five encounters between the two sides, the Lions won two, with three victories for Griquas. Since 1995 Griquas beat us 10 times in 28 encounters, but only one of those victories were at Ellis Park, the other 9 were in Kimberley, so given the form that the Lions showed against WP last week, this should be a Lions victory, so I think Lions by 7+

The team is:
15 Jaco Taute, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Joshua Strauss, 6 Derrick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe(c), 4 Johan Snyman, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Reserves: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Wayne Swart, 18 David Bulbring, 19 Renaldo Bothma, 20 JP Joubert, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Marius Delport.   


 
Awesome victory for the Lions over WP
September 3, 2010 - The Lions surprised friend and foe when they destroyed a weakened Western Province 46-28 at Ellis Park on Friday.

They were trailing 19-21 at the break, but in the latter stages of the second half they cut Province to pieces and scored the last 27 points of the match for a memorable victory.

Elton Jantjies scored 31 points with a try, 4 conversions and 6 penalties to grab the man of the match award. It was his penalties that kept the Lions in the game in the first half, as Province were dominant and looked like they would run out winners, but Jantjies kicked 4 penalties in the first half to keep the Lions within two points from Province at the break.

After the break Province scored a try through Hoffmann, and it certainly looked like the match was slipping away from the Lions, but Jantjies added another two penalties to reduce the Province lead to just three, and then just over an hour into the match the Lions grabbed the lead through a try by Killian after a blunder by Province sub Brache on his try-line, and three minutes later went further ahead when Minnie scored after a great break by Killian. Jantjies then put the nail in the Province coffin when he scored the Lions' 4th try in the 77 minute.

It's the biggest score against Province in 8 years since we beat them 50-13 in 2002, but bittersweet for me as I am still refused media accreditation by the GLRU and not allowed to report on matches from the media centre at Ellis Park.


 
John Mitchell released from Force contract
September 2, 2010 - Coach John Mitchell was released from his Super 15 contract with the Western Force from Australia and is now free to stay with the Lions after the end of the Currie Cup and coach the side in the Super 15 next year.

Mitchell had one year remaining on his contract in Perth taking him through until the end of the 2011 Super rugby campaign but had indicated earlier this year he would not be seeking a further term at the club. Discussions have commenced with current Western Force Assistant Coach Richard Graham, who had already been appointed to take up the head coaching role at the club in 2012, to assume the position from next season. The Lions have indicated that Mitchell signed a three-year deal to coach at the Lions.

Lionsworld already reported on 17 July that this would happen and that Mitchell would coach the Lions in the Super 15 in 2011, so thanks to the "insider" that provided the scoop!


 
Two changes for Province clash
August 31, 2010 - Coach John Mitchell made two changes to the side that will play Western Province at Ellis Park on Friday. Derick Minnie returns to the side at Flanker and replaces Renaldo Bothma, while George Earl replaces Johan Snyman at Lock. Bothma and Snyman scored two tries each in the last match against the Leopards, so it's rather confusing to see them relegated to the bench.

The two changes brings the total number of changes Mitchell has made in the Currie Cup season to 21, with only five more sides to be named if the team doesn't qualify for the playoffs, which looks likely at this stage.

The Lions won this encounter last year in a very close match 27-25, and from the last five encounters between the two sides, the Lions won two, both at Ellis Park so a victory is possible on Friday. Personally I think Western Province is too strong for us at this stage, and will win by 15+

The team is:
15 Jaco Taute, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Joshua Strauss, 6 Derrick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe(c), 4 George Earle, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Reserves: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Wayne Swart, 18 Johan Snyman, 19 Renaldo Bothma, 20 JP Joubert, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Marius Delport.   


 
Confidence-boosting win over Cheetahs
August 17, 2010 - The Lions recorded a confidence-boosting win over the Cheetahs at Ellis Park on Saturday when Jannie Boshoff scored the winning try two minutes from full time to make the score 30-26 for the Lions.

