Richard Ferguson

Kings – Yes? No? Maybe?!

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Cheetahs, EP Kings, Lions, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 9 May 2012 at 12:00
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The EP Kings have been promised Super Rugby from 2013 onwards, as we are all aware, but what this leaves us with is speculation as to how exactly this will happen. It’s now been a few months since this announcement/promise was made, and still we are left scratching our heads.

The uncertainty around the Kings’ inclusion and potential exclusion of another South African franchise has dominated each article that remotely relates to local talent, the Kings or even the Lions. I do not blame supporters of either the Kings or Lions though, as SARU are yet to make a final decision and each of these two teams are left hoping for the best.

I mention the Lions purely because they are, and will most likely be, the wooden spoonist in the South African conference, but for politically correctness, I should include the Cheetahs in this discussion as well, as one of the options remain that these two feline franchises join forces, as they have previously, and form the Cats, version 2.0.

Let me begin by stating my opinion on this matter. From a business point of view, the Kings do not stand a chance of being involved in the Super Rugby competition next year. With contracts signed until 2015, and sponsorship deals signed on the assumption that said contract until 2015 will be honoured, there is too big a financial burden to simply drop either of the current franchises. In my mind, this whole debacle will blow over and we will see the same teams taking part in Super Rugby next year.

Looking towards a long term solution, not only for the current Kings dilemma, but also considering the current format and how it simply is not working, something will need to be done by the men involved to save this competition from becoming ridiculous. A few weeks ago, the Brumbies were sitting in third spot thanks to their automatic play-off rule, but based on points could not even make the top 6. This has since changed slightly, with the Brumbies winning more games and now actually deserving of a spot in the top 6, but not certain of any home play-off.

The fact is simply that the local derbies are killing this competition, and we see that every Saturday morning, how the New Zealand games attract a decent South African viewership, only for the Australian derbies to be watched only by old people who are not allowed to drive anymore and have nothing better to do than fall asleep to a rugby match.

My solution, although very simplistic, is to open the competition up to as many teams as they can find who would like to take part, have a preliminary round of matched, per conference, which would then determine the Top 3 or Top 4 per nation, and these teams will then face each other in a Super 9 or Super 12 competition. It might extend the competition somewhat, or if the preliminary round robin matches are only once off matches and not home and away as we see currently, it might even reduce the length of the tournament.

That would then save us all the trouble of deciding whether the Kings deserve to be in the competition, and each team will then have their destiny in their own hands. The quality of rugby in the Super 9 or Super 12 will be so much greater, that we will all want to sit and watch every single match of every single weekend. Let’s be honest, when last did you really want to watch every game on a weekend?

This solution might do harm to our beloved Currie Cup, but in reality, the harm to our Currie Cup is already done, and with the amount of times teams face each other in Super Rugby, are we really going to get excited for a Bulls/Sharks Currie Cup clash?

Super Rugby was a fantastic idea, created by a rugby genius in Louis Luyt, but if something is not done to curb the current problems, both internally and externally, this once fantastic campaign might just become another run-of-the-mill competition.


  • With the advent of the Rugby Championship, there will be more pressure on SANZAR to include some of the Argentinian Clubs in Super Rugby.

    This maybe wishful thinking, but ideally it would solve many problems if we introduce four Argentinean clubs and add the Kings to that conference.

    Then again, I like your idea of scrapping this stupid conference system, which one finds extremely unjust, as seen by the Brumbies example.

  • Comment 1, posted at 09.05.12 12:12:29 by Mocho Reply
    MochoVodacom Cup player
  • I love this idea – I absolutely hate the S15

    However the Newscorps want to shove more matches down our throats – not fewer.

  • Comment 2, posted at 09.05.12 12:15:04 by Bokhoring Reply
    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • A good article, Richard, but the fact is that the Kings have been guaranteed a place in the S15 next year. in fact, at this point in time they are the only guaranteed SA franchise.SARU were banking on SA being allowed a 6th team and now that this plan has been rejected by Sanzar, they are in deep doody.

  • Comment 3, posted at 09.05.12 12:15:20 by Stu Reply
    StuUnder 21 player
  • another arti, Rich your on fire today :-)

  • Comment 4, posted at 09.05.12 12:18:23 by Franshark Reply
    FransharkTeam captain
  • The conference system is a bust! We should drop back to super 12, with 4 teams from each country, and the top 4 teams in the domestic competitions are the ones that get selected.

    These 4 teams can then draft players in from teams that don’t qualify if they have injuries or areas of weakness that need to be filled. The contracting of Super players should follow the NZ model so that we don’t see another Bismarck/John situation where a talented player is forced to sit on the bench. Craig Burden would also have benefitted from more game time at another franchise over the years and would have been a strong contender to start anywhere…except ahead of 2 of the world’s best at the Sharks!

