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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:41 am 
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Simelane’s worth the investment

Wandisile Simelane is a prime example of a player who should benefit richly from South African rugby’s new contracting model, writes CRAIG LEWIS.

On Saturday, Simelane made his Vodacom Super Rugby run-on debut. Some 80 minutes later, he couldn’t wipe a beaming smile off his face after bagging the Man of the Match award in the Lions’ 47-39 win over the Jaguares.

The highly-regarded centre looked comfortable and confident from the outset of Saturday’s clash. Besides racking up over 100 running metres and scoring an opportunistic try, it was really his influence in setting up the Lions’ third try that provided the strongest indication that this is a player who simply ‘has it’.

Receiving the ball on the halfway line, Simelane cut between two Jaguares defenders, and while in contact still managed to send a basketball-like pass away to a teammate in space.

It was a moment of magic that wouldn’t have surprised those who know Simelane well. Ever since working his way through the Lions’ ranks, the talented youngster has been earmarked as a talent to watch.

After producing a sequence of eye-catching performances for the Junior Boks last year, SA Rugby magazine caught up with his high school director of sport from Jeppe to gain further insight.

‘Everyone who worked with Wandi during his formative years knew he was going places,’ Brendan Gittins commented. ‘He has always shown a higher level of tactical and technical maturity than his peers, and a greater appreciation of the laws. And now that he has the physical stature to complement his ability to break the line and beat people one-on-one, he’ll become even more destructive.’

FEATURE: Simelane’s oval-ball option

It’s a piece of astute inside information about a player who boasts all the attributes of a natural sportsman, harking back to his younger days when he appeared destined for a professional football career.

Of course, it’s important to be wary of building too much early hype around a newcomer who is only about to celebrate his 21st birthday, but he is the sort of candidate South African director of rugby Rassie Erasmus must have in his crosshairs for the long term.

Last week, Erasmus fronted up to the media for the first time this year and provided further insight into the new contracting model, devised with the aim to re-prioritise expenditure with a greater focus on capturing the next generation of talent.

Erasmus and the upper hierarchy at SA Rugby have realised that it is no longer financially sustainable to spend a fortune on the top tier of Springboks, effectively in competition with inevitably lucrative offers from overseas clubs.

Instead, a ranking system will be put in place as part of a succession plan aimed at rather filtering the ‘saved finances’ into rewarding and retaining those second, third and fourth-choice players in South Africa who have been earmarked for future success.

It’s about broadening the player base from the bottom up, and it’s youngsters of the calibre of Simelane who should surely benefit under the new system to come into place from next year.

There is no doubt that outside centre is Simelane’s best position. That’s also key in the context of the South African rugby landscape, when one considers that it has really been a problem position ever since Jaque Fourie’s heyday came to an end.

In the current pecking order at 13, you’d surely find Lukhanyo Am, closely followed by Jesse Kriel, and then Lionel Mapoe. Yet, bearing in mind that Mapoe will turn 31 later this year, it’s a next-generation star such as Simelane who will be very much on the radar.

It’s an exciting time for young players in South Africa as the move begins towards investing in talent for the future. Simelane is just one of those rising stars who could, and should, become a worthy benefactor.

https://www.sarugbymag.co.za/simelanes-worth-the-investment/


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:43 am 
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Rookies/near rookies used so far

Rd1:

3 Carlu Sadie (8, 67 min), 4 Rhyno Herbst, 16 Pieter Jansen, 19 Ruan Vermaak, 22 Wandisile Simelane

Rd 2:

21 Gianni Lombard

Rd 3:

20 Vincent Tshituka, 22 Franco Naude

Rd 4:

17 Nathan McBeth, 20 James Venter


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:10 pm 
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Lombard look like a debutant. Sure he'll get better with a few more games. There is to much talent.


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:35 pm 
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Injuries:
Kwagga Smith (groin) - 6 weeks
Dylan Smith (broken cheekbone) - 8 weeks
Vincent Tshituka (ankle) - 6 weeks
Dillon Smit (hamstring) - 6 weeks
Andries Coetzee (tight hamstring) - short term


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:38 pm 
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Jensrsa wrote:
Injuries:
Kwagga Smith (groin) - 6 weeks
Dylan Smith (broken cheekbone) - 8 weeks
Vincent Tshituka (ankle) - 6 weeks
Dillon Smit (hamstring) - 6 weeks
Andries Coetzee (tight hamstring) - short term

Ouch. Kwagga especially is a huge loss for you guys.


