Whindy

Lions Tour 2009- Opportunity missed


Written by Gavin Whindus (Whindy)

Posted in :2009 Lions Tour, Original Content on 24 Jun 2009 at 09:49
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I have been looking forward to this tour since the end of the world Cup. The first game of rugby, I ever attended was as a 12 year old on a Wednesday afternoon, when the all conquering 74 lions took on the Quagga Barbarians at the old Ellis Park, and but for poor refereeing they would have lost their unbeaten record, it was the front runner to the Piet van Zyl’s of the world and the ref, a Mr. Ian Gourlay, was assaulted and pelted with naartjies after the game, the passion was something I had never experienced before. The Fly half was an unknown up and coming 19 year old, Peter Kirsten and his inside centre Gavin Cowley. The game left a huge impression on me and I have played and been a fan ever since.

Now I ask, what an opportunity, SARU have just missed out on ,getting families and youngsters to a game so they too could be taken by this game that we love so much, but the greed that is so much part of our society today, was far more important than investing in the game for the future, by enticing youngsters interest and converting them into Rugby lovers with a sense of the good old traditions of the game, a tour that only comes around every 12 years is something special and SARU have failed miserably in promoting the wonderful values of the game.

SARU saw “pounds “ and lots of them and bumped the prices up to the extent that nobody would spend that amount of money to watch a game, especially in the light of the economic crisis, they basically have put the game beyond the average SA family, and definitely out of the range of the previously disadvantaged Kids who can barely scrape enough money for a meal, let alone a game of rugby, yet this is the next generation of Rugby players and spectators, who they supposedly want to attract to the game, and who are so important for the future of the game. There seems to be a lack of communication between the development department and the marketing department, because eventually the two go hand in hand and without players you don’t have a product. Yes I know they will always have players, but will they always have fans with an intimate knowledge and love of the game and traditions or am I just old school and must face the fact that those days are over, maybe!!

The other area I think SARU failed dismally in, was the itinerary, and again I understand that it is a congested calendar at international level and there are only certain windows for such a tour to take place, but people have been waiting for 12 years, you don’t start the tour out in the gramedoelas on the same week-end as the Super 14 final or did we not expect any of our teams to make it. I think it would have been an ideal start if the had played the Super Kings down in PE, obviously I have the benefit of hind sight, but here is an area that has not seen top flight rugby for a while, it was obvious you would get a fairly decent crowd in, imagine if you had charged affordable prices, what you would have achieved, a sellout crowd, but instead we go to a stadium which with all due respect to the Bafokeng people is in the middle of nowhere and granted the Super 14 final definitely had a bearing on the numbers, but people do not want to travel so far to watch a game of rugby and the Bafokeng tribe would probably have been happier if Bafana Bafana were playing soccer there rather than rugby, so take it to an area like the Eastern Cape, where people are interested in Rugby, again its about developing a love for the game, much easier if you are already keen!!

I can’t blame SARU for the Golden Lions debacle, but I can blame them for not releasing the Boks for the games against the Lions. The Lions should have faced provincial sides with there regular players, this tour only happens every 12 years it is not going to kill these players to play a couple of extra games , have SARU learnt nothing from the Curry Cup, when the Boks play the crowds come, when they are depleted sides they don’t, very simple, happens every year. The Lions deserved that respect and SARU should have afforded it to them.

If the Lions tradition is to continue and I for one hope it does, then the British Lions committee need to have a meeting with the home union, they are playing and lay down their expectations to them. SARU also have to take a long hard look at themselves after this tour and ask was it a success? Did they achieve what they wanted? Why are the crowds dwindling? Is it time to follow the Aussies and have blackout stadiums in the home town on match day, not sure M Net would be all that keen, but the dwindling crowds must be an area for concern. I have loved the hype and interest around the Lions Tour. I think Ian McGeechan has delivered a tour, he can be proud of, the traditions that broke down so badly under Woodward, have been restored and hopefully the players who have toured will go back and spread the excitement and what a privilege it has been to become a Lion. I for one hope I will be around in 12 years time, to witness the next tour!!