The Lions were leading 13-9 at the break and it looked as if they might pull off a surprise victory, but then the Cheetahs scored through Ashley Johnson shortly after the break and went further ahead when Kobus Calldo scored with 12 minutes to go, making the score 26-16 for the Cheetahs and the match seeming to slip away from the Lions.

Then Elton Jantjies scored a try in the right-hand corner with just 5 minutes to go, and kicked the conversion to make the score 26-23 for the Cheetahs, and then havoc struck for the Cheetahs, a kick behind the Wing and Fullback caught them out and while they were falling back the defenders lost their footing, and Jannie Boshoff, who was only the fourth player to the ball, managed to gather it and score the winning try for the Lions.

The victory will no doubt boost the confidence of the Lions, which must have been a bit low after four losses, and with fixtures against the Pumas and Leopards coming up, the Lions will hope to extend the run of wins to three, something they last achieved in the 2008 season.   


 
Three changes for Cheetahs clash
August 12, 2010 - Coach John Mitchell announced three changes to the side that will play the Cheetahs at Ellis Park on Saturday. Kevin Buys and Trevor Hall are out injured and their places are taken by Ross Geldenhuys and Renaldo Bothma respectively. The other change sees Hooker Edgar Marutlulle getting a start ahead of Martin Bezuidenhout, who drops to the bench. For those keeping count, Mitchell has now made thirteen changes for the season.

The big surprise however is the bench, all seven players on the bench are new, with the most notable the return of Flyhalf Burton Francis after a long absence due to injury. So that makes ten changes in the match 22, something that might be frowned upon by supporters looking for continuity.

The Lions are desperate for a win in this match, they won this same encounter last year, so another loss will see us two wins behind last year already, and with the 7 wins from last year we finished 6th on the log. The two teams have played each other 40 times since 1991, with 18 wins for the Lions, 20 for the Cheetahs, and 2 draws. From the last 5 encounters the Lions could only manage one win

The team is:
15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Renaldo Bothma, 6 Derrick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe(c), 4 George Earle, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Reserves: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Wayne Swart, 18 Johan Snyman, 19 Joshua Strauss, 20 JP Joubert, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Jannie Boshoff.   


 
Big win for Sharks
August 7, 2010 - The Sharks handed the Lions their biggest Currie Cup defeat in recent history between the two teams when they beat them 48-19 in Durban on Saturday. The losing margin of 29 points is the biggest since 1991, when I started keeping track of the scores. It might even be the worst game ever against the Sharks, but I am too scared to go check.

We have now lost 6 in a row against the Sharks, something else that I also don't have a record of happening before. Unfortunately our team is getting used to setting these poor performance records, we have now played 18 matches this season and lost 17 of them. To try and put a positive spin on such a shocking season is ridiculous and dishonest.

It was clear that a win wasn't on the cards for us in Durban, but I also didn't expect the hiding that we got.   


 
No changes for Sharks clash
August 7, 2010 - Coach John Mitchell made no changes to the side that will play the Sharks in Durban on Saturday. The only possible change could be on the bench where young loose forward Jaco Kriel is bracketed with Renaldo Bothma.

It's not always a good sign if you lose by 14 points and then keep the same side, sometimes this means that you believe this is your strongest side and even though they lost, there is nothing you can do to strengthen the team. Unfortunately this seems to be the case for us this weekend. I think the Sharks are slightly better than the Blue Bulls at this stage, so I expect us to lose this match by 10 to 20 points. We have also lost the last five matches against the Sharks, so another loss will make it six in a row against them. The other interesting fact is that no fewer than 5 ex-Lions are included in the Sharks match 22.

The team is:
15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Trevor Hall, 6 Derrick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe(c), 4 George Earle, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Reserves: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Ross Geldenhuys, 18 David Bulbring, 19 Jaco Kriel/Renaldo Bothma, 20 Chris Jonck, 21 Carlos Spencer, 22 Marius Delport.   