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:41 pm 
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saffer13 wrote:
Jensrsa wrote:
Injuries:
Kwagga Smith (groin) - 6 weeks
Dylan Smith (broken cheekbone) - 8 weeks
Vincent Tshituka (ankle) - 6 weeks
Dillon Smit (hamstring) - 6 weeks
Andries Coetzee (tight hamstring) - short term

Ouch. Kwagga especially is a huge loss for you guys.

Dylan Smith even more, I think. He has been solid in the front row


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:41 pm 
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Jensrsa wrote:
Injuries:
Kwagga Smith (groin) - 6 weeks
Dylan Smith (broken cheekbone) - 8 weeks
Vincent Tshituka (ankle) - 6 weeks
Dillon Smit (hamstring) - 6 weeks
Andries Coetzee (tight hamstring) - short term


Not a good thing to see.


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:36 pm 
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Chilli wrote:
Jensrsa wrote:
Injuries:
Kwagga Smith (groin) - 6 weeks
Dylan Smith (broken cheekbone) - 8 weeks
Vincent Tshituka (ankle) - 6 weeks
Dillon Smit (hamstring) - 6 weeks
Andries Coetzee (tight hamstring) - short term


Not a good thing to see.

Four experienced players out and we are short on experience as it is


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:01 pm 
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Yet, in the short term, to what extent will these injuries affect South Africa’s three-time finalists?

KWAGGA SMITH (Out for six weeks)

The former Blitzboks star has had an outstanding campaign to date, spearheading a loose trio lacking in size and oozing with skill.

His versatility is becoming the stuff of legend and his ability to find space has ignited numerous attacking moves in 2019.

“He’s a quick healer. It might be quicker than that,” said Collins.

Likely replacement: 22-year-old James Venter, another nippy flanker who might not quite possess Smith’s skill, but is hard-working and a very keen tackler.

The hole he leaves: Creativity and leadership might nosedive, but physicality won’t be affected.

DYLAN SMITH (Out for eight to 12 weeks)

He’s been the mainstay of the Lions’ scrum and really stepped up with several more experienced props moving on.

Except for his scrumming, Smith has been prominent in broken play.

“His injury involves bone that has to heal on the outside. The soft piece of the cheek is broken,” said Collins.

Likely replacement: Veteran Jacobie Adriaanse, whose been around the block, but 20-year-old Nathan McBeth might also come into the reckoning.

The hole he leaves: Probably the biggest one of all the injured players given Adriaanse’s fitness concerns and McBeth’s inexperience.

VINCE TSHITUKA (Out for four weeks)

The jury’s still out on his ability to win the collisions as a blindsider, but he’s certainly made his mark.

Tshituka has shown a willingness to be a link in attack and certainly doesn’t shy away from defence, which he says he wants to become known for.

Likely replacement: Hacjivah Dayimani is thought to be a like-for-like though he doesn’t seem to be as physical-inclined, while Robert Kruger has been around the block.

The hole he leaves: Rising form and enthusiasm is never something a team wants to miss out on. Dayimani will arguably add more of a X-factor.

Others out of contention: Andries Coetzee (back next week), Dillon Smit (hamstring, four weeks), Warren Whiteley (pectoralis, mid-April), Cyle Brink (knee, 4 April), Johannes Jonker (4 April).

https://citizen.co.za/sport/south-african-sport/sa-rugby-sport/super-rugby/2104009/how-badly-will-the-lions-be-hit-by-their-latest-casualty-list/


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:27 pm 
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Lions miss stars but have depth and fight

As the Lions enjoy their first bye this week, they do so in the knowledge that they lead the Super Rugby SA Conference, having won four of six matches.

However, it hasn’t been all plain sailing for coach Swys de Bruin and company, as Independent Mediar points out five things we’ve learnt so far about the 2019 team:

Injuries hit hard

They started the season with not too many injured players on the sidelines, but in the last six weeks of action they’ve had to dig deep to put out a competitive and balanced team.

