Talking points & fan analysis- Sharks 31-24 Lions 30 June 2018

The Lions’ seven game winning streak over the Sharks was broken as the latter kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 31-24 win at Kings Park. The result also means that the Jaguares, who beat the Stormers 25-14 later in the evening in Argentina, could leapfrog the Lions at the top of the South African conference (Lions 41 with 1 to play, Jaguares 38 with two to play).

Poor Lions substitutions:- Perhaps the turning point of the game for the Lions. The Joburg side had set piece dominance over the Sharks, especially at scrum time, and were absolutely bossing the home side for around 55 minutes.

Then, with the Lions camped near the Sharks line, Swys decided for a front row change, and the tide changed in the Sharks’ favour. The home side were able to win a scrum penalty, and the Lions’ set piece advantage was negated for the next twenty minutes.

Poor game management:- As mentioned before, the Lions dominated this game for 55 minutes, with the Sharks left to feed on scraps going forward and having to defend for their lives. However, the visitors opted not to take several kickable shots at goal, perhaps feeling that a bonus point was on at 21-11 (3 Lions tries to one of the Sharks), and that proved to be costly at the end.

Marx v Akker:- This game was effectively one between Malcolm Marx and Akker van der Merwe. Former Lions hooker Akker was one of the best Sharks players on show, and did everything he could to keep his side in the game before being replaced by Chiliboy Ralepelle.

Sharks dig deep for win:- The Sharks lost key loosie Jean-Luc du Preez to injury early in the game. Their early defence wasn’t great either- Lions flanker Cyle Brink should’ve never been allowed to brush aside Makazole Mapimpi and Cameron Wright the way he did for the Lions’ second try. However, the defence was on their own line was far much better, and coupled with the Lions’ poor decision making, kept them in the game.

On attack, the Sharks’ offload game didn’t work in the first half, with handling errors and turnovers robbing them of momentum. It improved after the hour mark, and they were also aided by a gift intercept from Harold Vorster.

Another impressive Sharks player was centre Andre Esterhuizen, the newly capped Springbok who scored a crucial try- his defence was key.

Sharks need another eighth man:- Daniel du Preez hasn’t had the same impact as his twin and the Sharks, who could once boast of unparalleled loose forward depth (remember the days of Coetzee, Alberts, Deysel, Kankowski, Daniel and Botes?), are now scraping the barrel here.

if Duane Vermeulen wants to be in South Africa for the 2019 season, the Sharks should probably attempt to sign him. He would solve their eighth man woes, and with his pilfering abilities, would help the unbalanced Sharks loose trio, who currently have no one really good at effecting turnovers.

Golden Lions and Blue Bulls Super Rugby Attendances 2018

Here are official home crowd & attendance figures for home games involving South African clubs Emirates Lions and the Blue Bulls in Super Rugby 2018. The Lions play at Emirates Airline Park (Ellis Park) in Johannesburg while the Bulls, coached by John Mitchell this year, have their home games at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

Stats last updated after Lions vs Stormers on 7 April, 2018

Blue Bulls Loftus Super Rugby Crowds 2018

Bulls vs Hurricanes 2018 Attendance 9,506 24 February (Bulls 21-19 Canes)
Blue Bulls vs Lions 2018 Attendance 20,789 3 March (Bulls 35-49 Lions)
Blue Bulls vs Stormers 2018 Attendance 23,245 31 March (Bulls 33-23 Stormers)
Blue Bulls v Rebels 2018 Attendance NOT ANNOUNCED 21 April (Bulls 28-10 Rebels)
Blue Bulls vs Highlanders 2018 Attendance NOT ANNOUNCED 28 April (Bulls 28-29 Highlanders)
Blue Bulls vs Sharks 2018 Attendance NOT ANNOUNCED 12 May (Bulls 39-33 Sharks)
Blue Bulls v Brumbies 2018 Attendance 8,189 26 May (Bulls 28-38 Brumbies)

Total Bulls Super Rugby 2018 Attendance:- 61,729

Average Blue Bulls 2018 Attendance:- 15,432 (61729/4) Continue reading “Golden Lions and Blue Bulls Super Rugby Attendances 2018”

GIF Video Kwagga Smith red card vs Crusaders Super Rugby Final 2017 Lions David Havili

This Kwagga Smith red card vs Crusaders saw the Golden Lions reduced to fourteen men in their Super Rugby final. Kwagga collided with David Havili in the air, and although there was no intent, referee Jaco Peyper ruled that it was worthy of a sending off Continue reading “GIF Video Kwagga Smith red card vs Crusaders Super Rugby Final 2017 Lions David Havili”

Warren Whiteley named 58th Springbok Captain- Bok Squad to face France 2017- 31 Man Roster

Golden Lions eighthman Warren Whiteley has been named by coach Allister Coetzee as South Africa’s 58th rugby captain after the retirement of Adriaan Strauss.

