Lions show their hand

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Lions, Original Content, Super Rugby on 8 Feb 2011 at 14:08
Tagged with : , ,

John Mitchell has named a near full-strength lineup to face touring Argentine side Tucuman in a Super Rugby warmup game on Wednesday evening.

The inclusion of Kiwi speedster James Kamana at fullback , ahead of Jaco Taute, is somewhat of a surprise, but the coach is clearly keen to give the New Zealander an extended run to see what he is capable of. The anticipated first-choice 10-12 pair of Elton Jantjies and Doppies la Grange will also enjoy their first hit-out for the season in a backline that looks incredibly exciting on paper. Lionel Mapoe and the underrated Michael Killian start on the wing.

The pack is not terribly different from the unit that upstaged the Sharks in Cape Town last week and Pat Cilliers would appear to have the inside lane to the number 3 jersey for the opening Super Rugby game against the Bulls.

Lions: 15 James Kamana, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Joshua Strauss, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 George Earle, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Kevin Buys, 18, Wikus van Heerden, 19 Cobus Grobbelaar, 20 Rory Kockott, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Jaco Taute, 23 David Bulbring, 24 Michael Rhodes, 25 Jannie Boshof.


  • these guys are going to be hard to beat in the first few rounds when they have their strongest team available.

  • Comment 1, posted at 08.02.11 14:15:37 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • this is a decent side, could upset a few teams this the look of their loose forwards. very talented

  • Comment 2, posted at 08.02.11 14:16:01 by jovner Reply

  • Squad looks like it’s just missing Mjekevu .Hopefully he’ll get there soon .

  • Comment 3, posted at 08.02.11 14:16:29 by Speed7 Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 1) : Agree with you Rob, have said from the end of the cc last year, this Lions team will never be a push over this year. They gonna beat many a top side.

  • Comment 4, posted at 08.02.11 14:21:56 by Puma Reply

  • George Earl the weakest link .Not sure he’ll keep that spot as the season wears on .

  • Comment 5, posted at 08.02.11 14:23:51 by Speed7 Reply

  • @Speed7 (Comment 5) : but who will replace him? That second row is a bit of an achilles heel.

  • Comment 6, posted at 08.02.11 14:36:00 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Speed7 (Comment 5) : Didn’t you guys put in an offer for sykes? Or was it skeate?

  • Comment 7, posted at 08.02.11 14:36:34 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Ben (Comment 7) : It was Bekker, but he decided to stay with the Stormers.

  • Comment 8, posted at 08.02.11 14:41:01 by MB1810 Reply

  • @MB1810 (Comment 8) : I was being sarcastic

  • Comment 9, posted at 08.02.11 14:43:26 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Well they certainly going to create a stir that is for sure. Any team that underestimate them will get a big surprise.

    Come to think about it, the new Super Rugby format really does screw us around. Even thou the Lions might not be play-off contenders just yet, they do look pretty impressive. I really think that we have 4 very strong teams competing. Between the Bulls, Sharks, Stormers and Lions we could have had 4 teams in the top 7 or 6. Pity only two sides from each conference will go to the play-offs.

  • Comment 10, posted at 08.02.11 14:46:54 by Farlington Reply

  • Bulbring is the “prospect”. Maybe van Heerden. Not sure there is a lock there who can standout.

  • Comment 11, posted at 08.02.11 14:57:33 by Speed7 Reply

  • Think the Lions will lose alot of games narrowley. Hopefully upset one or two inbound foreign sides. That’s about all. Only a top 10 this year Iam afraid.

  • Comment 12, posted at 08.02.11 15:00:33 by Speed7 Reply

  • @Farlington (Comment 10) : Farlington,

    Don’t think it will be two sides from each conference that go to the play offs.

    Who tops their conference is a cert, they go 1,2 and 3. Who gets top points go in that order. Then the next best points from which ever conference goes to 4, 5 and 6. So say if NZ or SA have actually got 5 teams that actually finish 1 to 5 on points then the Top team will go to 1st they get a semi final. Then 2nd, 3rd and 4 with get, number 4, 5 and 6th spots in the play offs. Cause each who top their conference gets 1st 2nd or 3rd place depending on who has the highest points, they go in that order. No conference can have two going through unless their points are highest from any other conference teams. So if we had teams finishing like last year on first and 2nd then our 2nd will go to 4th spot etc…

    So really this new format is flawed. I don’t think this format will last for more than a few years before it is changed.

    Also another thing the coastal saffa sides have to play 3 games at altitude. None Oz and Nz sides will have to do that. Then we also don’t play all the teams in Oz or Nz we miss playing one of those sides.

    This format is daft. Really flawed.

  • Comment 13, posted at 08.02.11 15:05:41 by Puma Reply

  • @Speed7 (Comment 11) : Don’t forget David de Villiers is there as well. But the Westville Old Boy George Earle did a pretty good job for the Lions in 2010.

