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Ellis Park 2014 Season Tickets

December 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

The Golden Lions Rugby Union is pleased to announce that 2014 season ticket packages have been finalised and are ready for purchase from Thursday, 5 December 2013.

In phase one, all season tickets will be available directly from the Ellis Park Stadium ticket office from midday on Thursday, 5 December 2013.

In phase two, tickets will be available on a brand new and exciting GLRU online ticketing portal, made possible through Computicket. This portal will be launched in mid-December 2013.

For more information regarding 2014 season tickets, get in touch with the Ellis Park ticket office on 011 402 8644.

The following packages are available for 2014:

 GOLD PACKAGE 

–          Seated on Grand Stand (West Lower)
–          Includes all 8 Super Rugby home games
–          Includes any possible Super Rugby play-off or semi-final
–          Includes all 5 Absa Currie Cup home games
–          Includes any possible Absa Currie Cup semi-final match
–          Includes one Test ticket (Springboks vs All Blacks)

With Parking: R3100 per person             (R2790 if purchased before Christmas)

Without Parking: R2300 per person       (R2070 if purchased before Christmas)

 RED PACKAGE A

–          Seated on East Lower or West Upper stand
–          Includes all 8 Super Rugby home games
–          Includes any possible Super Rugby play-off or semi-final
–          Includes all 5 Absa Currie Cup home games
–          Includes any possible Absa Currie Cup semi-final match
–          Includes one Test ticket (Springboks vs All Blacks)

With Parking: R2450 per person               (R2205 if purchased before Christmas)

Without Parking: R1600 per person          (R1440 if purchased before Christmas)

RED PACKAGE B

–          Seated on East Upper stand
–          Includes all 8 Super Rugby home games
–          Includes any possible Super Rugby play-off or semi-final
–          Includes all 5 Absa Currie Cup home games
–          Includes any possible Absa Currie Cup semi-final match
–          Includes one Test ticket (Springboks vs All Blacks)

With Parking: R2200 per person               (R1980 if purchased before Christmas)

Without Parking: R1360 per person          (R1224 if purchased before Christmas)

FAMILY PACKAGE

–          Seated on East Lower and includes tickets for two adults and two kids (U16)
–          Includes all 8 Super Rugby home games
–          Includes any possible Super Rugby play-off or semi-final
–          Includes all 5 Absa Currie Cup home games
–          Includes any possible Absa Currie Cup semi-final match
–          Includes Test tickets (Springboks vs All Blacks)
–          Includes parking for one car

With Parking: R7300 per package            (R6570 if purchased before Christmas)

Notes:

1. Considering that tickets for the Springboks vs All Blacks test in October 2013 sold for R450 – R650 for similar seats the inclusion of test tickets makes these packages quite attractive.

2. The tickets include any Super Rugby play-off or semi-final games. I like the positive attitude  :)

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Lions vs Kings: The Heat is on

July 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

The Southern Kings will face the MTN Lions on Saturday in a SOLD OUT Ellis Park. When the Kings run on the field they will face a sea of Red in a Lions Den that only sees crowds like this during test matches.

Some international players have said that a full Ellis Park is one of the most intimidating stadiums to play in and the Kings will know that they are behind enemy lines on Saturday when they run on the field.

The Lions made tickets available at a very affordable price to ensure a large crowd but even they didn’t expect a sold out stadium with the last 1000 tickets being sold on Wednesday morning already.

Kings, the heat is on!

The heat is on, on the street
Inside your head, on every beat
And the beat’s so loud, deep inside
The pressure’s high, just to stay alive
‘Cause the heat is on

Glenn Frey, The Heat Is On: http://youtu.be/TpqAUtzWDuw

The Lions will run onto a fast dry pitch with a massive crowd of supporters in the stands so the scene is set but it will be up to the players to go out there and do the work necessary to win the match.

During the week the Lions would have worked on counter-measures to the Kings tactics that gave them some problems last week and the Kings would want to duplicate the pressure they created while forcing the game deep into Lions territory.

The Lions will want to ensure better ball retention from the kick-offs while they will also want to create some space for the backs to run the ball, two areas where the Kings effectively shut them down last week.

At the breakdowns the Kings managed to put a lot of pressure on the Lions scrumhalf and the Lions need to work on protecting the number 9 in order for him to get the ball to his backline.

Although the Lions dominated the set pieces and got their fair share of the ball from the breakdowns the Kings rush defence ensured that the backs were always under pressure while their tactical kicking pinned the Lions in their own half, forcing them to attack from deep. On Saturday the Lions need to find their backs more space to attack from and they need to play more in the Kings half of the field.

Having played one game against the Kings and getting a feel for the increased intensity should help the Lions plan Saturday’s game better and their experience in playing a series of knockout matches to win the Vodacom Cup will also help them maintain focus.

When the Lions take to the field on Saturday the wider impact of a loss cannot be in their minds, they need to focus on doing the basics right and on winning the game.

Both team lost key players to injuries.