Cyle Brink not being fit up to now hit the loose forward department hard, and along the way the Lions have also lost Warren Whiteley, Kwagga Smith and Vincent Tshituka.

Hotshot prop Dylan Smith is also out again, as is scrumhalf Dillon Smit, while Marvin Orie also spent time on the sidelines, as well as Andries Coetzee, Aphiwe Dyantyi and scrumhalf Ross Cronje. The Lions have looked like a patchwork side at times.

Mostert was the machine

A number of players have left the Lions in the last two years, among them Ruan Ackermann, Jaco Kriel, Faf de Klerk, Ruan Dreyer, Jacques van Rooyen and Rohan Janse van Rensburg, but they are missing Franco Mostert the most in 2019.

The lanky lock was a workhorse like no other and if he wasn’t making tackles he was carrying the ball in contact. He was also a banker in the line-outs and one of the most influential figures in the pack. The added bonus is that Mostert was just as comfortable at blindside flank as he was at lock; he is being missed.

There’s wonderful depth

But what the departure of several high-profile players has done in the Lions' set-up is open the door for the younger stars to come through and grab their chance and how they’ve performed!

Coach De Bruin and company must also be lauded for backing the “kids”, who’ve paid them back with some quality outings so far. Here one thinks of backs Tyrone Green, Wandisile Simelane and Franco Naude, and forwards Tshituka, Hacjivah Dayimani, James Venter, Ruan Vermaak, Rhyno Herbst, Pieter Jansen and possibly the best of the bunch, loan prop from the Cape, Carlu Sadie, who has shone at No 3.

They’ve got some fight

The Lions suffered two defeats early on against the Stormers in Cape Town and the Bulls at Ellis Park, and looked to be on a downward spiral ahead of the visit by the tricky Jaguares on March 9.

But the Lions produced a quality performance and blew their opponents off the park before suffering a late implosion, although they’d done enough to get back on track.

And the week after that, they appeared to be down and out against the Rebels before a stunning second half which saw them score 31 unanswered points, ensuring a thrilling 36-33 win.

Signs times are changing

In the last three years the Lions have been South Africa’s strongest Super Rugby side by some margin, but not anymore.

This year there appears to be a soft touch to the squad; they should have held on against the Stormers in round two, but lost 19-17 in the dying minutes, and then also suffered a shock 30-12 loss to the Bulls at Ellis Park the following week.

While they beat the Jaguares home and away, and the Rebels and Sunwolves, there have been cracks in their performances. The futures of De Bruin and some players are also undecided after this year’s competition.

https://www.iol.co.za/sport/rugby/super-rugby/lions-miss-stars-but-have-depth-and-fight-20110972


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 5:27 am 
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Seems the Lions and coach Swys de Bruin as struggling to come to a contract agreement regarding his salary

http://www.lionsworld.co.za/forumnew/geldgeskil-kan-swys-laat-trek_topic7710.html


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:54 am 
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The Lions have extended the contract of head coach Swys de Bruin by two years.

De Bruin replaced Johan Ackermann as Lions coach after the 2017 Vodacom Super Rugby season. He coached them to last year’s final, where they lost to the Crusaders in Christchurch. The team is currently at the top of the South African conference.

The 59-year-old has also assisted Rassie Erasmus with coaching the Springboks, prompting speculation that he could leave the Lions.

However, Lions CEO Rudolf Straeuli confirmed on Tuesday that De Bruin is staying put.

‘Swys will remain at the Lions and has extended his contract until 2021 with the franchise. Lions Rugby remains a system-driven franchise focused on stability within the structures of our players and coaches.’

https://www.sarugbymag.co.za/swys-stay-lions-2021/

:thumbup:


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:36 pm 
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KWAGGA READY TO TOUR

https://www.sarugbymag.co.za/kwagga-boo ... DQJPJTrA48


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:55 pm 
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Lions Australasian touring squad:

Forwards
Carlu Sadie
Cyle Brink
Frans van Wyk
Hacjivah Dayimani
Johannes Jonker
Kwagga Smith
Malcolm Marx (captain)
Marnus Schoeman
Marvin Orie
Nathan McBeth
Rhyno Herbst
Robbie Coetzee
Stephan Lewies
Sti Sithole
Wilhelm van der Sluys

