KSA Shark ©

Lions maul Province

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :Currie Cup, In the news, Lions, WP on 3 Aug 2008 at 07:29

The Lions put themselves in semifinal contention at the halfway stage of the Absa Currie Cup by winning last night.

Capitalising on an early try, the Lions were never headed. The forwards laid the platform for what turned out to be a comfortable victory over Western Province.

Simnikiwe Xabanisa writes for the Sunday Times that with both teams having started on 17 points, in fourth and fifth on the log, the hosts leap-frogged WP to be in the last semifinal place with the home leg remaining.

The Lions pack laid the foundation for the win by dominating the scrums and the breakdown.

In the scrums, Heinke van der Merwe and Lawrence Sephaka ran a night-school for their opposite numbers, besting them for both grunt and underhand tactics. At the breakdown, Province were counter-rucked off the ball or coughed it up themselves.The only area where they were in the ascendancy in the first half was in the lineout.

Eugene Eloff’s charges were helped by a bright start, where they scored in the second minute through flanker Franco van der Merwe. Province No8 Schalk Brits’ attempted clearance was charged down by Louis Ludik, the loose ball finding its way to big Willem Alberts, who offloaded to Van der Merwe for the score.

Having started the second half in the same vein with an early Jano Vermaak try, the hosts ran into real trouble in the last 20 minutes. This happened because the whole visiting front row was substituted injured, introducing uncontested scrums into the equation because the only front-rower Province had on the bench was JC Kritzinger, a hooker.

With Justin Melck at tighthead, Kritzinger at loosehead and Brits back at hooker, WP mounted a comeback because they suddenly had five loosies to gain parity at the breakdown. Although the visitors nearly benefited from the injuries to their front-rowers — they suddenly didn’t have to win the scrums and had numbers and pace at the breakdown — Eloff was not aggrieved.

“When I saw the team they picked I predicted it would happen. I don’t think they did it maliciously because I believe they have integrity. They are in real trouble in those positions,” he said. “Because we knew it was going to happen, we decided not to change our basic strategy too much.”

The bizarre nature of Province’s selections did not end up front. Flyhalf Willem de Waal had to play most of the game with a leg injury because there was no cover for him on the bench.


Lions 27
Tries: Franco van der Merwe, Jano Vermaak, Doppies la Grange.
Conversions: Earl Rose (3).
Penalties: Rose. (2).

Western Province 13
Try: Nick Koster
Conversions: Willem de Waal.
Penalties: De Waal (2).

Lions: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Michael Killian, 13 Jaco Pretorius, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Rayno Benjamin, 10 Earl Rose, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Willem Alberts, 7 Franco van der Merwe, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar (captain), 5 Anton van Zyl, 4 Dewald Senekal, 3 Lawrence Sephaka, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Gert Muller, 18 Justin Wheeler, 19 Derick Minnie, 20 Chris Jonck, 21 Jaco van Schalkwyk, 22 Heini Gordon.

Western Province: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Wylie Human, 13 Dylan Des Fountain, 12 Gcobani Bobo, (captain), 11 Joe Pietersen, 10 Willem De Waal, 9 Bolla Conradie, 8 Schalk Brits, 7 AJ Venter, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Ross Skeate, 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Wicus Blaauw.
Replacements: 16 JC Kritzinger, 17 Pieter Louw, 18 Justin Melck, 19 Nick Koster, 20 Dewaldt Duvenage, 21 Tonderai Chavhanga, 22 Morgan Newman.


  • Have these guys finally started achieving the success that has been so close for the last few seasons?

    Every season they stutter and stumble at the start only to get things sorted in the latter half of the season.

    If the Lions are playing such good rugby now, how good are they going to be at then end of this season.

    Well Done Lions.

  • Comment 1, posted at 03.08.08 10:02:30 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • WP seem to find themselves in a bit of nomans-land on the Log.

    As for the Bulls once they play that missed game against the Griquas they are going to be miles ahead on their own.

