The Great Couch Shark

Lions into lambs

Written by Nick Gordon (The Great Couch Shark)

Posted in :Lions, Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 18 Feb 2009 at 17:33
Tagged with : , , ,

An exclusive match preview from armchair analyst, CapeShark.

The Sharks are back in the tank this weekend to take on the Lions, and while 5 points would be terrific for their cause, the humidity in Durban often has the last say in the matter. The Lions, for their part, are always up for a fight and full of running, even if they do seem to always drift into touch. This year, however, they meet a Sharks outfit on the up after having dispatched a Stormers team tipped for semi-final honours. To say the Sharks are fit is an understatement but Saturday also showed us they’re patient and they know how to win.

The Lions’ biggest problem through the years has been talent retention. If they’d managed to hang on to players like Schalk Brits, Bryan Habana, Jean Deysel, Rory Kockett, Enrico Januarie and Brian Mujati, they’d be an awesome outfit. But clearly it’s not so kiff up on the highveld. So every year is a ‘rebuilding year’ for the lacklustre leeus. Ellis Park also tends to be a repository for journeyman players. I just can’t believe how many chances they’re willing to give guys like Ashwin ‘leaden-legs’ Willemse. Even Andre Pretorius is eating up a salary that could be invested in someone who can actually string 5 games together.

However, the Lions do have one serious ace up their sleeve and that’s Heinke Van Der Merwe. Man, that guy is pure quality. I expect him to rattle our front row quite a bit. But that’s where it’ll end for their scrum, I’m afraid. Sorry, Heinke, ol’ chap. Make a move down to the Cape, it’s obvious Div has a soft spot for the streeptrui.

Out in the backline, the Lions have the diminutive general Pretorius warming the bench.  Earl Rose is thus given the starting responsibilities. A lesser known fact is that Rose is so unstable his name actually appears on the periodic table right under Potassium. One minute he’s igniting the backs, the next he’s spontaneously combusted. Mind you, Ruan Pienaar can be quite ghastly on an off-day too. So expect an interesting tussle there.

Am I the only one that thinks Frans Steyn’s hair has grown beyond ridiculous into the realm of ludicrous? Seriously now. An Old English Sheepdog has nothing on that guy. And I’m pretty convinced it’s working in the opposite way to Samson’s.

On a final note, I was gobsmacked to see Henno Mentz make just about every website’s: ‘Team of the Week’. Admittedly I didn’t watch the Lions game, but one scribe described it as a ‘scandalous crime’ that he was allowed to leave the Natal in the first place. Not quite sure if I agree with that. Well, there you go, proof then that a Lions jersey is not always a career dead-end. Good on you, Henno.

Prediction: With the humidity, the Sharks will have to get some points in early before the swelter catches up with them. I think they’ll get their four tries.


  • ‘Rose is so unstable his name actually appears on the periodic table right under Potassium’ 😆

    That are funny.

  • Comment 1, posted at 18.02.09 17:48:47 by McLovin Reply
  • There’s that Sharks arrogance again! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 2, posted at 18.02.09 18:05:24 by wpw Reply
  • Just kidding! I enjoyed the article Capeshark 😀

  • Comment 3, posted at 18.02.09 18:06:17 by wpw Reply
  • Nice take on things CS – the Lions also have a decent loose trio marshalled by Captain Cobus…so that match up should be interesting…especially if Botes returns to the starting line up.