 
Lions show improvement but still lose
July 31, 2010 - The Lions put up a spirited performance and played with guts against the Blue Bulls on Saturday, but it wasn't enough and the Blue Bulls took the match 32-18.

The players and supporters will be fairly happy with the performance, as it was a huge improvement from the effort against Griquas last weekend, but the sad fact is that it was a home game, and home games are supposed to be won, and unfortunately we didn't even get a bonus point on Saturday. The loss also means that we have to win 6 of the next 10 matches just to finish in the same position as last year.

Elton Jantjies had a great match at Flyhalf in his first start for the Lions senior side, but Jaco Taute was excellent, and gets my nod as man of the match on our side. He was solid under the high ball and his counter attacks from Fullback punched holes in the Blue Bulls defence and had them guessing throughout the match.

Both teams scored two tries, and in the end it was just the fact that the Lions conceded many more penalties that cost us the match, as Jacques-Louis Potgieter was on song with the boot and contributed 27 points in the match with 6 penalties, two conversion and a try to be the overall man of the match.   


 
Lions change seven for Bulls clash
July 30, 2010 - The Lions named no fewer than seven changes for their first home game of the season against the Blue Bulls which takes place this Saturday.

Up to now John Mitchell has been fairly consistent with his team selections, and it is the first time that he has made more than two changes, and for those keeping count, he has now made ten changes for the season. Earlier in the year Dick Muir made no less than 56 changes during the Super 14 season, so let's see if Mitchell can stay below that.

The changes are: Waylon Murray moves to Outside Centre in the place of Marius Delport, with Doppies la Grange taking Murray's place at Inside Centre. Elton Jantjies starts at Flyhalf in the place of Herkie Kruger. Franco van der Merwe moves to Lock in the place of David Bulbring, with Trevor Hall taking Franco's place at Flanker. Kevin Buys moves from Loosehead Prop to Tighthead Prop, with the fit again JC Janse van Rensburg back at Loosehead Prop.

The team is:
15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Trevor Hall, 6 Derrick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe(c), 4 George Earle, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Reserves: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Ross Geldenhuys, 18 David Bulbring, 19 Jaco Kriel, 20 Chris Jonck, 21 Carlos Spencer, 22 Marius Delport.   


 
Lions slip up against Griquas
July 26, 2010 - The Lions suffered another humiliating defeat on Saturday at the hands of Griquas when they lost 26-20 in Kimberley. The Lions lead 14-6 at the break but only managed another two penalties in the second half while Griquas added 20 points to grab victory.

The Lions scored two five-pointers before the break thanks to scrumhalf Jano Vermaak and lock George Earle, but then struggled to cross their opponents’ try line in the second half. Flyhalf Herkie Kruger converted both tries and also kicked two penalties later during the game.

Griquas scored their two tries in the second half. The hosts threatened the Lions’ try line before the break but struggled to convert their opportunities into points due to handling errors and ill-discipline at crucial stages in the game.

Prop Jacobie Adriaanse and winger Bjorn Basson added the Kimberley side’s tries while captain and flyhalf Naas Olivier added the two conversions. Oliver also kicked two penalties. Adriaanse was named man of the match.

The result leaves the Lions in 6th place on the log, and facing the Blue Bulls in a tough encounter at Ellis Park on Saturday.   


 
Buys in for injured Janse van Rensburg
July 22, 2010 - The Lions travel to Kimberley to take on Griquas on Saturday, and the team shows only one change from the side that went down 32-0 against Western Province last weekend. JC Janse van Rensburg was injured in the match, and he is replaced by EG Jansen old-boy Kevin Buys.

Buys is a actually a Tighthead prop, and it is worrying to see the lack of depth as this means that JC Janse van Rensburg is our only recognised Loosehead prop, this after Heinke van der Merwe decided to further his career overseas. Buys is strong in the loose, and maybe his move to Loosehead is not such a bad one.

The Lions will be worried about this encounter, last year Griquas beat them in both Currie Cup matches, and Griquas also already beat the Sharks in Kimberley this year. Most people on SuperBru, a score prediction site, also seem to think that Griquas will take this one, as 87% of people playing in the Currie Cup section is predicting a Griquas win.

