You are browsing the archive for 2012 October.

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by Baylion

Jantjies under pressure

October 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

I am looking forward to see how Elton Jantjies will do playing Super Rugby without all the pressures that he has had to contend with during his short senior career, playing for a side that is at or near the top of the log rather than contending for the wooden spoon.

During the three years he has been playing senior rugby he has never really had the luxury of playing without external pressures as the Lions were always struggling with on-field as well as off-field issues and were always under the cosh.

If his Currie Cup campaigns of the last two years, when the Golden Lions were at or near the top of the log, are anything to go by he should blossom at the Stormers.

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Amakhosi – The road to transformation?

October 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

Rugby, and most other traditionally white sports, have struggled to achieve transformation in a real and meaningful way, through merit and not through quotas. Could it be that the way forward is through joint ventures with the country’s soccer clubs?

Kaiser Chiefs announced this week that they are entering a team in the NBM Sevens Premier League (7sPL) tournament in George in December. From the looks of it it will be an invitational side and the move is probably more a marketing ploy than anything else but it could be the precursor to something much bigger.

Imagine the growth potential for SA rugby if SA soccer teams become actively involved in rugby, especially the two Soweto giants Kaiser Chiefs and Orlando Pirates whose massive support bases are countrywide.  I read somewhere that the Bucs fanbase is estimated to be in excess of 14 million fans and Amakhosi’s would be similar.

The mind boggles!

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Lions Player Updates – Jantjies, Mapoe loans confirmed

October 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

Elton Jantjies finally signed on the dotted line and will be on loan to the Stormers for 2013 Super Rugby. With the Stormers struggling with a lack of flyhalves during 2012 they are also trying to convince Catrakilis to stay.

Lionel Mapoe’s loan deal for 2013 Super with the Bulls have also been confirmed. Lionel has been a revelation at #13 this year and this has earned him a spot in the Boks EOYT squad. It will will be interesting to see where he plays for the Bulls.

Butch James seems to have changed his mind about retiring and is negotiating with the Sharks to serve as Pat Lambie’s backup in 2013. According to Keo he says that the deal is about 90% done. He has had a good year with the Lions and there definitely is still some rugby in the old bones.

Lions Player Gains & Losses

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Springbok squad for the EOYT

October 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

Heyneke Meyer announced his EOYT squad with the only real surprise maybe being that he isn’t giving any of the overplayed and out of form Boks a break.

He largely stuck to his old squad and I suppose that was expected as the end of December is D-Day for the team rankings will determine the draw for the 2015 Rugby World Cup and Meyer couldn’t be too experimental with his squad.

However, some of the Boks really looked tired in recent weeks. Beast, Doc Jannie, Alberts, Hougaard, JdV and Mornetjie can all do with a good rest before Super Rugby starts in earnest and we have more than capable replacements available, except maybe for Jean at number 12.

It is also a pity that he didn’t see his way open to select the form loosehead, JC Janse van Rensburg, and rather went with Guthro Steenkamp.

It will be interesting to see whether he plays Jaco Taute at fullback after the youngster publicly stated that that is his preferred position and whether he now sees Lambie as a flyhalf or still as fullback.

Raymond Rhule has forced his way into the squad with great performances this year and hopefully this youngster will make the step up to Bok rugby but there must be a number of players who would feel that they have done enough but were left out – Deon Fourie, Tim Whitehead and Robert Ebersohn to name a few.

Fullback:
Zane Kirchner, Jaco Taute

Wing:
JP Pietersen, Lwazi Mvovo, Raymond Rhule

Centre:
Jean de Villiers (captain), Juan de Jongh, Lionel Mapoe

Flyhalf:
Morné Steyn, Elton Jantjies, Pat Lambie,

Scrumhalf:
Ruan Pienaar, Francois Hougaard, Jano Vermaak

Eighthman:
Duane Vermeulen

Flank:
Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee, Francois Louw, Arno Botha

Lock:
Eben Etzebeth, Juandré Kruger, Flip van der Merwe, Franco van der Merwe

Prop:
Jannie du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira, Pat Cilliers, Gurthrö Steenkamp, CJ van der Linde

Hooker:
Adriaan Strauss, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Schalk Brits

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Kleftiko – a Greek stole a lamb’s thunder

October 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

kleftiko - stolen meatKleftiko is a traditional Greek dish of baked lamb, believed to originate when bandits stole lambs and baked the meat in clay. Yesterday The Greek and his band of WP bandits slow-baked The Lamb and his Sharks to steal the Currie Cup. But that’s not all they stole, they also allowed Alasdair Fraser to “steal” top honours in our fantasy league pool from Kitchener and myself, both having gone for a Sharks win.