  • Comment 4, posted at 18.02.09 18:12:41 by blackshark Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • Good article…though I do not agree with it all…

  • Comment 5, posted at 18.02.09 18:44:45 by Hmmm Reply
  • @Hmmm (Comment 5) : The part about total lineout domination by the LIONS only exists in your head dude…

  • Comment 6, posted at 18.02.09 18:53:14 by blackshark Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • The Sharks most def have a better backline…but their backline was defensively weak on numerous occasions…and be rest assured with Willemse, Jano, Rose and Fourie they are bound to break through there on occasion and with Henno and Willimse out to prove a point I surely will not be surprised if the LIONS score off those opportunities…
    Secondly the LIONS have a very tough and competitive loose trio…with a bench partner in Clever that surely is the No1 super sub of week 1…so be sure that the breakdown will be competitive…
    Plus the LIONS only conceded 3 tries of which 2 were when they went to sleep (thinking the game is in the bag) in the last 15 minutes or so…

    The Sharks will have to up their game from last week if they are looking at scoring 4 tries…

  • Comment 7, posted at 18.02.09 18:55:27 by Hmmm Reply
  • @blackshark (Comment 6) :

    I won’t say total…but piping it…
    When have the Sharks ever stolen line-out ball??? You just don’t have the locks for it…
    Although after last week’s performance I back your locks to be all round better than the LIONS…Mostert for example looked very slow…like he is not fully fit…but then again he has not had much game time since last years S14!??!

  • Comment 8, posted at 18.02.09 18:58:36 by Hmmm Reply
  • Hey Shaksworld ADMIN…

    SuperBru and a few other sites have the LIONS as second…now it does not matter as the Blues and LIONS have exactly the same stats (e.g. points dif, try’s for, try’s against, etc, etc)…however should the fact that the LIONS scored the most points in week one not count in their favour…I mean that would be the deciding criteria for a quarter final spot should there be a deadlock like this…NOT ALPHABETICAL….


  • Comment 9, posted at 18.02.09 19:13:40 by Hmmm Reply
  • Oh and Heinke does not scrum all on his own…our scrum moved forward as one unit on many occasions with both the other props…

  • Comment 10, posted at 18.02.09 19:37:13 by Hmmm Reply
  • @Hmmm (Comment 8) : Did you watch the Sharks vs Stormers game? And have you fixed your skew lineout problem?

  • Comment 11, posted at 18.02.09 19:54:09 by blackshark Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @Hmmm (Comment 9) : Its because they ARE alphabetical on those logs. Its the Auto & General Lions…

  • Comment 12, posted at 18.02.09 20:33:46 by Frisbee Reply
  • @Hmmm (Comment 9) : You’ve been asking the same question and know one seems to want to answer you. Here is what I know. It is not based on what the team score, it is based on the points difference between them and their opposition. The Lions one with only 6 points the Bulls won wit 13 and that is why they are at the top of the log.

  • Comment 13, posted at 18.02.09 20:48:01 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Letgo
  • @Letgo (Comment 13) : Hmmm doesnt have a problem with the bulls but with the blues…

  • Comment 14, posted at 18.02.09 21:28:46 by blackshark Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • Oh please will someone put me out of my misery, hmm is driving me nuts!!!

  • Comment 15, posted at 18.02.09 21:41:56 by wpw Reply
  • @blackshark (Comment 14) : auto and general lions

  • Comment 16, posted at 18.02.09 21:43:10 by willa Reply
  • Was always a fan of Henno and would love to see him playing great rugby again. Pity it wont be for the sharks

  • Comment 17, posted at 18.02.09 23:54:09 by beez Reply
  • Yep Henno looked awesome… still as quick as ever… and seemingly much bigger this year too… some awesome interplay with Fourie who is by far the best 13 in the land and hitting top form again…

  • Comment 18, posted at 19.02.09 03:51:52 by bryce_in_oz Reply
  • I had a chat with Henno after the match against the Cheetahs and he seems real pleased with the opportunity that he got with the Lions and also very determined not to let himself, the team and his fans down.

  • Comment 19, posted at 19.02.09 07:01:08 by walter van Reply
    walter van Lions World
  • @walter van (Comment 19) : good for him. Sorry to say it, but he let himself down badly last year. Glad he’s determined to make amends

  • Comment 20, posted at 19.02.09 07:47:46 by robdylan Reply
  • This was an awesome read, great stuff! Rob, please check your mail.