    This model would eliminate the boring conferences and reduce the amount of rugby played by top players from all 3 nations!

  • Comment 5, posted at 09.05.12 12:18:45 by ChrisS Reply
    ChrisSSuper Rugby player
  • First and foremost, the SR format sucks! The best of the best is not getting a true shot at the cup. They should take points, regardless of conference, and the top teams should advance – like it used to be.

    How about a SA playoff for inclusion? Kings need to challenge bottom 3 on the log and win all to advance or win a CC before they can play a relegation match against the bottom team.. :twisted:

  • Comment 6, posted at 09.05.12 12:22:29 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner IceAssistant coach
  • its been said a few times but i still like the idea of Champions league soccer . Each nation is awarded a certain amount of spots . The top 4 teams in England and the top 4 in span ect go through . and guess what ? if man unit is not in the top 4 .. tuff stuff ..

    Australia could maybe join into the ITM cup for a start . Maybe award 8 spots to ITM cup teams and the top 4 Currie Cup teams .

    that would make it much more interesting.

    i miss the days where Super rugby was something different . you play Currie cup against all the local teams and then you play the over seas teams in Super Rugby . Local derbies in Super rugby has always bored me .. The lions played against the sharks in the Currie cup .. why do we want to see that again ?

  • Comment 7, posted at 09.05.12 12:22:30 by Zibbie Reply
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  • Why not incorporate the Currie Cup into our qualifiers?

    Do away with the Vodacom Cup, Varsity Cup has more support anyway, and we have a 14 team Currie Cup, 1 round, top 4 or 5 teams progress to Super Rugby.

    This would make every game in the Currie Cup interesting and would mean even the little guy has a shot to get through.

    The 4 teams to qualify could then contract whoever they needed from the other provinces who didn’t make it to strengthen their squads. This would ensure that all available talent gets a chance.

  • Comment 8, posted at 09.05.12 12:29:31 by StevieS Reply
    StevieSSuper Rugby player
  • @StevieS (Comment 8) :

    there we go !!!! i like

  • Comment 9, posted at 09.05.12 12:33:06 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @StevieS (Comment 8) : @Zibbie (Comment 9) : Only problem is that the Sharks don’t have a decent Varsity Cup team through which we could blood our up-and-coming young players!

    We need the Vodacom Cup to give fringe Super Squad members a chance to stay fit.

  • Comment 10, posted at 09.05.12 12:40:17 by ChrisS Reply
    ChrisSSuper Rugby player
  • @ChrisS (Comment 10) : This is one of the things the Sharks need to do.

    WP and the Bulls are reaping the rewards of their strong Varsity Cup teams.

    @Zibbie (Comment 9) : Thanks :grin:

  • Comment 11, posted at 09.05.12 12:41:38 by StevieS Reply
    StevieSSuper Rugby player
  • @ChrisS (Comment 10) : Is there not a required number of registered students in the Varsity Cup teams anyway?

  • Comment 12, posted at 09.05.12 12:43:05 by Bokhoring Reply

    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 12) : Yes there is, and those not full-time have to be registered for at least one course and players have to pass 33.33% of their courses each year to remain eligible.

  • Comment 13, posted at 09.05.12 12:44:32 by StevieS Reply
    StevieSSuper Rugby player
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 12) : There is a limit of 5 non-student members per team I think.

    The thing that concerns me is that there’s also an age limit of 25 so players like Viljoen, Ludik etc. would get no game time if they aren’t in the Super match over the weekend.

    The ideal situation is Vodacom Cup during the Super tournament AND a KZN Varsity side made up of our Natal U21′s and other young fringe players. The Currie Cup (all 14 teams as Steve said) should decide which 4 teams play the following year.

  • Comment 14, posted at 09.05.12 12:47:03 by ChrisS Reply
    ChrisSSuper Rugby player
  • @ChrisS (Comment 10) :

    We can still have the Vodacomcup . why get rid of it ? not everything has to be international standard . Keep the players fit and ready to go .

  • Comment 15, posted at 09.05.12 12:49:00 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 15) : I didn’t say get rid of it, StevieS did

  • Comment 16, posted at 09.05.12 12:50:44 by ChrisS Reply
    ChrisSSuper Rugby player
  • @ChrisS (Comment 14) : I would not go for all 14 CC teams. The bottom 6 teams have no realistic chance to get into the top 3, and playing 13 rounds before super rugby starts would drag the season out too long

  • Comment 17, posted at 09.05.12 12:54:03 by Bokhoring Reply

    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 17) : The main criteria for such a qualifying round should be that all teams have their strongest (e.g. Bok) players available – so it should ideally be at the start of the season

  • Comment 18, posted at 09.05.12 12:56:55 by Bokhoring Reply

    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 17) : I’m thinking go back to how it used to be where the Currie Cup was all 14 teams at the end of the year. The top 4 teams (semi-finalists) then make the Super 12 for the following year and can top their squads up with quality players from the other regions.