35 Comments

  • So true

  • Comment 1, posted at 24.06.09 10:35:10 by Claytie Reply
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  • yeah – agree 100%

  • Comment 2, posted at 24.06.09 10:50:14 by robdylan Reply
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  • Well – we’ll see RED again this weekend…

  • Comment 3, posted at 24.06.09 11:00:18 by blackshark Reply

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  • Very well said and totally agree.

  • Comment 4, posted at 24.06.09 11:05:55 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply

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  • this is just another long whinded way of saying what we all know. SA Rugby is run by tossers and imbeciles.

  • Comment 5, posted at 24.06.09 11:16:48 by try time (superrugby's kryptonite is SANZAR) Reply

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  • @try time (superrugby’s kryptonite is SANZAR) (Comment 5) :

    Did you just say- SA Rugby is run by tossers and imbeciles? :twisted:

  • Comment 6, posted at 24.06.09 11:28:44 by blackshark Reply

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  • @try time (superrugby’s kryptonite is SANZAR) (Comment 5) :

    Its nice that someone took the timeout to speak with passion on the subject ..is it a bad thing being reminded of it from time to time..

    If I was any good at expressing myself Id have tried cause its really bugged me throughout the series.

  • Comment 7, posted at 24.06.09 11:37:07 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply

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  • @CoffeeShopBok;-) (Comment 7) :

    Next time use the ‘ignore’ button when you see one of try time’s comments… :twisted:

  • Comment 8, posted at 24.06.09 12:08:10 by wpw Reply
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  • Sorry to bore you try time :roll:

  • Comment 9, posted at 24.06.09 12:39:51 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Whindy (Comment 9) : :)

  • Comment 10, posted at 24.06.09 13:08:28 by robdylan Reply
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  • Penny wise, Pound foolish.

    Agree that the ticket prices are ludicrous, and incredibly the project manager for SARU for this tour excuse is that this is not a normal series, this is a Lions series…

    Idiot, it is still only 80 minutes of rugby watching players we see almost every weekend in the Currie Cup, Super 14 and European leagues!

    As for the next generation, if anyone thought that SARU was in any way serious about ‘bringing the game to the people’ you are living in a fools paradise.

    On releasing the players, no biggie in my view, you cannot compare it to tours of the past, they were much longer and allowed for players to be released and recover in time.

  • Comment 11, posted at 24.06.09 13:10:32 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 11) :

    Amen

  • Comment 12, posted at 24.06.09 13:13:13 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 11) : But Morne then dont charge the prices they are charging for the provincial games, and why bother to have a lions tour at all, if you are going to put them up against second rate sides?

  • Comment 13, posted at 24.06.09 13:15:57 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Whindy (Comment 13) :

    I agree, why charge those prices, I am not arguing that fact. Even if all the Boks were released those prices are ridiculous and I will refuse to pay it.

    And I do not know so much about second rate sides…

    Our Bok squad consists of 28 players.

    If in a country where we are supposedly the second riches when it comes to playing numbers, have 150 elite players selected every year in Super rugby squads, struggle with our top 28 players out, then our country is in serious shit and we are delusional when it comes to the talent we have.

  • Comment 14, posted at 24.06.09 13:25:10 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 14) :

    I can understand the need to play against a combined SEC team in the Kings, and even perhaps the Royals holds a good case too where all our provinces outside the CC premier league teams can combine in a team to take on the Lions as those player will cherish that till the day they die.

    The Cheetahs and WP gave a good account of themselves, the Sharks unfortunately not. The Lions are just plain shit.

    One massive gripe I have is this Emerging Bok side…

    I would much rather see they play against our A-side where capped and uncapped players can be selected.