Congratulations Alisdair, not only on your win but also on WP’s.

And thanks everyone for playing!

Final Currie Cup fantasy league log

 

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The perfect 10

October 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

Suddenly, after two good performances for the Sharks albeit in a dominating side, Pat Lambie has forced himself back into the frame for Bok flyhalf. So who will be the perfect #10 for the Boks to take us to the Rugby World Cup?

Morne Steyn? Not everyone’s cup off tea but even though he has been off form he is a proven match winner with the boot and more suited to a conservative game plan. Given that he is our most experienced flyhalf he will remain in the picture.

Johan Goosen? The crowd favourite. A young talent with a massive boot who has yet to really prove himself and he seems to be a bit physically fragile for the senior stage. Given time he can be a force in years to come.

Elton Jantjies? A massively talented player with x-factor. Public opinion depends largely on his performance in his last game. Unlike some of the other contenders who are forgiven relatively poor games he isn’t given that benefit.

Pat Lambie? Another talented player largely ignored by the Bok coach up to now but who will hope that his recent performances will bring more game time at flyhalf, both for his province and for the Boks.

When last did we have four good flyhalf contenders to choose from? We are currently in uncharted waters and it would be a mistake to look at this as an either/or option.

Rather than designating one of these players as the first choice the Bok management and coaches should look at this as a golden opportunity to develop four viable options for the flyhalf berth by sharing the starting and bench opportunities between these four players over the next three years.

Imagine going into the World Cup with four excellent flyhalves rather than only one.

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Lions Player Updates – Whiteley to play Sevens

October 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

Latest:  According to Die Beeld Warren Whiteley was given permission by the Lions to focus on Sevens rugby for the next few months and might join the Blitsbokke for a number of tournaments before rejoining the Lions for their series of friendlies in 2013 although he may miss the first few games. This puts paid to rumours that he will be joining the Kings.

Although there has been a lot of noise about Taute and Jantjies joining the Stormers it seems that the paperwork hasn’t been done yet. Twixt cup and lip? Could the hiccup be that the Super Rugby playoffs, semis and final will be played at the same time as the wooden spoon knockouts and that it won’t suit either the Lions or the Stormers to be without Taute and Jantjies.

According to reports Taute is keeping his options open for 2104 onwards and that first wants to see what develops in 2013. At least he hasn’t closed the door on re-signing with the Lions.

The Bulls web site mentions Mapoe as one of the Bulls players recovering from injury (concussion) so, although there has been no official announcements yet, it seems as if the Bulls expects him to report for duty when preparations for Super Rugby starts in the near future.

For the updated list of Lions Player Losses & Gains

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And the nominations are!

October 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

SARU has announced it’s awards nominees for 2012. My choices indicated.

The nominees for 2012 are (in alphabetical order):

SARU Rugby Player of the Year:
1. Keegan Daniel
2. Eben Etzebeth – Yes
3. Bryan Habana
4. Pat Lambie
5. JP Pietersen

Young Player of the Year:
1. Marcell Coetzee
2. Eben Etzebeth – Yes
3. Johan Goosen
4. Elton Jantjies
5. Raymond Rhule

Absa Team of the Year:
1. Eastern Province Kings (Absa Currie Cup First Division)
2. The Sharks (Vodacom Super Rugby)
3. The Sharks (Absa Currie Cup)
4. South Africa Under-20 (IRB Junior World Championship) – Yes
5. DHL Stormers (Vodacom Super Rugby)

Absa Coach of the Year:
1. Allister Coetzee (DHL Stormers and Western Province)
2. Pote Human (GWK Griquas)
3. John Plumtree (The Sharks) – Yes
4. Alan Solomons (EP Kings)
5. Dawie Theron (SA Under-20)

Vodacom Super Rugby Player of the Year:
1. Marcell Coetzee (The Sharks)
2. Keegan Daniel (The Sharks)
3. Bismarck du Plessis (The Sharks)
4. Eben Etzebeth (DHL Stormers) – Yes
5. JP Pietersen (The Sharks)