  • Comment 19, posted at 09.05.12 12:59:24 by ChrisS Reply
    ChrisSSuper Rugby player
  • @ChrisS (Comment 19) : But then you need to ensure the Currie Cup does not overlap with the Rugby Championship (new 4 nations) and the end of year tours – so that the Boks can play a decent part. Otherwise it would not be fair to teams with major Bok call-ups

  • Comment 20, posted at 09.05.12 13:02:52 by Bokhoring Reply

    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • @StevieS (Comment 8) :
    @ChrisS (Comment 19) :

    I think you guys get the point I was making, but..

    I do not think the idea of ‘topping-up’ on players from the Unions that do not qualify can work..

    The admin, both internally (ie salary and where the player is contracted to) and externally (ie eligibility and jumping from one union to another mid season etc) would be impossible and is just not realistic..

    It will take one or two years , but there will eventually be an even balance of Springboks in the strongest four teams, like it is at the moment, looking at the Lions and their single digit Boks..

  • Comment 21, posted at 09.05.12 13:05:07 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • A pity the Sharks academy can’t participate in the Varcity Cup. Almost the same thing? I sometimes wonder how much time some of these players spend in class? The fifth Australian franchise is downgrading the quality of the game the Australians are playing. Merge 2 of their teams and bring in the Kings so that we can sit back, laugh and say, I told you so.

  • Comment 22, posted at 09.05.12 13:07:59 by Bite me Reply

    Bite meVodacom Cup player
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 21) : It does not have to be permanent = i.e. the original team owns the player and is reimbursed for his use.

    The Cheetahs have just drafted Watts from the Boland for the S15 team – I am pretty sure it works that way right now

  • Comment 23, posted at 09.05.12 13:08:32 by Bokhoring Reply

    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 23) :

    It shouldn’t really, because the Boland Cavaliers are linked to the Stormers Super Rugby franchise..

    I am all for a system where players get shifted between unions on a basis so that everybody is happy and we don’t have a guy sitting on the bench all season..

  • Comment 24, posted at 09.05.12 13:11:03 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 21) : @Bokhoring (Comment 23) : That’s why I suggested central contracts as an option for the Super 12/14/15 or whatever it’ll be.

    NZ currently do that to ensure that the best players play. At the moment no Kings players are involved and you’d have thought their eighthman, Jacque Engelbrecht (think he’s the one who played Sharks trials last year), would have been ideal to draft in. Or maybe even Luke Watson since he’s played for the Stormers before.

  • Comment 25, posted at 09.05.12 13:12:19 by ChrisS Reply
    ChrisSSuper Rugby player
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 24) : Agreed! That was my point about Burden. He made his debut years ago and only has a handful of caps when he’d be pushing for international honours in most countries!

  • Comment 26, posted at 09.05.12 13:13:30 by ChrisS Reply
    ChrisSSuper Rugby player
  • NewsCorp won’t pay to see south african/nz/aussie teams play one another for weeks on end and only get to see them mixed up later in the comp when top 3 or whatever has been decided. that’s why they pay separate & lesser amounts for currie cup and ITM cup.

    with the deal signed last year by sanzar earns more than it’s partmers because broadcasters value currie cup more then ITM cup and aus don’t have a domestic comp.

  • Comment 27, posted at 09.05.12 13:13:43 by Megatron Reply

    MegatronSuper Rugby player
  • @Megatron (Comment 27) : That unfortunately is the big gorilla in the room that is dictating the terms to SANZAR

  • Comment 28, posted at 09.05.12 13:17:23 by Bokhoring Reply

    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • @ChrisS (Comment 16) :

    oops .. my bad … sorry …

  • Comment 29, posted at 09.05.12 13:35:35 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
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  • @StevieS (Comment 8) : No, leave the Vodacom cup. Makes no sense to me to take it away.

  • Comment 30, posted at 09.05.12 13:52:13 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    BenAssistant coach
  • This Whole Saga about the Kings and Taking a Super Rugby Place of the Lowest ranked SA side is something to put a smile on my Face, instead of making SA Rugby sides in the Competition stronger we are basically gonna give points away( on the other hand maybe its a good thing the remaining 4 teams are Guaranteed 10 points + 8 points for there 2 Bye weeks). But dont get me wrong I agree with SARU needing to grow Rugby in the Eastern Cape Region, But no disrespect to The Kings they cannot even get out of the Second Division of the Great Currie Cup, if they were Fighting for the First Division Semi-Final Spots then yes but not making the Vodacom Cup Semis where most Major Provinces are down to there ” Second” String sides what realistic chance do they have? I read that they are gonna bring in New faces and players from Overseas? Then its not really a team from the Eastern cape just a team Based there, and if thats what they want just Move the Lions to P.E.