  • Comment 14, posted at 08.02.11 15:09:16 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • De Villiers will come into the equation later. Earle for me just isn’t physical enough. The Lions lack an enforcer.

  • Comment 15, posted at 08.02.11 15:18:12 by Speed7 Reply

  • Tucuman. Brawl coming.

  • Comment 16, posted at 08.02.11 15:46:29 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Farlington (Comment 10) : that’s not true. Up to four sides from 1 conference could theoretically go through.

  • Comment 17, posted at 08.02.11 15:49:03 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 17) : I think I should bump the How it works thread up again. 😛

    Why is this format so difficult to understand? 😳

  • Comment 18, posted at 08.02.11 15:54:44 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 18) : I understand it, quite simple really… 😉

    @robdylan (Comment 17) : Rob, theoretically 4 of our teams could go through, but I hardly see it happen. We would have to play out of our skins for it to happen. Cause saffa against saffa is the hardest games in world rugby. imo. We just bliksem each other stupid. Why we can’t do that against the overseas teams, have not a clue.

    Also the coastal saffa teams have to play at altitude 3 times. Can we take oxygen bottles for halftime to get to the same advantage of the altitude teams? 😆 Why not?..hehe. Heard that Mac used to do that during the 90’s with his team playing up at altitude. (Not sure if it is true)

    Then some of us get to miss playing Saders, who for me look the team to beat this year. Some miss playing them. Unless they get to the semi or final.

    Don’t think this new format is fair. Flawed format. 🙁

  • Comment 19, posted at 08.02.11 16:02:55 by Puma Reply

  • Rob, I changed my pic, but see the old one still showing. I always seem to have a problem when changing my pic.

  • Comment 20, posted at 08.02.11 16:04:40 by Puma Reply

  • @Puma (Comment 20) : hiyt CTRL F5

  • Comment 21, posted at 08.02.11 16:06:27 by Ice (KCM) Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 16) :
    I wonder if Steve Atherton will make a trip to Joburg – just to get another look at the Tucaman jersey. That was a brawl.

  • Comment 22, posted at 08.02.11 16:07:08 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Puma (Comment 19) :
    not fair in which way?

  • Comment 23, posted at 08.02.11 16:07:52 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 18) : I don’t think its difficult, but people don’t like change, especially if something was working…I think its rather a mindset than a understanding issue..

  • Comment 24, posted at 08.02.11 16:08:20 by Ice (KCM) Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @robdylan (Comment 17) : but I think it’s unlikely that more that 2 SA sides will qualify.. .. the Cheetah’s will probably only have wins against local sides and rollover and play dead against foreign sides.

    I hope the Lions can win a couple of games against foreign opposition this year….not like the Cheetah’s that leave their best games for SA teams.

  • Comment 25, posted at 08.02.11 16:08:35 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 22) : 😛

    Maybe to see if he can settle some scores. 🙂

  • Comment 26, posted at 08.02.11 16:10:28 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Ice (KCM) (Comment 24) :

    You know how many people I talk to, on here and in KSA, who are still under the impression that 2 teams from each conference will go through and who still believe that 2 teams from 1 conference could end 1st and 2nd overall before the play-off stages?

  • Comment 27, posted at 08.02.11 16:14:01 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 22) : @KSA Shark © (Comment 16) : That was a epic brawl…the midweek Boks always had their hands full with that match.

  • Comment 28, posted at 08.02.11 16:15:35 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 23) : Ksa, Just using the old format as example. If you finished 2nd that is where you finished and had a home semi. Now if Sharks finish 2nd overall on points, but say behind Bulls, if Bulls finish top overall, then we have play in the play off, we go to 4th. Not hosting a semi but trying to get to a semi. Now that is a flawed tourney if you ask me. I say it wont last this format, supporters wont accept it. Probably last 2 years and it will be changed. The old format worked well.

    Also we don’t all play the same teams, some don’t get to play the top sides. We this year don’t play Landers and Reds. Okay pleased we miss the Reds they sort of our bogey team, but we did beat them last year. We normally beat Landers. Not always but normally. Now if we never got to play Saders and Tahs. That would kinda been nice. See? Some get to miss playing top sides when other teams have to play em. Flawed this format buddy.

    Also all coastal saffa teams have to play 3 times at altitude, the overseas sides don’t have to do that. Flawed format. 😉

    I just don’t like this new format at all.

  • Comment 29, posted at 08.02.11 16:26:37 by Puma Reply

  • @Ice (KCM) (Comment 21) : Tried that, and tried deleting my temp internet files too. Also the cookies. Tried it all..hehe. Nothing working. It eventually changes, just takes time. I have a real Shark, had to get rid of the fun one, the real tourney coming up next week. 😎

  • Comment 30, posted at 08.02.11 16:30:56 by Puma Reply

  • @Puma (Comment 29) :

    Okay on the play-off qualifying spot: We all (all 3 conferences) get affected by it so nobody can say it isn’t fair.