The two teams have played each other 27 times since 1991, with 18 victories for the Lions and 9 for Griquas and no draws. That is a 67% win ratio for the Lions since 1991, but I think Griquas are tough to beat at home, so I will give them a win by 5.

The team is:
15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Marius Delport, 12 Waylon Murray, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Herkie Kruger, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Franco van der Merwe(c), 6 Derrick Minnie, 5 David Bulbring, 4 George Earle, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Kevin Buys.
Reserves: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Wayne Swart, 18 Trevor Hall, 19 Jonathan Mokuena, 20 Chris Jonck, 21 Elton Jantjies, 22 Doppies la Grange.

  
 
Another strange record for the Lions
July 19, 2010 - The Lions recorded their first loss of the 2010 Currie Cup season when they went down 32-0 to Western Province on Saturday, after trailing 19-0 at the break. It's another strange record for the Lions, I went back in history as far as 1995, and as far as I can tell it's the first time in the Currie Cup since then that we have been kept scoreless.

We did record a 57-0 loss to Griquas in 1998, but that was in the Vodacom Cup, and also 23-0 against the Crusaders in 1997, but that was in the Super 12. So for at least 15 years this is the first time in the Currie Cup that we didn't trouble the scoreboard.

The only two plusses from the game: We prevented WP from scoring a fourth try for the bonus point, and at least the score could have been bigger.

  
 
Two changes for WP clash
July 15, 2010 - The Lions travel to Newlands to take on Western Province on Saturday, and the team for this vital match was announced on Thursday. It includes only two changes from the side that recorded a comfortable victory over the Leopards in Rustenburg, and it is nice to see that John Mitchell's selection policy favours consistency over the chopping and changing that we experienced with Dick Muir in the Super 14, but then again, we never won a match under Muir so it's not possible to say what he would have done after a victory.

Tonderai Chavhanga was injured against the Leopards and his place on the Right Wing is taken by Deon van Rensburg, while Jonathan Mokuena falls out of the match 22 with Warren Whiteley starting in his place at Number Eight. On the bench we see four new faces, Edgar Marutlulle replaces Francois du Toit, who was the only player on the bench not used last Friday, so one fails to understand what he could have done wrong, as well as the return of Wikus van Heerden, who last played in the Currie Cup for the Lions in 2006, and Trevor Hall, who last played for the Lions in 2005. Centre Pieter Engelbrecht is the last new face on the bench.

Our last win against WP at Newlands in the Currie Cup was in September 2004, and if Wikus is used off the bench on Saturday, he will be the only Lions player that also played that day. Other notable names from that match are John Daniels, Schalk Brits, Cobus Grobbelaar, Enrico Januarie, Doppies la Grange, Bryan Habana, Jaque Fourie and Conrad Jantjes, who was on the bench that day.

The two teams have played each other 39 times since 1991, with 19 victories each and one draw. I think WP might just have the upper hand again on Saturday, so I will give them a win by 15.

The team is:
15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Marius Delport, 12 Waylon Murray, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Herkie Kruger, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Franco van der Merwe(c), 6 Derrick Minnie, 5 David Bulbring, 4 George Earle, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Reserves: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Kevin Buys, 18 Trevor Hall, 19 Wikus van Heerden, 20 Chris Jonck, 21 Elton Jantjies, 22 Pieter Engelbrecht.

  
 
Lions start Currie Cup with a win
July 09, 2010 - The Lions started their Currie Cup campaign in promising fashion when they beat the Leopards 43-13 in Rustenburg on Friday after leading 20-3 at the break.

The match started very slow with the Leopards spurning the opportunity to take the early lead when they missed two kicks at goal. After 32 minutes the Lions had a slender lead of 6-3, but then stretched it to 20-3 with two quick tries in the next 8 minutes before half time by Jano Vermaak and Marius Delport.