Absa Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year:
1. Deon Fourie (DHL Western Province)
2. JC Janse van Rensburg (MTN Golden Lions)
3. Elton Jantjies (MTN Golden Lions)
4. Louis Ludik (The Sharks)
5. Raymond Rhule (Toyota Free State Cheetahs) – Yes

Absa Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year:
1. Hansie Graaff (Griffons)
2. JW Jonker (Ford Pumas)
3. Rudi Mathee (Ford Pumas)
4. Paul Perez (EP Kings)
5. Luke Watson (EP Kings) – Yes

Vodacom Cup Player of the Year:
1. Marcel Brache (DHL Western Province)
2. Demetri Catrakilis (DHL Western Province) – Yes
3. Jaco Kriel (MTN Golden Lions)
4. Gouws Prinsloo (Sharks XV)
5. Jan Serfontein (Vodacom Blue Bulls)

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JC Superstar!

October 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

JC Janse van Rensburg

JC Janse van Rensburg

Prins Albert born “boerseun” JC Janse van Rensburg was tasked with the unenviable job of leading the Lions after they were kicked out of Super Rugby. He had to keep the team together and keep them motivated on the field and did that with aplomb while establishing himself as the leading loosehead prop in the country.

And when it came to decision time he decided to stick with the Lions for 2013 rather than play Super Rugby elsewhere to further his career.

A Superstar!

Winners of the Lions’ 2012 awards:

Under-19 Backline Player of the Year: Harold Vorster

U-19 Forward Player of the Year: Dirk Kotze

U-19 Player of the Year: Albertus Smith

U-21 Backline Player of the Year: Robert de Bruyn

U-21 Forward Player of the Year: Etienne Oosthuizen

U-21 Player of the Year: Stephan de Wit

Referee’s Award: Rashivenge Fhatuweni

Backline Player of the Year: Lionel Mapoe

Forward Player of the Year: Franco van der Merwe

Players’ Player of the Year: Lionel Mapoe

Player of the Year: JC Janse van Rensburg

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What pisses me off about the Kings saga!

October 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

You want to know what really pisses me off about the Lions being kicked out of Super Rugby to make way for the Kings? We all know that was a political decision and not a rugby decision and the Kings don’t really deserve to be in Super Rugby.

But no, that’s not what pisses me off.

What really pisses me off is that the Kings have been receiving their share of the Super Rugby monies since 2009 and they have done sweet blue f-all with it to prepare themselves for their entry into Super Rugby.

After the thumping they took from a second rate Cheetahs side they have the audacity to say “Don’t judge us”! But what have they done to build and develop a team that can at least compete with the worst South Africa Premier Division side?

Within the space of two months since they were kicked out of Super Rugby the Lions have put together a potential programme of about 15 matches against international club and country sides to keep their players in shape and to retain their younger players. Don’t tell me the Kings couldn’t have done the same in the last three years. But wait, no they refused the opportunity to play in the Nations Cup this year because it would be too tiring.

The Kings sat around on their collective asses and waited for handouts rather than work to prepare a side that other South Africans could feel reasonably comfortable in supporting. From comments of various web sites the biggest issue that piss people off is that they feel that the Kings got their chance under false pretenses. Instead of featuring a “transformed” side they whine about the fact that they cannot recruit more foreign players, that the Lions don’t want to lend them players, that they cannot sign other South African players because of contracts. They whinge that their youngsters are leaving because they don’t have Super Rugby.

Bullshit!

Siya Kolisi didn’t go to Cape Town to play Super Rugby, neither did Tim Whitehead, Tiger Bax and others, they went to play for a top level Varsity Cup side. The fact that they then made the WP junior sides and senior sides and the Super Rugby sides were just spin-offs.

These guys went because EP rugby was stuck in First Division rugby, not only with their senior side but also with their junior sides and they Varsity Cup side was a bottom feeder. The fact is, EP rugby was just not good enough for these guys.

But for three years they whined about getting into Super Rugby and now that they are in they whine that they weren’t given a fair deal. They had three years to prepare for this and they are bungling it big time.

And why are they bungling it? Because for three years they sat on their cheeks expecting things to be given to them.

And for this the Lions got kicked out?!