Richard Ferguson

Super Rugby preview – Lions


Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Lions, Original Content, Super Rugby on 22 Feb 2012 at 07:35
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

Our third local preview takes us to the current Currie Cup champions, the Lions. After finishing last in the 2011 campaign, after a much improved performance compared to the 2010 season where they lost every single match, coach John Mitchell will hope for another improvement and possibly a spot close to the top 10.

The Lions have a young looking squad, but these players have now had a good 18 months to settle into their positions and build combinations, in other words, the squad as a whole looks settled. They have unfortunately lost one of the Springboks in Bandise Maku for a large chunk of the season, but in Callie Visagie they have an exciting talent that may surprise us all.

Key players in key positions make all the difference in a youthful squad, with CJ van der Linde adding his wealth of knowledge in the front row and Wikus van Heerden adding his weight in the second row. It is amongst the loosies that the Lions have a good balance with Josh Strauss coming into his own as the captain of the squad.

The backline is a bit suspect, as it lacks that real edge in players who can break the line cleanly, but in Elton Jantjies they have an exciting pivot that can set alight any game, and with his kicking boots, will be racking up the points. His service from the base of the scrum will most likely come from Michael Bondesio, a player that will have to step up this season.

In the centres Doppies la Grange, Alwyn Hollenbach and Waylon Murray are solid and reasonable consistent as well, and in Jaco Taute they have one of the most exciting fullbacks to come through our youth in a very long time.

As mentioned, the player I tip to make a name for himself this year is Callie Visagie, and keep an eye on Jantjies and Taute, you will be seeing them in the Green and Gold sooner than you might imagine.

As for a prediction, I feel the Lions have quite a bit of momentum coming into this season, and will carry it forward with good displays against the South African franchises. The telling factor for them will be how well they do against the Aussie and New Zealand teams, and whether they will be able to pick up points from them.



14 Comments

  • Lions should finish well..could battle it out for 3rd spot in the conference..but they will need to win their home games though…

  • Comment 1, posted at 22.02.12 07:43:21 by shaniboi Reply
    shaniboiVodacom Cup player
     
  • wait .. this article is almost positive sounding hehe .

    Im just hoping we can end above the Cheetahs . Thats my aim for the Season . And the First steps will be taken on Saturday !!!

  • Comment 2, posted at 22.02.12 07:44:56 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
    ZibbieTeam captain
     
  • @shaniboi (Comment 1) :

    between the article and this comment i have to keep on checking the URL …

  • Comment 3, posted at 22.02.12 07:47:59 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
    ZibbieTeam captain
     
  • Is Bandise the only injury concern? Thought CJ and Murray was out as well?

    I feel the lions could surprise. Obviously not win it don`t get me wrong, but they should be around 7th or 8th this year.
    Of course they have the dreaded depth problem. And there will be a selection headache for coach Mitchell.
    Go with the vice captain in mid-field or Hollenbach and Mapoe?

  • Comment 4, posted at 22.02.12 07:49:56 by Original Pierre Reply
    Author
    Original PierreSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 4) :

    Cj should be back by latest second round but he should play this weekend .

    Murray im not sure but he started running recently so im not sure
    .

    VC at 13 .

    Hollenbach should be the starting 12 .

  • Comment 5, posted at 22.02.12 07:53:19 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
    ZibbieTeam captain
     
  • @Zibbie (Comment 5) :

    VC?

  • Comment 6, posted at 22.02.12 07:59:30 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard FergusonCoach
     
  • @Zibbie (Comment 5) :
    @Richard Ferguson (Comment 6) :

    Oh, vice captain.. sorry..

  • Comment 7, posted at 22.02.12 07:59:53 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard FergusonCoach
     
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 6) :

    Sorry was just thinking that might be confusing .

    @Richard Ferguson (Comment 7) :

    Yes Doppies .

  • Comment 8, posted at 22.02.12 08:01:04 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
    ZibbieTeam captain
     
  • @Zibbie (Comment 5) : But surely Mapoe should start at 13 not VC? :shock:

  • Comment 9, posted at 22.02.12 08:05:11 by Original Pierre Reply
    Author
    Original PierreSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 9) :

    VC is an extra Fetcher . Besides he made the first try against the Sharks in the final . :mrgreen:

  • Comment 10, posted at 22.02.12 08:08:40 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
    ZibbieTeam captain
     
  • Well if it means you can start without slow poke Van Rensburg I guess it should work for you.

  • Comment 11, posted at 22.02.12 08:16:06 by Original Pierre Reply
    Author
    Original PierreSuper Rugby player
     
  • Fair preview Richard and hopefully they can go on and do better than a top 10 finish.

    In my stocking I’d like a top 8 finish and a third spot in the SA conference …this however as you quite rightly point out will depend on injuries cause depth is an issue.

  • Comment 12, posted at 22.02.12 09:39:55 by csb Reply

    csbSuper Rugby player
     
  • @csb (Comment 12) :

    I aim to be as fair as possible..

    If they can close out close games, and be a bit more commanding on their home ground against overseas teams, they can do it.

  • Comment 13, posted at 22.02.12 09:43:05 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard FergusonCoach
     
  • going to be an interesting season.

  • Comment 14, posted at 22.02.12 15:34:53 by MJ Reply

    MJUnder 21 player
     

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.