Backs
Andries Coetzee
Aphiwe Dyantyi
Courtnall Skosan
Elton Jantjies
Franco Naude
Gianni Lombard
Lionel Mapoe
Nic Groom
Ross Cronje
Ruan Combrinck
Sylvian Mahuza

Players on standby in South Africa:
Harold Vorster
James Venter
Jan Henning Champher
Tyrone Green
Wandisile Simelane
Warren Whiteley

Not considered due to injury:
Dylan Smith (cheek-bone)
Jacobie Adriaanse (hamstring)
Pieter Jansen (calf)
Reinhardt Nothnagel (shoulder)
PJ Steenkamp (fractured tibia & fibula)
Robert Kruger (ankle)
Vincent Tshituka (ankle)
Ruan Vermaak (fractured right thumb)
Dillon Smit (hamstring)
Manuel Rass (concussion)


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:41 pm 
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Lions team to play the Chiefs

15 Sylvian Mahuza, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Franco Naude, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Gianni Lombard, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Sti Sithole
Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Frans Van Wyk, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Andries Coetzee


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:17 pm 
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Jensrsa wrote:
Lions team to play the Chiefs

15 Sylvian Mahuza, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Franco Naude, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Gianni Lombard, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Sti Sithole
Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Frans Van Wyk, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Andries Coetzee

That is a good loose trio.

Elton and Marx rested.


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:25 am 
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I was looking for a match thread. The Aussies and Kiwis are vokken lazy. :x :x

Great to see Gianni starting in 10. Should have happened ages ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:06 am 
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OomPB wrote:
I was looking for a match thread. The Aussies and Kiwis are vokken lazy. :x :x

Great to see Gianni starting in 10. Should have happened ages ago.

He aint no Elton Junkies <Jens>


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:27 am 
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What is going on behind the scenes at the Lions?

It’s a question that came starkly into the spotlight on the eve of the Lions’ clash in Hamilton when it was revealed that head coach Swys de Bruin had left the squad and returned to South Africa.

The official response from the Lions was that his departure was for ‘personal reasons’, but SARugbymag.co.za understands there is far more to this story than meets the eye.

It’s believed that De Bruin has had to contend with outside influence and interference, which compromised and undermined his control over proceedings. It came to a breaking point this week, and ultimately led to his abrupt departure from the squad in the midst of an untenable situation.

https://www.sarugbymag.co.za/gutsy-lions-defy-adversity/


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:28 am 
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Chilli wrote:
OomPB wrote:
I was looking for a match thread. The Aussies and Kiwis are vokken lazy. :x :x

Great to see Gianni starting in 10. Should have happened ages ago.

He aint no Elton Junkies <Jens>

:thumbup:
:lol:
But he is the heir apparent :)

Unfortunately it seems he will be out for quite a while with the knee injury he picked up yesterday


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:51 pm 
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Jensrsa wrote:
Chilli wrote:
OomPB wrote:
I was looking for a match thread. The Aussies and Kiwis are vokken lazy. :x :x

Great to see Gianni starting in 10. Should have happened ages ago.

He aint no Elton Junkies <Jens>

:thumbup:
:lol:
But he is the heir apparent :)

Unfortunately it seems he will be out for quite a while with the knee injury he picked up yesterday


He ain't no hair apparent.


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:44 pm 
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The following illustrates a major part of the Lions problem being the unsettled nature of the team this year

In 10 games so far the Lions have fielded:
Front row: 4 combinations
Second row: 5 combinations
Back row: 9 combinations
Halfbacks: 4 combinations
Midfield: 6 combinations
Back three: 9 combinations


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 3:06 pm 
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How serious is WW's injury?


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 3:17 pm 
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assfly wrote:
How serious is WW's injury?

Not sure. No news yet


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:26 am 
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INJURY UPDATE: The Lions suffered a cruel blow with the news that their flyhalf has been ruled out for the rest of season.

The Lions medical staff revealed that talented young Gianni Lombard will not play again this year.

It is a result of the knee injury the 21-year-old former South African Under-20 utility suffered in the 23-17 win over the Chiefs in Hamilton earlier this month.