The Lions scored three more tries after the break to earn the bonus point win, and will take heart from the fact that at least they managed their first win of the season after the disaster in the Super 14.

Points:
Lions: Tries by Jano Vermaak(2), Marius Delport, Waylon Murray, Jaco Taute
Conversions: Herkie Kruger(3)
Penalties: Herkie Kruger(4)
Leopards: Tries by Deon Scholtz and Wilhelm Koch
Penalties: Cecil Dumond


  
 
Lions announce team for Currie Cup opener
July 07, 2010 - The Lions start their Currie Cup campaign against the Leopards in Rustenburg this Friday at 19:00, and the team was named earlier on Wednesday.

Seven players in the starting XV will make their Currie Cup debut for the Lions, they are Chavhanga, Delport, Murray, Mokuena, Bulbring, Earle and Bezuidenhout, while three players on the bench, namely Du Toit, Whiteley and Jantjies have not played Currie Cup rugby for the Lions.

Jano Vermaak was named at Scrumhalf, but it is still not sure if he has extended his stay with the Lions or not. Franco van der Merwe gets to skipper the side for the first time in the absence of Cobus Grobbelaar and Wikus van Heerden, who are both still out injured.

The Lions beat Boland 45-29 in a compulsory friendly last weekend in preparation for the Currie Cup, and even though they scored seven tries, they leaked five, so it looks like the defence is still a bit dodgy as it was in the Super 14, which ended in disaster for the Lions as they finished stone last after failing to win a single match in the competition. Last year the Lions beat the Leopards 40-19 in Rustenburg, but I've got a feeling this year it will be a much closer affair.

The team is:
15 Jaco Taute, 14 Tonderai Chavhanga, 13 Marius Delport, 12 Waylon Murray, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Herkie Kruger, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Jonathan Mokuena, 7 Franco van der Merwe(c), 6 Derrick Minnie, 5 David Bulbring, 4 George Earle, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Reserves: 16 Francois du Toit, 17 Kevin Buys, 18 Warren Whiteley, 19 Robert Kruger, 20 Chris Jonck, 21 Elton Jantjies, 22 Deon van Rensburg.

  
 
Lions announce Currie Cup squad for 2010
July 01, 2010 - The Lions announced a squad of 34 players to represent us in the Currie Cup of 2010, which kicks off against the Leopards in Rustenburg on 9 July.

A few players are listed as injured, and as they are likely to miss the entire Currie Cup, they weren't included in the squad. They are Cobus Grobbelaar, Dusty Noble, Justin Wheeler, Lawrence Sephaka, Nico Luus and Wigan Pekeur.

Some of the notable names that played for the Lions in this year's Super 14 or last year's Currie Cup, that did not make the squad, are: Earl Rose, Henno Mentz, Jannie Boshoff, Willem Stoltz, Ruan Boshoff, Rouan Cloete, Johan van Deventer, Earl Lewis, Torrie Meyer, Derek Harwood, Jacques Lombard, Walter Venter, Wouter Moore, Bernado Botha and Johan Jackson. Carlos Spencer is also not named in the squad, although it is understood that he might play in some of the matches.

The squad is:
Backs:
Alwyn Hollenbach, Burton Francis, Chris Jonck, Deon van Rensburg, Doppies la Grange, Elton Jantjies, Herkie Kruger, Jaco Taute, Jano Vermaak, JP Joubert, Marius Delport, Michael Killian, Pieter Engelbrecht, Tonderai Chavhanga, Wandile Mjekevu, Waylon Murray
Forwards:
Charles Emslie, David Bulbring, Derrick Minnie, Franco van der Merwe, George Earle, Hans van Dyk, Jaco Kriel, JC Janse van Rensburg, Johan Snyman, Jonathan Mokuena, Kevin Buys, Martin Bezuidenhout, Robert Kruger, Ross Geldenhuys, Ruan Vermeulen, Warren Whiteley, Wayne Swart, Wikus van Heerden

  
 

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