  • Comment 31, posted at 09.05.12 14:52:59 by garethkorb Reply

    garethkorbUnder 21 player
  • There are continued comparisons between the Currie Cup/Premier League and Super Rugby/Champions League and implementing similar promotion/relegation systems as witnessed in European soccer. This will not work!

    SANZAR rugby unions are not as cash-flush as European soccer clubs (hello Lions and Highlanders!). A single season without the financial rewards of playing in SupeRugby would probably result in a SA union losing all of it’s star players to other domestic unions or even worse – one of the European clubs. It would also most likely result in the union facing certain financial ruin if it does not downsize significantly. A once ‘big’ union will struggle to rebuild from such a setback!

  • Comment 32, posted at 09.05.12 17:06:58 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Id say bring Super Rugby back to 12 teams and open up CC to all provinces, look what happend to most of the teams thats playing 1st diff rugby, most lost all their players cause everyone wants to play CC, lost sponserships and are playing in front of half empty stadiums. if you gave the bigger unions playing against smaller unions people will go and support, not because they support Border Bulldogs but because they support the Sharks/Province or Bulls your local companies will get involved to sponser their team and you might have your younger players wanting to stay at the prov and not leave for overseas cause they will sponsers + spectators = money (contracts).

    The thing about the Kings, yes they were klapped by Boland last year, they might have had a couple of injuries, which shows the lack of quality backup players, which shows no players wants to play 1st diff rugby so i think the Kings did well with their group of players to have only lost 2games in VC and 2games in 1st diff last year.
    This years warm up games they played with a mixture of players againt Cheetahs/Lions/Stormers/Bulls and Sharks, they were hammered by the Lions who played a Kings side that will never play Super Rugby, they went down to Sharks and Stormers 31-13, that a scoreline you see regulary on a sat.

    Solomans were trying to see to see what sort of support hes got in Border and SWD and with those score against the Lions and Cheetahs, not much.
    Again this year in the VC, Kings almost played with a new team every weekend and yes they were beaten conficingly by a Puma side that played CC in previuos seasons, but again many of our so called 1st diff players did not play VC, why not? Maybe, lets say SARU keeps their word and Kings do play SR next year Kings still need to compete in VC so again Solomans was building on his VC team.
    With the Kings buying players to compete in SR, they trying to bring former EP players back to the prov, for interest sake make a list of players that played junior rugby in the prov that left to go play somewhere els because nothing was going on in the prov, now that something might change we might see some of those players coming back we might see players coming from other prov because they not getting a shot in their own prov like the EP players did when they left EP.
    I think Kings have the coaches and people in charge to make it work, Solomans is not an idiot, now to be fair give Kings the same resources and money the Lions have had since the start and i believe Kings would have been in a way better position then the Lions.
    im not getting my hopes up for Kings playing in SR, ill wait for that 1st game when they run onto the field (ill actully be happier with the 1st section, Super12)

    There you go thats my 5c or should i rather say R50.

  • Comment 33, posted at 09.05.12 18:32:07 by pierre_mackie Reply
    pierre_mackieTeam captain
  • A few spelling errors there :???:

  • Comment 34, posted at 09.05.12 18:36:29 by pierre_mackie Reply
    pierre_mackieTeam captain
  • Why don’t the Kings join with the Lions to make the Lion Kings :mrgreen: Why must the Cheetahs suffer because the Lions can’t win a SupeRugby match?

  • Comment 35, posted at 09.05.12 20:20:27 by Shaz Reply
    ShazCurrie Cup player
  • @Shaz (Comment 35) : I like the Lion Kings!!! :lol:

  • Comment 36, posted at 09.05.12 21:55:39 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
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  • @pierre_mackie (Comment 33) :

    No sorry dont agree .. If you can show me a full Kings Park when the Sharks played the Leopards in the last 5 years id bow down to you .

    @Shaz (Comment 35) :

    The better question is why must the Lions suffer because the Kings got bought out of the SR contract with the Sharks …

  • Comment 37, posted at 10.05.12 07:24:18 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 37) : cos Lion Kings is awesome. The team could run out onto the field with Circle of Life playing. When they score a try they could play Hakuna Matata… just think of the possibilities there ;-)

  • Comment 38, posted at 10.05.12 08:14:52 by lostfish Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 38) :

    hahah .. im already traumatized enough as it is thank you :P

  • Comment 39, posted at 10.05.12 08:16:57 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 38) : That sounds almost as kitsch as the Pink Cows’s new jersey

  • Comment 40, posted at 10.05.12 08:18:12 by Bokhoring Reply

    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • @pierre_mackie (Comment 33) :

    But why do the Kings deserve this financial backing any more than Griquas?