While Whiteley has excelled at Super Rugby level and possesses excellent communication and leadership skills, there are a few who still doubt whether he is South Africa’s best option at 8, with his performances not quite at the level of what Duane Vermeulen produced at test level for the Boks. The Stormers loose forward was one of the best players during the Heyneke Meyer era before his departure to French outfit Toulon.

Vermeulen is one of four overseas players included in this squad, with the others being Steven Kitshoff, Francois Hougaard and Frans Steyn.

The Golden Lions (9) and Stormers (7) make up half the squad, with the Bulls (5), Sharks (4), Overseas (4) and Cheetahs (2) finishing the 31 member list. Continue reading “Warren Whiteley named 58th Springbok Captain- Bok Squad to face France 2017- 31 Man Roster”

Video Curwin Bosch penalty kick vs Golden Lions Super Rugby 2017- Monster 62m penalty from 19 year old

Here is a MONSTER penalty kick from young Sharks back Curwin Bosch against the Emirates Lions for the Natal Sharks in their Super Rugby clash in April 2017. Bosch, 19, nailed this 60m+ kick with ease. Aided mildly by the altitude at Ellis Park, but a fantastic kick nevertheless from the teenager Continue reading “Video Curwin Bosch penalty kick vs Golden Lions Super Rugby 2017- Monster 62m penalty from 19 year old”

Emirates Golden Lions & Blue Bulls Super Rugby Attendances 2017 Season

Here are crowds for home games involving South African franchises Emirates Lions (Johannesburg based) and the Vodacom Bulls (Pretoria based) for the 2017 Super Rugby season. The Lions were runners up in 2016 while the Bulls are the only RSA based franchise to win Super Rugby (2007, 2009 and 2010)

Posted last updated after Blue Bulls vs Highlanders game on 13 May, 2017 Continue reading “Emirates Golden Lions & Blue Bulls Super Rugby Attendances 2017 Season”

Currie Cup Semifinals 2016- Free State Cheetahs v Lions & Blue Bulls v Western Province

Free State v Golden Lions and Blue Bulls v WP have been confirmed as the two semifinals for the 2016 Currie Cup following an exciting last round of fixtures that saw the Lions battle past the Sharks at Ellis Park and WP squeak a victory over Boland.

The Lions trailed 10-0 to the Sharks at the break but a timely yellow card to Francois Kleinhans saw them stage a second half revival and their superior fitness proved advantageous in the last 20 minutes of the rarefied atmosphere in Johannesburg.

Video Warren Whiteley vs Argentina 2016- Whiteley almost botches kick but manages to run it out

Funny bit of play from Springbok No.8 Warren Whiteley in the dying minutes of his side’s Rugby Championship win against Argentina. Whiteley attempts to kick the ball out as the clock reaches 80 minutes, but his attempt is a botched one. However he redeems himself by catching the ball and then running it out.

Just minutes earlier, Whiteley had scored the winning try for the Boks Continue reading “Video Warren Whiteley vs Argentina 2016- Whiteley almost botches kick but manages to run it out”

GIF Video Jaco Kriel vs Matt Faddes | Kriel shows great pace & saves try in Lions-Highlanders Super Rugby Semifinal

Fantastic pace shown from Lions flanker Jaco Kriel to effect this try saver on Highlanders centre Matt Faddes in their Super Rugby semifinal at Ellis Park on 30 July, 2016 Continue reading “GIF Video Jaco Kriel vs Matt Faddes | Kriel shows great pace & saves try in Lions-Highlanders Super Rugby Semifinal”

Super Rugby 2016 Quarterfinals Confirmed- Lions v Crusaders & Canes v Sharks in Playoffs

The Playoff lineup for Super Rugby 2016 (effectively the quarterfinals with eight teams in it) has been determined and last season’s champions the Highlanders will travel to Canberra to take on Australian leaders the Brumbies. South African conference winners the Lions will host the Crusaders while the table topping Hurricanes will square off against the Sharks in Wellington. Dave Rennie’s Chiefs will have to make the long trip to Cape Town to take on the Stormers, who have not faced a single Kiwi side in this year’s competition Continue reading “Super Rugby 2016 Quarterfinals Confirmed- Lions v Crusaders & Canes v Sharks in Playoffs”