It only gets tougher
January 27, 2013 in Uncategorized
With a combined Golden Lions cap count of only 231 between them (69 if you exclude the 173 caps of the four Lions stalwarts JC Janse van Rensburg, Derick Minnie, Alwyn Hollenbach and Michael Bondesio) the young and inexperienced Golden Lions team shook off a shaky first half to run in four tries during the second half to beat a Cheetahs Super Rugby “B” side 33-17.
In a game of two halves where the goal kickers of both sides struggled to find the target, the Lions struggled to gel in the first half while the Cheetahs reverted to their, now familiar, no-defence strategy in the second.
For the Lions, their scrums worked well and in the second half, once Michael Bondesio and Lionel Cronje came on, their backline started to strike. However, the Lions continue to struggle in the lineouts although it didn’t help that they played with rookie locks and hookers after losing the more experienced Martin Bezuidenhout on a short term loan to the Stormers.
The Cronje twins didn’t quite work out for the Lions in the first half and maybe it is time to give young Vian van der Watt, last year’s u/20 Bok scrumhalf, a go as backup scrummie. With the loss of Bezuidenhout at hooker one of the Lions juniors, either 2012 u/20 Bok hooker Mark Pretorius or 2012 SA Schools hooker Malcolm Marx, might get a chance to step up to the the senior squad.
For the Cheetahs, although this was a practice match, it must be worry that their defence is still not good enough for top level competition. Another area of concern must be the quality of their scrums although that should improve once Adriaan Strauss takes his place in the team.
And although this was a practice match for the Cheetahs it cannot sit well that their Super Rugby “B” side lost so comprehensively to what is essentially a Vodacom Cup level Lions team and the Cheetahs coaching staff has some serious work ahead before the Super Rugby competition starts in earnest on 22 February.
Lions coach, Johan Ackermann, will have a tough task this week to decide on a team to face the Bulls in the Gauteng Challenge Cup at Orlando Stadium on Saturday. The Lions “first team” comfortably dispatched the Russians in their first match to established their credentials but when the Lions “second team” ran in five tries to beat the Cheetahs on Saturday these players made sure that they remain in contention.
On Saturday the Lions take on the Bulls at Orlando Stadium in a Gauteng Rugby Cup match in what is the 75th anniversary of the first match played by the Northern Transvaal as an independent union when they played Transvaal in 1938. But more about that later in the week.
Lions best match 22?:
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Deon Helberg, 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert , 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Francois du Toit, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg(c).
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Jacques Kotze, 19 Hugo Kloppers, 20 Warwick Tecklenburg, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Ruhan Nel