  • Comment 2, posted at 03.08.08 10:53:28 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • This happened because the whole visiting front row was substituted injured, introducing uncontested scrums into the equation because the only front-rower Province had on the bench was JC Kritzinger, a hooker.

    Rassie played within the rules here but barely. But what else have we come to expect from Rassie Erasmus

    Here is an excerpt from the Law governing that you need minimum FIVE front row players in a squad of 22 players.

    (c) When 19, 20, 21 or 22 players are nominated in a team there must
    be five players who can play in the front row to ensure that on the first occasion that a replacement hooker is required and, on the first occasion that a replacement prop forward is required, the team can continue to play safely with contested scrums.

    And that is exactly what Rassie did, he brought kritzinger on as a prop thus ensuring he fulfilled the 1st replacement prop criterea and then brought Brits in at hooker before Harris finally went off.

  • Comment 3, posted at 03.08.08 11:09:53 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Rassie certainly planned to have uncontested scrums in the last 20 mins.

  • Comment 4, posted at 03.08.08 13:18:20 by walter van transvaal.co.za Reply
    walter van Lions World
  • @walter van transvaal.co.za (Comment 4) :

    No question about it.

    Will we ever see a season where Rassie desn’t try and bend the rules to the limit?

  • Comment 5, posted at 03.08.08 13:24:28 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Hopefully it will come back to him and bite him in the future. It was confirmed that he has spoken to 9 of our players outside of the transfer period, that started on 1 August. That was playing a bit outside of the rules.

  • Comment 6, posted at 03.08.08 13:30:43 by walter van transvaal.co.za Reply
    walter van Lions World
  • @walter van transvaal.co.za (Comment 45) : (from Barritt / Fourie thread)

    I don’t for a minute believe that WP would have come back into the game in the last 20minutes had they not resorted to the FrontRow Farce.

    You guys had them on the ropes and could have burried them had they stayed on the straight and narrow with the laws.

  • Comment 7, posted at 03.08.08 13:43:50 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 7) :

    I agree

  • Comment 8, posted at 03.08.08 13:49:07 by walter van transvaal.co.za Reply
    walter van Lions World
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 7) : IF Rassie ar erunning the show like you guys seem to believe, then there are hope for the Capetonians again. And nothing deeper or sinister implied here, I just have tremendous respect for the guy as a coach ( as a player when it applied ). AC could feel a bit aggrieved, but on the positive side can learn a lot, should he care to do so. ALL based on IF!!!

    KSA, what about different threads but a communial comment thread, or would that not work?

  • Comment 9, posted at 03.08.08 13:50:56 by Silver Fox Reply
    Silver Fox
  • @Silver Fox (Comment 9) :

    Rassie is certainly involved as this smacks of his kind of thinking (the uncontested scrums thing).

  • Comment 10, posted at 03.08.08 13:54:17 by walter van transvaal.co.za Reply
    walter van Lions World
  • @walter van transvaal.co.za (Comment 10) : All set aside, I would just love it if the Sharks would buy ole Rassie. Gosh, we’d be unstoppable!! 😯

  • Comment 11, posted at 03.08.08 13:56:42 by Silver Fox Reply
    Silver Fox
  • @Silver Fox (Comment 11) :

    No thanks. He can stay where he is.

  • Comment 12, posted at 03.08.08 13:58:38 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 12) : AND he claims to support the Sharks!! 🙄

  • Comment 13, posted at 03.08.08 14:03:07 by Silver Fox Reply
    Silver Fox
  • WP pretenders…with a pretender coach… well done Lions!

    And well done Smiff and boucher!

  • Comment 14, posted at 03.08.08 16:20:43 by bryce_in_oz Reply
  • I am just glad that the 2nd minute try was not the difference in the game…
    LIONS still messing up opportunaties though and could have scored bonus point try…
    But much better performance…

  • Comment 15, posted at 04.08.08 08:40:25 by Hmmm Reply
  • @bryce_in_oz (Comment 14) :

    Yeh that was great…first series victory in Eng since ’65!??!