  • Comment 21, posted at 19.02.09 08:19:24 by Baldrick Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 20) : For Hmmmm’s sake please put the Lions second..they unlikely to be there again any time soon 😉

  • Comment 22, posted at 19.02.09 08:19:46 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @Hmmm (Comment 8) : dude, we stole one clean last week off the stormers throw (that i remember) and surprisingly at the end of the game we had lost less of our own lineouts than the stormers (think it was 4-3 or something like that), who have the old andries “don’t call me kortgat” bekker in the team.

  • Comment 23, posted at 19.02.09 08:24:14 by knersboy Reply
  • @Pokkel (Comment 22) : 😆 😀

  • Comment 24, posted at 19.02.09 08:26:01 by wpw Reply
  • @Pokkel (Comment 22) :
    Please! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 25, posted at 19.02.09 08:27:44 by blackshark Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • beast only change in team, he is on the bench

  • Comment 26, posted at 19.02.09 08:37:34 by willa Reply
  • BAEST, BEAST, BEAST, BEAST, GO SHARKS !!! :mrgreen: 😆 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 27, posted at 19.02.09 08:39:35 by Charlie Reply
  • Charlie

    Beast is not as good as Mujati and never will be.

    As for Adi, I don’t think he will make the Bok side this year now that Fourie and Bobo are on form.

  • Comment 28, posted at 19.02.09 08:42:37 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 28) : dude that not nice, ur a mean mean little boy,and it seems u need a hug!now play nice!

  • Comment 29, posted at 19.02.09 08:46:41 by willa Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 24) : So wpw is it not arrogent if it’s meant for the Lions :mrgreen:

  • Comment 30, posted at 19.02.09 08:51:24 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @willa (Comment 29) :

    excuse me??? 🙄

  • Comment 31, posted at 19.02.09 08:58:26 by wpw Reply
  • @Pokkel (Comment 30) :

    🙄 Lions are not much fun to mess with… like the Stormers… :mrgreen:

    There’s sensible Walter and delusional Hmmm…opposite poles really…the rest of the guys have disappeared…

  • Comment 32, posted at 19.02.09 09:06:32 by blackshark Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @wpw (Comment 28) :

    Only you can make out who’s on form from one game… 😉

  • Comment 33, posted at 19.02.09 09:07:51 by blackshark Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • I reckon this game will be a wee bit tougher than you guys think.

    Sharks for 4 points only in my books.

  • Comment 34, posted at 19.02.09 09:09:01 by MorneN Reply
  • @blackshark (Comment 32) : Pity we won’t be playing the Stormers again any time soon….maybe (and it’s a BIG maybe) again in the Super 14 play-offs

  • Comment 35, posted at 19.02.09 09:09:19 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • Unlike the Stormers, the Lions share similar strengths to that of the Sharks.

  • Comment 36, posted at 19.02.09 09:10:13 by MorneN Reply
  • @MorneN (Comment 34) :

    What do you mean “tougher than we think”?
    We’re shaking in our pants here…

    Ok…not really…but the Lions have shown that they mean business – and they always pull up their socks when they play us.

    I’m expecting 5 points – but we’ll have to work hard for it.

  • Comment 37, posted at 19.02.09 09:12:13 by blackshark Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @MorneN (Comment 36) : True.

  • Comment 38, posted at 19.02.09 09:12:43 by blackshark Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @MorneN (Comment 34) : I don’t really know what to think about this game. I thought the Lions looked great on Friday , but it’s difficult to asses their performance against a team that hasn’t been fantastic. On the other hand (Darrel) the Sharks managed to come from behind at a packed Newlands against a team that is concederd semi final contenders.

    Ok I just convinced myself the Sharks should take this easily. 😆

  • Comment 39, posted at 19.02.09 09:20:04 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @Pokkel (Comment 39) :

    The main problem with the Lions is they cannot keep up with decent rugby for more than 40% of the game, the Sharks average about 70% imo.

    If the Lions can sustain the threat they pose for small patches in a game they will become a threat to any team in the competition.