    They have been around much longer, have the same amount of talent coming through and have been much more consistent over the years. They have also proven time and again that they are the best of the rest, by winning the Vodacom Cup how many times!

  • Comment 41, posted at 10.05.12 08:23:52 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 41) :
    You realise that the Griquas are not only represented in SR via the Cheetahs franchise, but are also not a region or player base of equal magnitude?

  • Comment 42, posted at 10.05.12 09:40:35 by Big Fish Reply
    Big FishAssistant coach
  • @Big Fish (Comment 42) :

    I am fully aware of both those points..

    My question is why does the region deserve is so much more than any other? Why can we not just reward the team that is best suited to represent, rather than focusing on a region?

  • Comment 43, posted at 10.05.12 09:45:23 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 43) :
    There are a number of reasons. Perhaps the simplest is just to count the number of EC players playing provincial and national rugby versus the Kimberley area.

    Based on a simplistic junior talent count, the region is more likely to produce a sustainable SR team. You reckon Griquas have even the theoretical potential to do this?

  • Comment 44, posted at 10.05.12 09:56:26 by Big Fish Reply
    Big FishAssistant coach
  • @Big Fish (Comment 44) :

    Based on school boy talent, I agree with you on the Kings getting the nod..

    But then, look at the Cheetahs, they have the most successful rugby school in the country and look at their SR success?

    I am not saying Griquas have the depth or the funds or the coach or whatever, I am questioning the interest in a region that has never done anything significant in rugby, or not in the last couple of decades anyway..

  • Comment 45, posted at 10.05.12 10:06:06 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 45) :
    Rich, you are mixing issues.

    Is your question whether the Kings are going to be successful in SR “But then, look at the Cheetahs, they have the most successful rugby school in the country and look at their SR success?”, or is it why the Kings and not the Griquas deserve the push “I am questioning the interest in a region that has never done anything significant in rugby, or not in the last couple of decades anyway”?

    They are different questions, and have different answers. I am addressing the latter question, in which case the point regarding the talent base applies.

    Success in SR is based on a host of factors, so that is another discussion.

  • Comment 46, posted at 10.05.12 10:49:18 by Big Fish Reply
    Big FishAssistant coach
  • @Big Fish (Comment 46) :

    I am getting myself all mixed up, debating with a lawyer does not help.

    As I said, I agree with your point regarding the talent base, they will be able to sustain a solid line of players coming through the schools.

    My reaction to that is that a talent base alone will not be enough to suddenly make them competitive in SR. I do not think a team should get a chance to play SR simply because they have a few great schools with talented players coming through..

    Its just an opinion at the end of the day, and as you say, we can discuss this for days on end and still not agree.

    Yes the EC have talented players who end up at all the other Unions. The same thing happens in NZ where a few talented Fiji, Samoa and Tonga players make it in Super Rugby, playing for other franchises, it does not mean those countries must now get a shot in Super Rugby (Different issue altogether, but it is the point I am trying to make.)

  • Comment 47, posted at 10.05.12 10:56:19 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 47) :
    I agree with you on the Pacific nations, and Argentina for that matter. Its a similar case.

    Let’s ignore the elephant in the room regarding the Kings for now (site rules). The point is that the reason Argentina is includes in the previous Tri Nations, and the reason the Pampas are included in the VC is because exposure, high-level competition and brand awareness are integral for any team, and any sport, to grow and thrive.

    For many years ideas have been thrown around about getting regular fixtures for the Pacific nations so that they can develop cohesively and steadily, without losing players to other countries, either to play domestic or international rugby for them.

    The reason is that their is an obvious recognition that any country (or region) without exposure to regular, competitive and marketable rugby will struggle to retain talent and interest and attract capital.

    In effect, denying the Pacific nations, Argentina or the Kings high-level competition is a form of institutionalised discrimination/ elitism that will always ensure that they are never good enough to compete on the stage they are trying to get access too.

  • Comment 48, posted at 10.05.12 11:11:54 by Big Fish Reply
    Big FishAssistant coach
  • @Big Fish (Comment 48) :

    So what do you think the solution is to the Kings dilemma?

    Do you kill off a Union that has been around for 150 odd years (Lions)?

    Do you start up the Cats idea again, which will not only financially destabilise both the Cheetahs and the Lions, but also see a mass exodus of players from both these Unions?

    Do we have the South African teams ‘qualify’ for Super Rugby? (This will not benefit the Kings at all, seeing as they will in all likelihood not be able to qualify, on the points you have discussed above about exposure etc.)