  • Comment 16, posted at 04.08.08 08:41:26 by Hmmm Reply
  • Morning guys… and HAPPY BIRTHDAY CSB!

    I missed the game but it looks like the Lions are on their way up…and WP on their way down. Winning one game (against minnows) only to lose the next 2 is not gonna help the Province lads. 😈

  • Comment 17, posted at 04.08.08 08:45:13 by blackshark Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @blackshark (Comment 17) :

    CSB’s Birthday!!!!!!!!

    Sheez I missed that. No wonder he supports the Lions. They gave him a similar present to what the Sharks gave me on my Birthday. 😀

  • Comment 18, posted at 04.08.08 08:56:37 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Cheers Guys,

    Well impressed with the Lions win , they never looked like losing and played the way we know they can.Hopefully get better too.It was made so much sweeter watching the game with only 3 Lion supporters and the rest of the pub Province.

    Well Done to The Proteas I actually enjoyed watching a test match for a change.

  • Comment 19, posted at 04.08.08 09:45:26 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply
  • @CoffeeShopBok;-) (Comment 19) :

    Was watching All out rugby last night and was listening to Kobus’ comments about how Loffie has been saying all season long that the Lions are there but it is just the finishing that is lacking.

    That finishing seems to be there now.

  • Comment 20, posted at 04.08.08 10:03:59 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Happy B-day CSB…

  • Comment 21, posted at 04.08.08 10:21:25 by Hmmm Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 18) : Happy Happy to CSB!!

    And if I read your comment right, a Happy Happy for Saturday!!

  • Comment 22, posted at 04.08.08 10:27:53 by Silver Fox Reply
    Silver Fox
  • Happy Birfday CSB.

    Have a great day!!! 😎

  • Comment 23, posted at 04.08.08 10:32:33 by wpw Reply
  • @Silver Fox (Comment 22) :

    No the Sharks gave me my birthday present against the Chiefs. 😉

    47 – 25

  • Comment 24, posted at 04.08.08 10:36:30 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • I think that SA Rugby should make a rule that applies to WP and/or any team that Rassie comes near to that they should have a minimium of one full front row on the bench for all games played.

  • Comment 25, posted at 04.08.08 10:46:12 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 25) :

    LoL did you see how they tried to convince the ref to play uncontested scrum when Brits moved to hooker…and the ref almost fell for it…
    Willie kept on saying (but he is a hooker) LoL
    The rules clearly state that you have to have 5 front rowers in your match 22 for the first replacement at hooker and the first replacement at prop…
    And you all knew that WP will have more than 2 injuries in the front row!??!

  • Comment 26, posted at 04.08.08 10:51:41 by Hmmm Reply

  • @Salmonoid (Comment 25) : Hey Salmanoid, everybody is up in arms about Rassie being clever. Rather the Sharks do the next bright thing and while we cannot buy Rassie, invest in a guy like Bob Skinstad as coach. Vision is what I am promoting here, not whether he is a coach now or not. We in SA do have a couple of great rugby brains available!

  • Comment 27, posted at 04.08.08 10:54:02 by Silver Fox Reply

    Silver Fox
  • I have to give special mentions here too Earl Rose that guys has just amazed me how he has turned up his game.And looking bigger too.His tactical kicking and the way he got the backline going on Sat was awesome.Baywatch and W Alberts should be knocking on Bok selection big time.Not to mention Hienke and if Saphaka continues the way he is going now Id love to see him back with the Boks.

    Ludik had a good game but dropped 1 or 2 at crucial times.Id retain Rose at 10 for now and Jaco as far away from a backline.

    Oh and Benji had a very good game imo did not knock/drop one ball, looked for work and ran back strongly and defended well.

    This weekends game against the Bulls will confirm if the Lions are looking like contenders for the CC.

  • Comment 28, posted at 04.08.08 13:37:36 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply


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