KSA Shark ©

Nine changes in Lions shakeup

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :Currie Cup, In the news, Lions on 1 Jul 2008 at 20:09

As he intimated he would do, Xerox Lions rugby coach Eugene Eloff has rung the changes for Friday night’s Currie Cup match against the Falcons at Ellis Park.

News 24 reports that although not all the changes are due to under-performance, it is a Lions starting team with seven new faces and two positional changes from the one that squandered a win against the Free State Cheetahs last weekend.

Eloff has selected a new halfback paring in Louis Strydom and Chris Jonck, with Jaco van Schalkwyk moving to outside centre in the absence of injured Jaco Pretorius and because Jannie Boshoff is not available for personal reasons.

As expected wing Dusty Noble has been dropped and, on his series of performances this season, is probably lucky to still be on the bench. He is replaced by Heini Gordon.

In a totally revamped front row JC Janse van Rensburg moves to loosehead in place of Heinke van der Merwe who is rested together with hooker Willie Wepener. They have been two of the really stand-out forwards in a losing team and thoroughly deserve the break.

Takes over on the tighthead

Former Springbok Lawrence Sephaka is back from overseas duty and takes over on the tighthead while Etthienne Reynecke gets a rare but deserved start at hooker.

Wilhelm Koch replaces Willem Alberts, who is rested, at No 8 and Anton van Zyl comes in at lock for the injured Gerhard Mostert.

It is certainly not a team shuffled because Eloff takes the Falcons lightly. The Lions, at the bottom of the log, are very much aware that the Falcons have scored the most Currie Cup tries to date, have thrown away a victory against a workmanlike Boland Cavaliers side and have beaten Griquas convincingly.

The team:
Earl Rose, Louis Ludik, Jaco van Schalkwyk , Walter Venter, Heini Gordon, Louis Strydom, Chris Jonck, Wilhelm Koch, Franco van der Merwe , Cobus Grobbelaar, Anton van Zyl, Dewald Senekal, Lawrence Sephaka, Ethienne Reynecke, JC Janse van Rensburg.

Replacements: Willie Wepener, Gert Muller, Heinke van der Merwe, Justin Wheeler, Jano Vermaak, Michael Killian, Dusty Noble.


  • Not VERY different from the possible team speculated on earlier.

    Earl Rose; Justin St. Jerry, Jaco van Schalkwyk, Walter Venter, Louis Ludik; Louis Strydom, Jano Vermaak; Wilhelm Koch, Franco van der Merwe, Baywatch Grobbelaar (capt), Dewald Senekal, Anton van Zyl, Lawrence Sephaka, Ethienne Reynecke, JC van Rensburg.

    C’mon Lions!!!!!! Do it!!!!!!!!! (if only for my SB 😉 )

  • Comment 1, posted at 01.07.08 20:19:09 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Heini Gordon has only played for us once before and that was also against the Valke at home last year.

  • Comment 2, posted at 01.07.08 22:15:36 by walter van transvaal.co.za Reply
    walter van Lions World
  • @walter van transvaal.co.za (Comment 2) : So what happened to a guy like Wigan Pekeur that was part of the Super 14 squad ❓

  • Comment 3, posted at 02.07.08 07:32:07 by Charlie Reply
  • @walter van transvaal.co.za (Comment 2) :

    No need to go look at the records. You won that one so the guy has a 100% record when playing for the Lions. 😉

  • Comment 4, posted at 02.07.08 07:45:32 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 4) :

    We did well against the Valke last year, scoring 60+ in both matches and 18 tries in the 2 games (9 each). They shouldn’t really be a threat.

  • Comment 5, posted at 02.07.08 08:22:41 by walter van transvaal.co.za Reply
    walter van Lions World
  • @walter van transvaal.co.za (Comment 5) :

    They seem to have different ideas 😉

    From 365

    Falcons size up larger prey

    The Falcons will look to carry the momentum of last weekend’s long-awaited win, though face far more formidable opposition at Ellis Park on Friday evening.

    The Falcons are also sitting with injuries to two of their bench players – which coach Rudy Joubert may find rather inconvenient should anything happen to members of his starting XV against a highly physical Lions outfit.

    Back-up scrumhalf Poerie van Rooyen suffered a cheekbone fracture during his run for the Falcons in last weekend’s clash with the Griquas, and will be sidelined for a good few weeks.

    Replacement centre Showan Smith suffered a hamstring injury during training and will also be missing from the bench.

    Coach Joubert is happy with the atmosphere in the Brakpan camp however, and feels last weekend’s win has given the inexperienced Falcons squad a much-needed boost of confidence.

    “The guys have certainly gained in confidence [after beating the Griquas],” Joubert told rugby365.com on Tuesday.

    “There is a better understanding amongst the youngsters, and they now have a better idea of what is required to succeed.”

    The Falcons coach bemoaned his side’s performance last season, with a view to keeping a positive attitude going forward having come off a hard-fought win.

    “Last season was a nightmare. We conceded over 100 tries during our last Currie Cup campaign.

    “Boland didn’t beat us two weeks ago. We lost that game; through inexperience and bad decisions.

    “But having beaten the Griquas twice now in a number of weeks, the players know what it takes to win and the atmosphere in the camp is very positive,” he added.

    This weekend’s third-round Currie Cup clash against the Lions at Ellis Park promises to bring a far more physical encounter for the young Falcons with an experienced union, but Joubert says his side eagerly await the challenge.

    “There’s no easy game at Ellis Park. The Lions are a talented outfit with a number of Super 14 caps amongst them.

    “But our guys are really looking forward to it,” he added.

  • Comment 6, posted at 02.07.08 08:30:45 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • I think the Falcons will be favourites!

    They always perform well against teams at the bottom of the log!

    (Sorry Walter, I couldn’t resist) :mrgreen:

  • Comment 7, posted at 02.07.08 08:42:01 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 7) :

    It’s true that we are at the bottom of the log. I just hope that it’s not for long, our next 3 games are Valke, Boland and Griquas, so lets hope for 15 points and a better log position by the time we play the Sharks in Durban on 26 July.

  • Comment 8, posted at 02.07.08 09:30:33 by walter van transvaal.co.za Reply

    walter van Lions World
  • Has anyone seen the Valke team sheet anywhere?

  • Comment 9, posted at 02.07.08 10:41:40 by walter van transvaal.co.za Reply

    walter van Lions World
  • Well….don’t really know what to say…
    Just hope for 5 points…but I really cannot remember when last the LIONS got that in a game!??!

  • Comment 10, posted at 02.07.08 16:24:03 by Hmmm Reply

  • But then again…if you only won 2 of your last 16 games (including S14 and 2007 CC final) you cannot expect too many 5 pointers…

  • Comment 11, posted at 02.07.08 16:26:28 by Hmmm Reply


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