    In reality, the idea of making the Kings a Super Rugby outfit is a nice to have, but an impossibility to pull off (In current circumstances, not if the competition was to change the amount of teams)

  • Comment 49, posted at 10.05.12 11:19:34 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 49) :
    Shouldn’t Natal have stayed in the B division given that they didn’t win a CC till 1990 and didn’t have the history of other clubs?

    If we preserve history based on a very 1-sided sporting system (again bear in mind the rules) are we preserving anything of value?

    Is there anything other than sentiment and dew-eyed nostalgia justifying the inclusion of the Lions?

    There will be hardship for the Kings, but they have a gap of many years and Rands to overcome. The only solution is to allow them a period of stability to do this – maybe 3 years at minimum IMO.

  • Comment 50, posted at 10.05.12 11:34:14 by Big Fish Reply
    Big FishAssistant coach
  • @Big Fish (Comment 50) :

    Fair enough..

    Your points regarding Natal is spot on, we had time on our side, along with a gradual rise, and a fantastic support base formed from good marketing to thank.

  • Comment 51, posted at 10.05.12 11:42:55 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 50) :

    Fair enough..

    Your points regarding Natal are spot on, we had time on our side, along with a gradual rise, and a fantastic support base formed from good marketing to thank.

  • Comment 52, posted at 10.05.12 11:43:57 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 50) : So what happens to the better Lions players such as Jantjies, Taute, Strauss, Cilliers, etc. Do they all join the Kings franchise for 3 years and play for the Lions in the CC?

    There are only so many players in SA of S15 standard and the Lions do have a couple on their books.

    I personally don’t have a problem with relegation – I prefer the qualifying option myself – but I don’t want to see the core Lions team just moved down to PE with a new coach

  • Comment 53, posted at 10.05.12 11:51:22 by Bokhoring Reply

    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 52) :
    What’s been happening to the Lions best players for the last few years, and how would anything be different now?

    I think initially the Kings would have to depend on experiences players – Lions or otherwise. This would especially be the case if they are facing the threat of dropping again. But they would bring through new talent in time.

  • Comment 54, posted at 10.05.12 12:16:47 by Big Fish Reply
    Big FishAssistant coach
  • They have lost good players as every union, but they have retained a couple of good ones too.

    The dilemma is that for the Kings to have any chance of success they need to be retained for a few years as you say. However in doing that you will pretty much kill off the Lions union – they will become par with the Falcons and Leopards

    Or would you then relegate the 4th place team over the period the Kings are entrenched?

    To me super rugby should be an elite competition – not a place to develop regions or franchises

  • Comment 55, posted at 10.05.12 12:46:27 by Bokhoring Reply

    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 54) : Although that could mean that if the Sharks don’t improve in super rugby next year, at least we have a good squad to finally win the Vodacom cup in 2014 :twisted:

  • Comment 56, posted at 10.05.12 12:51:16 by Bokhoring Reply

    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 49) : effectively, the GLRU have been given 7 YEARS to make something out of the franchise they were HANDED by SARU in 2005 and in your opinion what have they achieved?

    earlier this year we saw the Otago Rugby Union stave off liquidation through the graces of the city of Dunedin & the NZRU, the Taranaki Rugby Football Union was also interested in hosting the Highlanders franchise but the NZRU insisted that they wanted the franchise to remain in Dunedin and not be moved to New Plymouth as the Taranaki Rugby Football Unions was proposing.

    the point is, none of these franchises are supposed to be seen as cast in stone and no affiliated unions (however old they are) are guaranteed/entitled indefinitely to “host” such franchises. the onus is on the mother body to decide who gets the “hosting licence”!

    this whole notion that the GLRU will be hard-done-by financially is useless emotional twaddle imo, they haven’t done zilch for & years while living in the financial hub of SA!

    everyone keeps talking about the fact that if the Lions & Cheetahs get merged then this affects the funds the GLRU, Pumas, Leopards, Cheetahs, Griquas & Griffons receive from SARU, HELLOOOOOOOOOO

    Border, EP & SWD have NOT been receiving those funds for close to a decade and they are expected to COMPETE on a level pegging with the rest!

  • Comment 57, posted at 10.05.12 13:01:14 by Megatron Reply

    MegatronSuper Rugby player
  • @Megatron (Comment 56) :

    Duly noted Mega..

    I’m not arguing with you or with anyone regarding this..

    Just highliting various opinions and thoughts..

    Let me ask you this though, would the Kings be happy to merge with either the Cheetahs or the Lions to form one franchise? (As is the case should the Cats idea surface again)?

    Do you really think that is fair?