According to the medical report Lombard, who started at flyhalf against the Chiefs, ruptured both his ACL and MCL knee ligaments and will be sidelined for nine months.

Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies was at inside centre in the famous win, a rare Lions triumph in New Zealand.

Jantjies remained at No.12 in last week’s 10-36 loss to the Crusaders in Christchurch, with Shaun Reynolds starting at flyhalf.

The Lions are expected to release injury updates captain Warren Whiteley, Sylvian Mahuza and Cyle Brink later on Tuesday.

Whiteley withdrew on the eve of their encounter with the Crusaders, with a troublesome knee.

Mahuza and Brink were injured in that game.

https://rugby365.com/tournaments/super-rugby/news-super-rugby/lions-flyhalf-out-for-nine-months
Bad luck for Lombard. And the Lions.


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 2:45 pm 
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Lions injury update:

Quote:
Cyle Brink has a mild strain of his knee, sustained against the Crusaders, and should be ready for the next match.

Warren Whiteley has a small cartilage tear in the knee, which will settle over the next few weeks. He picked up this injury in the clash with the Chiefs.

Sylvian Mahuza, also a casualty of the Crusaders match, has a LCL injury of his left knee and the Lions Rugby Company medical team is investigating further.


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2019 1:18 pm 
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DOMESTIC SPOTLIGHT: Ruan Combrinck is not the first Springbok to get the axe and he won’t be the last.

Now Lions coach Swys de Bruin has challenged Combrinck to force his way back into the Lions selection frame via the Golden Lions XV in the domestic Challenge competition.

Combrinck, a stalwart during the Lions’ amazing run that saw them reach back-to-back finals for the past three years, will start at fullback when the Golden Lions host the Falcons in a Challenge match at Ellis Park – a curtain raiser for the Lions versus Waratahs Super Rugby encounter.


In another intriguing selection Hacjivah Dayimani, a talented loose forward that has featured in almost 20 Super Rugby games for the Lions, will run out at centre for the Golden Lions in the domestic competition.

The demotion of Combrink, who has lost form through a number of debilitating injuries, will send a clear signal to other senior players in the Lions set-up.

As a result of a spate of injuries, the most recent shoulder damage he suffered while playing for his Japanese club Kintetsu Liners in September last year, the 28-year-old has played only 332 minutes for the Lions in Super Rugby this year.

In those 332 minutes, Combrinck has made 28 tackles and missed nine tackles – a success rate of just 76 percent.

Combrinck has done fairly well on attack – with 25 carries and 352 metres gained – an average of 14.1 metres per carry.

He could be an extremely valuable player to the Lions and the Springboks when he is at the top of his game.

De Bruin made it clear he must show his desire to return to the international stage through the domestic ranks.

“Commies [Ruan Combrinck] is an interesting guy,” De Bruin told a media briefing at Ellis Park.

“He is [a] brilliant [player]. He is a bit off form and he knows it.

“He must fight for his position.

“Mentally it will always be a challenge, but they [players] must work through it.

“The challenge is for Combrinck – if he wants to play [Super Rugby for the Lions] again.

“If he is good enough we will pick him. If he is not, we won’t,” the coach added.

The selection of Dayimani is at the other end of the scale.

He is being moved to midfield with a view to the future.

Dayimani weighs in at 99 Kilograms and has a powerful defensive game – including 58 successful tackles out of 68 attempted – to go with an impressive attacking game (39 runs, nine defenders beaten and two clean breaks during his 292 minutes on the field).

De Bruin said the 21-year-old has the physical and athletic attributes necessary to become a centre.

“I’m very excited. We will play him – the Falcons – for about 60, 70 minutes at centre.

“It’s a thing that we looking at, [with a view] to the future,” De Bruin said, adding: “We had discussions with him and his agent, as well Rudolph [Straeuli, Golden Lions CEO].

“Hacjivah has done well at loose forward. I’m not saying he won’t play loose forward again, but I want to try him there [centre].

“I want to really see how he goes, because all his attributes lead towards [him being] a brilliant centre.”

De Bruin said he has a ‘gut feeling’ about playing Dayimani at centre.

The Lions coach has made an equally dramatic call more than a decade ago when – while still at the Sharks – he suggested a switch for Tendai Mtawarira No.8 to loosehead prop.