    Players like Kanko, Wynand and the many more currently just sitting on their arses together with young up and coming talents, can then also be included and smash these Poms good and proper.

  • Comment 15, posted at 24.06.09 13:29:30 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 14) : Amen…Super 14 squad minus a handful of players should still offer decent competition…but it looks like some /most teams were struggling to put up decent S14 squads to begin with…so…where have the players gone?

  • Comment 16, posted at 24.06.09 13:33:40 by blackshark Reply

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  • @blackshark (Comment 16) :

    Or what has happened to the development of players?

    Our registered player numbers have not suddenly crashed although I agree with Vinnie they are far from accurate – but we have the numbers…

  • Comment 17, posted at 24.06.09 13:36:49 by Morné Reply
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  • @blackshark (Comment 16) : I’ll give you a clue… it start with “E” and ends with “urope”…

  • Comment 18, posted at 24.06.09 13:39:00 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 18) :

    No still cant get it… :twisted:

  • Comment 19, posted at 24.06.09 13:41:14 by Morné Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 18) :

    Piet Vagien, is that you??? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 20, posted at 24.06.09 13:43:00 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 20) : Rob Linde are the best lock in the worlds

  • Comment 21, posted at 24.06.09 13:52:14 by robdylan Reply
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  • bwahahahahaha :lol:

  • Comment 22, posted at 24.06.09 14:34:24 by wpw Reply
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  • And the next Honibal is playings second divisions rukby in Frankryk

  • Comment 23, posted at 24.06.09 14:47:42 by Claytie Reply
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  • @Claytie (Comment 23) : what were that okes name? Hough something?

  • Comment 24, posted at 24.06.09 14:50:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • Andre Hough :???:

  • Comment 25, posted at 24.06.09 14:53:11 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 25) : vat it are

  • Comment 26, posted at 24.06.09 14:54:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Claytie (Comment 23) :

    @robdylan (Comment 26) :

    A Belgian add competition will help you guys with your funntalking :-)
    http://www.whotookmybadjas.be

  • Comment 27, posted at 24.06.09 15:00:04 by Ollie Reply

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  • @wpw (Comment 25) : THATS HIM!

  • Comment 28, posted at 24.06.09 15:15:27 by Claytie Reply
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  • and they dont even show it on SABC, although soccer and T20(which was in England) must be watched coz nothing else is on :mad: :evil:

  • Comment 29, posted at 24.06.09 18:02:03 by JarsonX Reply
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  • hey i live in rustenburg (read gramedoelas) and my old lady works for the bafokeng. i went to the lions game, it was cool. stadium would have been much much fuller if not for the clash with the bulls, that was just dumb.

  • Comment 30, posted at 24.06.09 20:17:00 by knersboy Reply

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  • What always amazes me about these kind of discussions is the amazement that SARU is knobbing the public….its their MO.

    They know no other way.

  • Comment 31, posted at 25.06.09 09:28:27 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
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  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 31) : and the even better part is we normally bend over and take it. Things are definitely getting tighter though, because when last did you see a test that was not sold out, but again the Saru boy comes out with a pearler, it’s because the Lions are no name players, that’s why? How insulting is that, they really are the biggest bunch of idiots on the earth

  • Comment 32, posted at 25.06.09 09:35:25 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Whindy (Comment 32) : Idiots indeed. Nice arti btw.

  • Comment 33, posted at 25.06.09 10:03:40 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
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  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 33) : Thanks

  • Comment 34, posted at 25.06.09 10:07:37 by Whindy Reply
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  • Jeez Whindy great memory, I can recall Ian Gourlay and what happened to him. He actually was from Durban and worked in the same building as my father at the time and I can recall my father telling me Ian arrived at work a day or two later with a pair of black eyes! The game you mention, if I am not wrong, McGeechan was playing f/half against Peter Kirtsen that day. I do however stand to be corrected on this.

  • Comment 35, posted at 26.06.09 06:00:59 by Fierce Allegiance Reply

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