The Kings lost Demetri Catrakilis and he has been replaced by George Whitehead who is a competent flyhalf while Scott van Breda comes in on the wing and will also take over the goal kicking duties. Young Shane Gates struggled at inside centre last week and is replaced in the starting XV by Waylon Murray.

The Lions lost Deon van Rensburg and Vian van der Watt but JC Janse van Rensburg, Martin Bezuidenhout and Jaco Kriel should be back at their posts. The one area of concern is at scrumhalf where Ross Cronje might not be fit which may mean that twin Guy Cronje will start and Pumas scrummie, Faf de Klerk, is apparently on standby should he be needed. The Lions will only announce their team on Thursday.

While the first match was tight I think the Lions have enough information now to effectively counter whatever the Kings can throw at them and should win more comfortably on Saturday.

Lions by 15

Post your support messages to the Lions team on the Lions Pride web site: http://lionspride.co.za/support-messages-the-lions-team

Lions: TBA

Kings: 15. SP Marais, 14. Hadleigh Parkes, 13. Ronnie Cooke (Vice Captain), 12. Waylon Murray, 11. Scott van Breda, 10. George Whitehead, 9. Shaun Venter, 8. Jacques Engelbrecht, 7. Wimpie van der Walt, 6. Cornell du Preez, 5. David Bulbring, 4. Darron Nell (Captain), 3. Kevin Buys, 2. Bandise Maku, 1. Schalk Ferreira

Replacements: 16. Charl du Plessis, 17. Hannes Franklin, 18. Steven Sykes, 19. Devin Oosthuizen, 20. Nicolas Vergallo, 21. Wesley Dunlop, 22. Shane Gates

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Springboks vs All Blacks – Ellis Park, 5 October

July 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

The Golden Lions Rugby Union announced that tickets for the test between the Springboks and the All Blacks at Ellis Park on 5 October will go on sale through Computicket from Monday 15 July.

Ticket prices start at R350

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The Lions vs Cheetahs cat fight on Saturday

January 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

The fact that the GLRU and the FSRU have buried the hatchet doesn’t mean that the match between these traditional enemies won’t be a tough one, practice match or not. During the last few years Super Rugby seasons the regular season matches between the Lions and the Cheetahs tended to go to the home side.

For the Cheetahs this is clearly a pre-season “trial” match. With Naka Drotske resting some key players and others still out injured he not only wants to find his best back up players in certain positions but also his best replacements for the injured players.

Up front the Cheetahs will be missing Boks Coenie Oosthuizen and Heinrich Brussow, along with Andries Ferreira, Martin Muller, Phillip van der Walt and Pieter Labuschagne while amongst the backs Bok Johan Goosen, new recruit Johan Sadie, utility Willie Roux and Sevens Bok Rayno Benjamin will also sit out.

Although the Cheetahs are missing a number of key players they have still announced a formidable side to take on Johan Ackermann’s Golden Lions, who themselves are still testing combinations and giving new recruits the opportunity to show what they have.

Ackers has made noises in the media that indicate some large scale chances from the team that beat Russia last week and with centre Alwyn Hollenbach and flank Jaco Kriel back from injury they also should get a run. The Lions team will only be announced on Friday.

The match should be a close affair but I think the Cheetahs scrums are going to struggle against a Lions pack that has continued where they left off last year, even with all the new faces, and that was impressive against a strong Russian forward pack.

At the back the Lions will have to contain the youngster, Raymond Rhule, who made a great debut to senior rugby last year and will be looking at gaining higher honours this year.

Looking at the two teams I get the feeling that my SuperBru projection of the Cheetahs winning by 18 was too pessimistic and that the game will be a much closer match, even if it is just a practice match.

Whatever the match result it will give some indication of the competitive level of the current Lions squad.

Cheetahs:

15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 JP Nel, 12 Robert Ebersohn (k), 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Pieter van Zyl, 8 Boom Prinsloo, 7 Tertius Daniller, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Rossouw de Klerk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Caylib Oosthuizen

Subs: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Ligtoring Landman, 19 Waltie Vermeulen, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Barry Geel, 22 Hansie Graaff

Golden Lions:

15 Marnitz Boshoff,  14 Ruhan Nel, 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Guy Cronje, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Gavin Annandale, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Francois du Toit, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg(c).
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 JJ Breet, 19 Claude Tshibidi, 20 Michael Bondesio, 21 Lionel Cronje, 22 Andries Coetzee

 

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Attending the Lions Challenge matches

January 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

The official attendance figures for the first match of the Lions Challenge against Russia on Saturday was a paltry 4,495 people, definitely not the type of figures the GLRU would have hoped for. Granted, the attendance would have been a bit higher if not for the wet and cold weather conditions but it is doubtful whether it would have reached 10,000 and one can only hope that attendance will improve as the Lions’ Wooden Spoon Knockouts Preparation Programme progresses.