  • Comment 40, posted at 19.02.09 09:23:17 by MorneN Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 31) : saying that mujati is better than beast,u cant lie like that in public 😆 😆 😆

  • Comment 41, posted at 19.02.09 09:23:27 by willa Reply
  • @MorneN (Comment 40) : I agree there was patches that where great and probably one of the nicer games to watch this weekend, but they nearly managed to lose that game towards the end. The Sharks tend to get stronger as the game progress and if it’s a close game chances are the Sharks will take it.

  • Comment 42, posted at 19.02.09 09:30:13 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @wpw (Comment 28) : Ja nee, wee vroeg môre die papsak gegryp, BTW, it’s easy to start at the top, but consistancy is what matters 😉

  • Comment 43, posted at 19.02.09 10:11:29 by Charlie Reply
  • @Letgo (Comment 13) :

    I was actually talking of the LIONS and Blues log positions…
    The LIONS and Blues have the exact same stats in terms of tries scored for and against and points difference…but the LIONS scored the most points of the weekend and I said that on that basis they deserve to be ahead of the Blues on the log that would be how a semi-final spot will be determined…
    The LIONS were 2nd on every other site I looked at…

  • Comment 44, posted at 19.02.09 12:26:50 by Hmmm Reply
  • @Frisbee (Comment 12) :

    Nope…SuperBru has them as LIONS only…
    Sharksworld is the only one still on the alphabet from what I saw…the other sites actually attended math’s classes too…

  • Comment 45, posted at 19.02.09 12:28:40 by Hmmm Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 15) :

    I am not driving anything of yours…JINNE!!!!

  • Comment 46, posted at 19.02.09 12:30:38 by Hmmm Reply
  • @Hmmm (Comment 46) :

    And anyways…we are not in Scotland…we say “my” as in my house and not “me” as in me house…

  • Comment 47, posted at 19.02.09 12:31:45 by Hmmm Reply
  • @knersboy (Comment 23) :


    But you are quite secure on your own ball I have to say…

  • Comment 48, posted at 19.02.09 12:34:40 by Hmmm Reply
  • @Letgo (Comment 13) : and then alphabetical order if pd and tries are alike.

  • Comment 49, posted at 19.02.09 12:35:40 by try time Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 28) :

    Bobo on form!??!

    Gees I don’t wanna see when he is having a off time then!??!

  • Comment 50, posted at 19.02.09 12:35:52 by Hmmm Reply
  • @Hmmm (Comment 50) :

    But then again you are referring to Mujati as good…so I guess I should not be taking you seriously…

  • Comment 51, posted at 19.02.09 12:36:45 by Hmmm Reply
  • In last years CC match LIONS vs WP at Newlands…Mujati acted sick to be excluded from the side cozz he did not want to face Heinke (I heard from someone that says he is a close friend of his)…
    Hope he will be around in round 5…

  • Comment 52, posted at 19.02.09 12:39:32 by Hmmm Reply
  • @blackshark (Comment 32) :

    LOL! BTW, you registered for our Born2Brag competition but never entered any scores…so you are on -9 points..perhaps you should enter some scores for Saturday’s games?

  • Comment 53, posted at 20.02.09 10:59:57 by walter van Reply
    walter van Lions World
  • @Hmmm (Comment 44) : I didn’t see sharksworlds log, that’s why i thought you were talking about the bulls. don’t worry, how sharksworld gives the log will have no influence on how the log really ends up. 😀

  • Comment 54, posted at 20.02.09 17:45:07 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Letgo
  • lions

  • Comment 55, posted at 21.02.09 17:07:17 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply
  • LIONS!

  • Comment 56, posted at 21.02.09 17:08:10 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply
  • ROAR

  • Comment 57, posted at 21.02.09 17:08:50 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply
  • meooow

  • Comment 58, posted at 21.02.09 17:10:22 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply
  • Here Kitty Kitty

  • Comment 59, posted at 21.02.09 17:12:44 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 59) :


  • Comment 60, posted at 21.02.09 18:32:18 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply

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