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by Baylion

No honeymoon for the Lions

January 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

Last year the Southern Kings enjoyed a honeymoon year in the media where they were praised for their defence (based on tackles made) and their guts and commitment. The Lions can be sure that they will not receive similar treatment and they will be trashed for any failures and losses.

There will be no honeymoon for the Lions even though they are essentially starting with a brand new and inexperienced squad with only 12 players in their extended training squad having played more than 10 Super Rugby matches.

Players with 10+ Super Rugby games and who will form the backbone of the Lions team:

Andries Coetzee (13), Deon van Rensburg (40), Dylan Des Fountain (23), Lionel Mapoe (39), Alwyn Hollenbach (15), Elton Jantjies (39), Warren Whiteley (20), Derick Minnie (44), Martin Muller (14), Franco van der Merwe (89), Bees Rous (31), Willie Wepener (62)

Another 10 players have played less than 10 Super Rugby games.

Players with 1 to 9 Super Rugby games and key players to make the step up:

Anthony Volmink (4), Deon Helberg (1), Ruan Combrinck (7), Stefan Watermeyer (Pumas) (1), Ross Cronje (7), Michael Bondesio (7), Thabo Mamojele (1), Lambert Groenewald (1), Jaco Kriel (7), Ruan Dreyer (4)

This leaves the extended practice squad with 42 players who have not played Super Rugby before.

Rookies who showed they could be key during 2014:

Ruhan Nel, Chrysander Botha, Stokkies Hanekom, Marnitz Boshoff, Warwick Tecklenburg, Chris van Zyl, Ruan VEnter, Franco Mostert, Hugo Kloppers, Julian Redelinghuys, Robbie Coetzee

Irrespective of which players will be in the final Super Rugby squad, the rest will serve as injury back up and will need to make use of the opportunities they may get to play to establish themselves.

Make no mistake the Lions are in for a tough year, both on the field and off, and the media will be watching them with hawk eyes but the opportunity for individual players to not only cement their positions but to make names for themselves are great.

I believe we have a number of “unknowns”, currently “known” only to Lions supporters, who can be very influential in the the Lions’ performances this year and all one can do is to wish all the players year of great performances, both as individuals and as a team.

Originally published on Lions Pride

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by Baylion

It’s not about Super Rugby

August 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

This week 11 of South Africa’s rugby unions, together with SARU, voted the Lions out of Super Rugby. While superficially this may seem a simple matter, it’s not.

Basically, these 11 unions, and SARU, said that SA rugby can do without the Golden Lions Rugby Union, their clubs, their junior rugby structures and their schools rugby structures. These 11 unions said that, compared to three minor unions who haven’t achieved anything of note in their entire existence, the GLRU is irrelevant.

Let’s face it, with their struggles over the last year or so, the chances of the GLRU surviving, financially once they lose their sponsors or competitively once they lose their best players, is minimal. But that’s what SA’s rugby unions and bosses decided they want – South African rugby without the Lions or any of their subordinate structures.

It is a difficult decision for me as a longtime Lions supporter to accept but reading the comments on many of the web sites it seems that most people are OK with it. They accept the fact that the politicians have taken over SA rugby.

Oh, they will complain when the Springbok emblem finally disappears in a year or to but they will accept that as well.

Let me tell you: any rugby supporter who accepts the way the Lions were stabbed in the back by the senior unions who promised their support (currently the only thing that is certain is that the Free State Rugby Union is one of the back stabbers but with only two unions voting for the Lions at least one of the Sharks, WP or Blue Bulls also stabbed us in the back), any supporter who continues to support these unions deserve it when the Springbok emblem disappears, they deserve it when the Springbok team includes players not selected on merit, they deserve everything they get in future.

The way I feel at the moment I will not be watching Super Rugby anymore, I will not support a Springbok team that includes players from unions that voted to kill off the Lions; in short, I will not support South African rugby.

I deleted my Baylion blog after SARU’s decision was known and later created this one but maybe that was a mistake. I gave it a lot of thought today, this whole issue is still too raw and maybe I need to take a break for a while.

But for the the moment:

Go Golden Lions!!!

Go All Blacks!!!

Edit: Having slept on it I think I will try and use this blog to get some closure, hopefully without out being too negative.