  • Comment 58, posted at 10.05.12 13:07:56 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard FergusonCoach
  • @Big Fish (Comment 53) :

    I think at the moment the Lions are getting a bit better at retaining players . It should take us a few years as well but i believe if we can hang on to our players for another 3 years we will be doing a lot better

    Im not sure if the kings have that prospect ? who do you back . the team that already have the players to perform or the team who needs to get players to perform .

    either way no real guarantee

    maybe you can argue that the Lions had there chance and they wasted it . I will however argue that the Cats debacle placed the Lions (and the Cheetahs) in much the same position as the Kings . The difference is the Lions and Cheetahs can develop players . Hanging on to them is another story

    One could also argue that the kings soled there souls to the devil by being bought of off the Sharks contract . They now have to live with that decision .

    either way . its a bit of a coin toss .

  • Comment 59, posted at 10.05.12 13:09:48 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Megatron (Comment 56) : Blame that on the EP and Border administrators who signed away their rights to Natal at the time

  • Comment 60, posted at 10.05.12 13:11:07 by Bokhoring Reply

    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • @Zibbie (Comment 58) : SWD was never part of the Coastal Sharks though – they fell under the Stormers

  • Comment 61, posted at 10.05.12 13:12:16 by Bokhoring Reply

    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 60) :

    ok . Do you know why they are no longer involved at the Stormers ?

  • Comment 62, posted at 10.05.12 13:18:28 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 61) : No idea – that is a good question

  • Comment 63, posted at 10.05.12 13:21:39 by Bokhoring Reply

    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • Personally i dont think you can argue the way of either teams . both teams can make good points and bad points . i think the best solution would be to include both teams

    but yea . we will see

  • Comment 64, posted at 10.05.12 13:26:09 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 57) : you mean for a franchise that consists of Free State Cheetahs, Griquas, Griffons, EP Kings, SWD Eagles, Border Bulldogs?

    6 unions to share the R6.6 million than SARU gives the “franchises” while a union like the KZNRU currently does not share the money with anyone, would that be SARU treating all the unions equitably?

  • Comment 65, posted at 10.05.12 14:19:05 by Megatron Reply

    MegatronSuper Rugby player
  • @Megatron (Comment 64) :

    so in summary what you are saying is if the Kings didnt sell the SR rights to the Sharks for short term gain they would have benefited more from long term gaining money along with the Sharks and they would most probably been in a better position then they are now ?

    Who ever did that deal for the Sharks must be given a Bells .. what a great deal ..

    Selling your soul to the Devil is never a good idea …

  • Comment 66, posted at 10.05.12 14:41:33 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Megatron (Comment 64) :

    The Kings and the Lions then? But you know exactly what I am trying to say here, and avoiding the need to answer that ;-)

    As far as I know, the deal with the Sharks was the choice of the Kings?

  • Comment 67, posted at 10.05.12 15:07:48 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard FergusonCoach
  • Actually the only thing the Sharks paid EP and Border for was the hosting rights of the home games allocated to them. This means in effect all the gate money goes to the Sharks

    I am pretty sure SARU pays all 14 unions (including EP, Border and SWD) from money generated by the broadcasting deals with Supersport and Newscorp – not sure about the breakdown to each union

  • Comment 68, posted at 10.05.12 15:24:27 by Bokhoring Reply

    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • @Zibbie (Comment 65) : yes, harp on that non-issue even though i’m certain it provides you nothing else but cold comfort :roll: :lol:

  • Comment 69, posted at 10.05.12 15:29:31 by Megatron Reply

    MegatronSuper Rugby player
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 66) : with the 5th franchise on offer in 2006, the EPRFU, Border & SWD (leaving the Stormers) decided to form a franchise to bid for the 5th “element” in the same way Free State & GLRU decided to bid as separate entities. nothing sinister about it.

    when the bids came back lions & free state got the licences and the Spears were to join the competition in 2007 but that NEVER happened. so leaving the Sharks has no bearing on the corruption that ensued in 2006 which resulted in the lions (again) NOT being relegated as the “South African Rugby Franchise Agreement” stipulated!

  • Comment 70, posted at 10.05.12 15:38:53 by Megatron Reply

    MegatronSuper Rugby player
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 67) : you are “pretty sure”? :roll: :shock:

    Golden Lions and friends fall out
    Craig Ray | 31 January, 2012 00:21

    South African Rugby Union (Saru) chief executive Jurie Roux will meet Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) top brass today as relations continue to sour between the Lions and their franchise partners, the Pumas and Leopards.

    The Leopards and Pumas are in dispute with the GLRU over money owed to the two smaller unions in the Lions franchise. [The Golden Lions, Pumas and Leopards form part of the Lions in the Super 15.]

    In the case of the Leopards the total amount they are demanding is about R3.2-million. The amount claimed by the Pumas is lower as some debts they owed to the GLRU were written off in lieu of their annual franchise agreement payment.