Mtawarira often speaks about his hesitation at first, but then embraced the move and has become a legendary Springbok prop – not just the most capped South African player in Super Rugby, but also the most Tests as a prop.

“Beast [Mtawarira], all those years back, played No.8 and I knew he would go nowhere as a No.8,” De Bruin said.

“When I moved him to prop, the guys said you must never fiddle with positions. He is now the most capped loosehead.”

https://rugby365.com/tournaments/super-rugby/news-super-rugby/challenges-for-an-axed-bok-and-converted-flank


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 10:53 am 
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Swys is a good man. :thumbup:
S24
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Playing a Super Rugby fixture against the Chiefs on Good Friday was too much for Swys de Bruin.

According to the Stuff website, the Lions' coach has revealed the guilt of playing on the religious holiday triggered a mental breakdown and forced him to bail on the their tour of New Zealand last month.

De Bruin told You magazine he woke up in a cold sweat and his hotel bed sheets were drenched. His wife, Marilize, told him to return home to South Africa immediately.

"The Lions are a Christian team and I found it incredibly difficult to play on Good Friday," the 59-year-old said.

"Many of our supporters criticised us for that, too. I felt I should've taken a stand, but I didn't. I started getting a hollow feeling in my stomach and thought, 'today I'm saying goodbye to the world,'."

The Lions went on to beat the Chiefs 23-17 in Hamilton under interim head coach Ivan van Rooyen, before being thumped 36-10 by the Crusaders in Christchurch the following week.

It was initially reported De Bruin, who is also a Springboks assistant coach, returned home because of a "serious" medical condition.

De Bruin returned to the helm of the team the past weekend, when they edged the Waratahs 29-28 in Johannesburg.

Heading into Round 14 of the tournament, the Lions, beaten finalists the past three seasons, find themselves fourth in the South African Conference and ninth in the Overall standings.

The Lions face a brutal run-in in their final five matches with clashes against the Highlanders (H), Sharks (A), Stormers (H), Hurricanes (H) and Bulls (A).


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 3:58 pm 
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So we can expect I Folau to join the Lions pretty soon then I suppose.


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 9:54 am 
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Jantjies 2.0 - mature playmaker and key Lions leader

Much of the focus during the Emirates Lions’ campaign this season has revolved around the captaincy and the impact with or without Warren Whiteley. But few have noticed the growing leadership role played by Elton Jantjies, and the way he continues to mature as a key cog in the Lions machinery.
There were a few eyebrows raised earlier in the season when Malcolm Marx leapfrogged Jantjies to the captaincy in Whiteley’s absence. After all, Jantjies was the vice-captain and was expected to take over the reins for coach Swys de Bruin.

And the same eyebrows were raised when he moved to 12 against the Chiefs on tour, allowing Gianni Lombard to shift seamlessly into the pivot position. But few know that the move was one of Jantjies own doing, as part of his mentoring job with Lombard, and his desire to take on more responsibility for his team.

There is no doubt Jantjies is a consummate professional on the field. His teammates often refer to his exceptional work ethic, the hours he spends on his game and the way he has grown into his position as an integral part of the set-up.

And Jantjies, who has been through the public opinion ringer and has consistently tried to answer with his form, knows just one thing. The team means everything. And everything for the team.

JANTJIES WALKS THE TALK

It’s the kind of cliché we see every now and again from players that go unnoticed in the bigger realm of rugby and the kind that we need to see more of in practice. Jantjies doesn’t need to do that. He walks the talk rather easily.

Just as the prospect of his new-found playmaker role at 12 excites him once again for the game.

“You mention a good point. I had a chat to the coaches on tour and it did excite me. It wasn’t from a negative point of view at all, I saw the game in a different manner and had to work on different aspects of my rugby, it isn’t just playing as a flyhalf or 12,” he explains.

“It is a difference and it was challenging for me, and that is what I like. I don’t always want to be in a position where it’s always the norm. I like to be out of my comfort zone.”

But the move to the unknown came with the same responsibility, if not more, from the coaching team. Mentoring is one thing, but taking the chance on an unknown in a key game isn’t anything new for the Lions, but it remains a gamble until the player excels in the opportunity created.