    On the not playing every team: there is a rotation system that ensures we will skip all the teams eventually after a 5 year period. So in some years you will have an awesome draw and in some you will have a less than ideal one but again it affects all the teams so we can’t say it is unfair.

    We as Saffas are to quick to claim being victims in the SR comps.

  • Comment 31, posted at 08.02.11 16:33:09 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Puma (Comment 30) :

    We can (well I can) all see your new pic you seem to be the only one who can’t 🙂

  • Comment 32, posted at 08.02.11 16:34:42 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 32) : hehehe. I know, that always happens. So have no cooking clue why. 😳 It eventually comes up. I still see the fun one with the rugga ball.

  • Comment 33, posted at 08.02.11 16:36:43 by Puma Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 32) : Jeez, it is hot here today. Really hope not this hot for Sharks/Cheetahs game next week.

    Saying that your weather will start to cook come April. Now that is bloody hot weather in Saudi.

  • Comment 34, posted at 08.02.11 16:38:56 by Puma Reply

  • @Puma (Comment 34) :

    We are cruising at 10-13 C overnight at the moment with daytime peaking at mid 20s

    We will be okay untill about the end of April when it gets hot and then Jul/Aug/Sept when it is HOT and HUMID. 🙁

  • Comment 35, posted at 08.02.11 16:49:02 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 35) : Yeah, not nice weather in Saudi. I was in Riyadh, many years back, more a dry heat, but seriously hot come July until end of Sept. temps around 45 to 49 everyday that time. But I think many days were over 50 of course they would never say so, cause then business would have to close..hahaha. Heat came over night almost from April.

    So just enjoy the cool weather you having…lol.

    Do you make your own booze there? We all did that time. 🙂

  • Comment 36, posted at 08.02.11 17:02:49 by Puma Reply

  • Okay see my new pic now. 😎

  • Comment 37, posted at 08.02.11 17:03:19 by Puma Reply

  • Cheers KSA, Catch up tomorrow.

    Out of here now.

  • Comment 38, posted at 08.02.11 17:05:52 by Puma Reply

  • ho hum ho hum.

    Boring day…

  • Comment 39, posted at 08.02.11 17:17:06 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Tucuman: 15 Lucas Barrera Oro, 14 Alvaro Lopez Gonzalez, 13 Federico Haunstein, 12 Ezequiel Faralle, 11 Nicolás Pintado, 10 Santiago Chavanne, 9 Diego Ternavasio, 8 Lisandro Ahualli, 7 Antonio Ahualli, 6 Ignacio Huanstein, 5 Gabriel Pata Curello, 4 Patricio Gimenez, 3 Bruno Cuezzo, 2 Juan Avila, 1 Roberto Tejerizo.
    Replacements: 16 Rafael Garrido, 17 Germán Araoz, 18 Emiliano Coria, 19 Juan Pablo Lagarrigue, 20 Dino Caceres, 21 Nicolás Centurion, 22 Facundo Rodriguez Prados, 23 Francisco Granata, 24 Federico Mentz, 25 Anibal Teran, 26 Sebastian Ponce, 27 Juan Pablo Joya, 28 Diego Mas, 29 Luciano Proto

  • Comment 40, posted at 08.02.11 19:10:14 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Puma (Comment 37) : Looks like a dolphin to me

  • Comment 41, posted at 08.02.11 20:52:03 by MysticShark Reply
    Competition Winner
  • its always hard when we read the snoils side 🙁

    the PC name always seem to cup up 👿

  • Comment 42, posted at 08.02.11 21:25:05 by chaz Reply

  • @MysticShark (Comment 41) :

    gee then you must look again 🙂 because that is really a shark and he looks mean and hungry for some rugga :mrgreen: 😉

  • Comment 43, posted at 08.02.11 21:27:03 by chaz Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 39) : you can say that again

  • Comment 44, posted at 08.02.11 21:27:52 by chaz Reply

  • Its a good side but lacks depth in certain positions namely Lock, Center and a utility Lossie.

    Every year starts off with blind optimism for my team but this year Im very cautious and will take it one game at a time.The best we can hope for and realistically would be to finish 3rd in our conference ..
    I’ll be at the game cheering the boys on … I just wish the real rugby would start now !

  • Comment 45, posted at 09.02.11 08:47:21 by csb Reply

  • @Puma (Comment 13) : @robdylan (Comment 17) : thanks for that… and I thought I had it all figured out. 🙄

  • Comment 46, posted at 09.02.11 14:06:45 by Farlington Reply


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