Considering the Ellis Park attendance figures of the past – 2012 Super Rugby: 23,313, 2012 Currie Cup: 19,520 – one probably can expect the Lions Challenge matches to average about 15,000+ per game, with games the South African franchises still to come and games against Samoa,  the French Barbarians and the stronger French clubs Montpellier and Grenoble to come later in the programme.

However, attendances will obviously be affected by the teams especially the SA franchises send to play the Lions. If they use the matches purely as practice matches to give their fringe players a run Ellis Park will be lucky to see 10,000 spectators per game.

People who expect the Lions to fill Ellis Park (60,000+), or to even get around 30k spectators to the games, for the Lions Challenge matches are living in a dream world. The fact is that the average South African rugby supporter do not attend rugby matches, he watches it on TV and past records prove that.

2012 Super Rugby:

During the 2012 Super Rugby competition only the Stormers and the Bulls averaged more than 30,000 spectators per home game.

Stormers: 41,919 (excluding the semi final)
Bulls: 33,562
Sharks: 24,271
Lions: 23,313
Cheetahs: 19,244

Currie Cup:

No team averaged home game attendances of near 30k during either the 2011 or the 2012 Currie Cup seasons with only the Sharks exceeding 20k in 2012.

2012:
Sharks: 21,458 (excluding semi final and final)
FS Cheetahs: 17,262
Golden Lions: 17,035 (excluding the semi final)
Western Province: 16,859
Blue Bulls: 14,199
Griquas: 9,312

2011:
Sharks: 23,025 (excluding semi final)
Golden Lions: 20274 (excluding the semi final and final)
Blue Bulls: 19,964
Western Province: 18,236
FS Cheetahs: 15,450
Griquas: 9,533

(Figures compiled from Wikipedia)

FYI:

Compare this to American football’s average home game attendances:

2012: University of Michigan in Ann Arbor: 112,252 (102.1%) City population: 760,000
2012: Dallas Cowboys: 88,531 (110.7%)

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Golden Lions vs Sharks – Crunch time!

September 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

It was way back in April, April 2010 that is, that the Sharks have last tasted victory at the Coke Tin and they would want to change their fortunes on Saturday, especially now that they have some of their un- or under-utilised Boks, Lwazi Mvovo and Craig Burden, back in the mix.

Captain Courageous retires

The Sharks are making the trek up to the Highveldt with a very strong starting XV where the only real weakness is in the front row. While they are still without Steyn, Lambie and JP Pietersen their backline is still on par with most full strength backlines in the country.

In the Lions camp Captain Courageous, Wikus van Heerden, will be retiring from rugby and it would have been great if the Lions could have accommodated him for a few minutes on the field to allow him to gain his 100th Currie Cup cap for the Lions. Wikus effectively played his last match for the Lions in the Currie Cup final against the Sharks last year after being injured withing the first quarter of the Round 1 Super Rugby match against the Cheetahs.

The Lions made only one change to the team replacing injured Hendrik Roodt with Michael Rhodes but a number of players have been bracketed so it seems there are doubts about Alwyn Hollenbach and Michael Rhodes.

We can expect another strong showing by the Lions in scrums but the halfback pair of Bondesio and Jantjies will hope to get more than 30% ball from their forwards so that they can give more opportunities for the Lions’ danger men at the back, Lionel Mapoe, Ruan Combrinck, Andries Coetzee and Deon Helberg.

Offload by Lionel Mapoe

Since being dropped from the Bok squad Jantjies is playing like a man on a mission and to such an extent that he has converted a number of his biggest critics at SharksWorld (“Those who question his quality are idiots”). Another good performance by SA’s best flyhalf will really test Heyneke Meyer’s resolve in not giving him his Bok opportunity.

There is no doubt that the Lions have the players to beat the Sharks but they really need to sort out their possession problems. Last week’s game against the Cheetahs could easily have gone the other way but for the Lions resolute defence. Against the Sharks, a side with a much better defence than the Cheetahs, lack of possession could just cost them their top of the log spot.

I think we can look forward to a hard fought but entertaining game with both sides very capable of running in tries.

I will stick with history and go with the Lions by 9.

Golden Lions:

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Deon Helberg, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach/Jaco Taute, 11 Ruan Combrinck, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Willie Britz, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco Van der Merwe, 4 Michael Rhodes/Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg (captain)

Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Etienne Oosthuizen/Ruan Botha, 19 Michael Rhodes, 20 Ross Cronje, 21 Butch James, 22 Jaco Taute/Dylan Des Fountain.

Sharks:

15. Louis Ludik, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Tim Whitehead, 12. Meyer Bosman, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Riaan Viljoen, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Keegan Daniel (Capt), 7. Jean Deysel , 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Anton Bresler, 4. Steven Sykes, 3. Wiehahn Herbst, 2. Craig Burden, 1. Dale Chadwick

Replacements
16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Julian Redelinghuys, 18 Jandre Marais, 19 Brynard Stander, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Paul Jordaan, 22 Sibusiso Sithole