Fitzpatrick blasts ‘poor’ Lions

Written by Clayton Saville (Clayton(PJLD))

Posted in :In the news on 6 May 2008 at 09:59

Former New Zealand All Blacks captain Sean Fitzpatrick has blasted the failures in this season’s Super 14.

And high among the New Zealander’s targets was the South African franchise, the Johannesburg-based Lions.

Fitzpatrick watched the Lions’ 38-12 hammering by the Hurricanes in Wellington at the weekend and launched a savage attack on the South African players.

He said: “It’s pretty disappointing to see the Lions perform like this.

“Those guys should be handing back their pay cheques after this performance.

“We always used to fear the old Transvaal when we went there and played them – more so than any other province. So it’s pretty disappointing to see them like this. It was a poor performance.

Fitzpatrick reserved special criticism for Lions fullback Earl Rose, who put in a dire performance.

His wildly ambitious run from behind his own goalline and subsequent floated pass to Joe van Niekerk which was stolen from the backrow player by Hurricanes hooker Andrew Hore for a try, summed up Rose’s day.

He dropped simple kicks, knocked on and ran hopeless lines.

Fitzpatrick’s summary of him was withering in the extreme. “Poor old Earl Rose. He looked like he got his pay cheque from the Hurricanes,” joked Fitzpatrick.

But it wasn’t just the South Africans who felt the rough end of Fitzpatrick’s tongue.

Even the New Zealanders came in for criticism from the man who won 92 Test caps from 1986 to 1997 and easily holds the record for the most Tests as All Blacks captain at 51.

He said of the Highlanders, who just edged out the Cheetahs 31-28 in Bloemfontein at the weekend: “It doesn’t look as though they’re good enough.

“It doesn’t seem as though the players are there for a fifth New Zealand provincial team.”

Much the same is looking the case in South African rugby with the Lions hopelessly adrift at the bottom of the table on just eight points, with only one win from their 11 games.

The Cheetahs are next to bottom with 13 points, but have also only won once.

Then come the Highlanders, with two wins from 11 games and 15 points.

All of which helps explain why the New Zealand Rugby Union is turning its own stubbornly-held policy towards the Super 14 completely on its head, by agreeing to talks with the Pacific island nations about the future.

The cupboard is starting to look disturbingly thin in New Zealand, and South African rugby, with the Lions and Cheetahs in the bottom two, is not a lot better.

Peter Bills for IOL


  • he’s right… we need to go back to a Super 12 (or maybe even Super 10)

  • Comment 1, posted at 06.05.08 10:23:19 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • And that Earl Rose was diabolical.

  • Comment 2, posted at 06.05.08 10:38:22 by Slayton Caville Reply
  • earl rose is simply too small for this level, its a shame cos he seems very skillful, but the guy is not robust enough.
    Fitz’s comments are a bit a harsh, the lions have a kak record at the moment, but they’ve taken a few teams close, i dont think there are any very weak teams in the competition. I think the stormers have the lions for their last match, then we’ll see. I hope the lions don’t win, but as with the cheetahs these teams are not far off the pace of the big boys at all.

  • Comment 3, posted at 06.05.08 10:45:26 by cab Reply

  • Howsit cab

    Earl being small had nothing to do with some of the blunders he made on the weekend, eish man ,those were baaaaaaad!

  • Comment 4, posted at 06.05.08 10:55:46 by Slayton Caville Reply
  • ‘Flash’ runners don’t make good S14 players… being able to tackle is just one of the basic requirements every players needs… Earl is hondkak… only one reason he is there!

  • Comment 5, posted at 06.05.08 11:00:50 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • Walter can you please forward Fitzy’s message to Loffie to read out before the Chief’s game… have this sneaking suspicion they might run the Chiefs close… particularly if JF is back…

  • Comment 6, posted at 06.05.08 11:03:13 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • I’ve never seen why people carry on about Earl Rose. From what I’ve seen from him on TV and and by playing against him is that he’s a flat track bully. He will mouth off at you and take cheap shots but when you square up to him he’ll try and hide behind the forwards.

    When him and his Brother was bought by the Lions a lot of people was upset – I said good riddance. The guy is in the papers more for hitting his girlfriend and not paying his maintenance for his other kids than for his rugby playing skills.

    That said though – he’s the master at the “Almost tackle” – Diving sideways at someone’s legs in a heroic last bid to prevent a try – just to be brushed aside like a fly.

    He shouldn’t be payed money to play rugby.


  • Comment 7, posted at 06.05.08 11:09:32 by Methos Reply

  • hi PJLD,
    yeah agree, seems a bit nervous at times, i think if confidence up could be a useful player, but how does one do it? perhaps with age. have to also agree with Bryce if a player cant tackle its very difficult to pick him at this level, which was Brent Russell’s problem too.

    i didn’t know that about his girlfriend, no hell we dont need that, drop him, he’s hopeless.

  • Comment 8, posted at 06.05.08 11:15:21 by cab Reply

  • How did you not know that cab

    If there is [email protected] to be caught on you can bet Earl will be in the mix.Even the way he wrangled his way out of his WP contract, but back to the topic, ja,he sucked badly.

    And uhm Methos, most people will run and hide if you were to confront them,just a though, use it ,dont use it :mrgreen:

  • Comment 9, posted at 06.05.08 11:30:32 by Slayton Caville Reply
  • Clayton

    Hehe… 😳

    The reason cab doesn’t know it – he’s in Frogland (was the last time I’ve heard in any case) They don’t have Die Kaapse Son there πŸ˜‰


  • Comment 10, posted at 06.05.08 11:34:18 by Methos Reply


    I don’t imagine their sales to be high in frankryk

  • Comment 11, posted at 06.05.08 11:37:10 by Slayton Caville Reply
  • Cab

    There was a SMALL discussion about it a few weeks back.

    I like the fact she painted his car. πŸ˜†

  • Comment 12, posted at 06.05.08 11:53:34 by KSA Shark Β© Reply

    KSA Shark Β©
  • Don’t really want to kick a team when they’re down. But this lot parading as professional rugby players are poor. Hope they klap the Chiefs.

  • Comment 13, posted at 06.05.08 14:04:49 by racheltjiedebeer Reply

  • Hitting women is just not on. πŸ‘Ώ

  • Comment 14, posted at 06.05.08 14:07:58 by racheltjiedebeer Reply

  • Although giving that oh in that pic of yours a KLAP could be seen as either extenuating circumstances or extreme provocation. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜†

  • Comment 15, posted at 06.05.08 14:37:17 by KSA Shark Β© Reply

    KSA Shark Β©
  • Well, you should read some of the comments of Lions fans on my website’s forum, so I can understand if a non-fan has got bad things to say! 😯

  • Comment 16, posted at 06.05.08 16:39:36 by walter van Reply

    walter van Lions World
  • eish Walter… taking a bit of stick, huh? πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 17, posted at 06.05.08 16:44:33 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • A lot of the comments are not for younger viewers…. 😯

  • Comment 18, posted at 06.05.08 16:48:04 by walter van Reply

    walter van Lions World
  • he he he.

  • Comment 19, posted at 06.05.08 16:56:13 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator

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