    This issue was raised at last week’s Saru council meeting in Cape Town and some tentative agreements were made. Roux will attempt to firm those up in his meetings with the GLRU.

    “There was an application in 2006 in which these three provinces applied to be the Lions franchise,” said Leopards president Andre Day .

    “That application was accepted and in terms of that agreement the GLRU was supposed to pay both the Leopards and the Pumas an annual fee. They duly paid in 2006 and partly paid in 2007 but since then there has not been a cent paid.

    “The agreement was that they would pay us R750000 a year for five years with 5% increase annually. But no formal documents were signed between the parties and that is part of the dispute.”

    Attempts to reach Lions president Kevin de Klerk yesterday were unsuccessful.

    The Leopards and the Pumas have asked Saru to use the R6.6-million Super 15 broadcast rights payment due to the Lions as a means of settling the debt they feel is owed to them.

    After the 2010 Super rugby season, franchises no longer had to pay a R2-million fee to Saru to play in Super rugby. Instead, in 2011 they received a R6.6-million broadcast rights grant, which means a positive turnaround of about R9-million per franchise since the tournament expanded to 15 teams. And the Leopards and Pumas have seen none of that cash.

    Both the Leopards and Pumas “will each accept” R1-million of the R6.6-million broadcast payment.

    “To be clear, the broadcast fee from Saru is not money paid to the GLRU, it is money paid to the franchise, which includes the Leopards and the Pumas,” Day said.

  • Comment 71, posted at 10.05.12 15:45:32 by Megatron Reply

    MegatronSuper Rugby player
  • @Megatron (Comment 70) : I stand corrected.

    So you saying the Sharks get a cool 6.6 mil per year they don’t need to share with anyone

  • Comment 72, posted at 10.05.12 15:50:50 by Bokhoring Reply

    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 71) : YEP!!!!!

    robdylan & richard can email brian van zyl and ask him!

    why should the Lions getaway with not paying their franchise partners for FIVE YEARS, WHY?!!!

  • Comment 73, posted at 10.05.12 15:53:21 by Megatron Reply

    MegatronSuper Rugby player
  • @Megatron (Comment 72) :
    Because of 150 years of tradition. And because the big unions always protect each other.

  • Comment 74, posted at 10.05.12 16:07:01 by Big Fish Reply
    Big FishAssistant coach
  • @Big Fish (Comment 73) : well that’s rubbish afa i’m concerned and these same “big” unions expect support from me? hehehe what a joke

    fcuk them!

  • Comment 75, posted at 10.05.12 16:18:11 by Megatron Reply

    MegatronSuper Rugby player
  • @Megatron (Comment 68) :

    Hey .. the cold comfert is all i have ok :razz: :lol:

  • Comment 76, posted at 10.05.12 21:26:50 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
    ZibbieTeam captain
  • So it seems the last placed team in the SA conference will be relegated . Ive sent Rich the link to the article.

  • Comment 77, posted at 11.05.12 07:46:20 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 76) : But more importantly there is a proposal to have a promotion / relegation game between last placed and the team that was relegated.

    I have not heard the Lions threatening legal action?

    Should this go trough, can the Lions hold on to their top players, and at the same time I do not want to see players like Jantjies and Taute playing in the Vodacom cup?

    And should there some of these players join the Kings on a temporary basis, who plays for who in such relegation matches?

  • Comment 78, posted at 11.05.12 08:17:13 by Bokhoring Reply

    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 77) :

    As far as i understand the current proposal is that the Kings are guarantee a spot in SR for the next 2 years . After that a playoff/promotion/relegation game will take place . but the unions requested a delay in making it 100 % official how the relegation will work . So as it stands now no SR for the Lions for the next 2 years ..

  • Comment 79, posted at 11.05.12 08:25:30 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 78) : That would be really rough on the Lions. Then perhaps the original plan in 2006 where the 4th place team is relegated is better

  • Comment 80, posted at 11.05.12 08:36:54 by Bokhoring Reply

    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 79) :

    So it seems then that we have another merge coming up . But i fear that would basically kill off both the Lions and the Cheetahs

    I wish we could run scenarios on the world and see the outcome . I feel that back when the Lions and the Cheetahs became the cats , that the Lions where (at least) a bit successful before the merge .

    Now lets say Jozi and Bloem is about 500 km apart . Pta and Durbz about 800 km (what is 300 km between friends)

    I would like to know what would have happened if the Bulls and the Sharks merged instead of the Lions and Cheetahs . Would both unions have been as successful as they are now ? i dont think so .. but as they say . no use crying over stilt milk . Lions have to make a plan .. and quickly ..

  • Comment 81, posted at 11.05.12 08:48:36 by Zibbie Reply
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