“I love the responsibility, but with that comes a bigger responsibility. I love freedom and especially when I get onto the field I am at my most free. Obviously outside the field you don’t always have that luxury.

“I like certain things and the responsibility helps my leadership, and helps to groom the younger players as well.

“Coach Swys (de Bruin) trusts us, trusts Malcolm (Marx), Wazza (Warren Whiteley), trusts Kwagga (Smith), trusts myself. He trusts the leadership group and he trusts the spine. He trusts us to make the right decisions at the right time.

“If we don’t make the right decisions he trusts us to back each other and that is what we stand for. That is part of our DNA and our culture – we don’t play to win, we play to inspire and to glorify God. And we stick with that. It has been working for us for the last few years and we will continue to get better with it.”

PIECES HAVE TO FIT INTO A PUZZLE

Form isn’t an issue for Jantjies – well, individual form, that is. To him rugby’s mantra of each piece fitting into a puzzle and every part of a successful team needs to function is key in his outlook. The team needs to move forward, and he has a job to do. Simple as that.

And while he has been crucial in the kicking department over the past few weeks, his boot being the difference in the two back-to-back home wins over the Waratahs and Highlanders, Jantjies is happy just to keep on plugging away at perfection.

“It’s something I don’t look at, as long as the team wins. But obviously I have a lot of work-ons, not just from an individual point of view, but from a team point of view as well. How can I apply myself more in the game. How consistent can I be and what influence can I have on the game, not just for my team but for myself.

“I have a lot of work-ons. Every single day I have two or three work ons that I do after each training session to make sure I get better as a rugby player. Even though I’ve played a lot of games there are still areas of my game that I can improve on during the season and after Super Rugby as well.”

The Lions have grown as a side, even though the 2019 season has been a bumpy ride for De Bruin’s team and with the injuries and losses, coupled with the introduction of young talent, they have not been as dominant as in the past three years.

COMING INTO FORM AT THE RIGHT TIME

But now it seems there is an upward trend, a move towards the playoffs and the Lions are coming into form at the right time. Their path may be difficult but as we have seen before, momentum is massive for this team.

“It is definitely good for the team and we have a lot of younger players, new boys who are playing their first game of Super Rugby, that came from different unions with experience. We have our own system and structures and they have to get used to that.

“We also tried a few things at the beginning of the season. We have certain things that we are going to need later in the season, and we lost a few games because of it but we know from a result point of view you may say it is inconsistent, but from a team point of view it is growth. We lost a few games and we won a few games but now we took two in a row.

“We had a good tour, even though we only won one game but certain things came into place and a lot of guys picked up a lot of experience. You could see that when the Waratahs came here and we came back from the bye we saw young players stepping up and delivering. You saw it last week against the Highlanders when people didn’t give us a chance.

“We played to get better as players and get better as a team. It challenges us to make the right decisions at the right time, and the coaches expect us to deliver. I was positive in the manner the guys played. There were moments the game went away from us and then it swung back to us in the end.

GELLING AS A TEAM AND WANTING TO GET BETTER

“We’ve learnt a lot during the season. Younger players are making better decisions and senior players as well. We are gelling as a team together and we still want to get better. We are definitely not at our best. We still have four more games building up to the playoffs and we aren’t even looking at that. We’re looking at the Sharks now and we want to improve on things we did wrong in the Highlanders game.

“After the tour – I always feel that is where teams get to know each other better, earn respect from each other and not just for yourself. And you gel and stick together. That is what tours are about.”

Now, with days until they return to face a Sharks side that humiliated them in their last outing, thrashing them at home and turning the form book on its head, Jantjies isn’t talking revenge. Quite simply, all he wants is his team to perform. If they do the rest will take care of itself.

“It’s not personal for us. We just focus on ourselves. That game was weeks ago and we look at areas from last week we want to improve on. South African derbies obviously have something in them. We took a lot of learning out of that game and while that one didn’t go our way, we know it will be a great challenge.”

Jantjies the upstart has turned into Jantjies the mentor. The Lions pivot has matured and is the backline general his team always needed him to be. Now at a new phase in his career, giving back may be the best thing he could ever do.

And the responsibility comes at a time when he is looking precisely for that. To take more pressure on his shoulders.

https://www.supersport.com/rugby/super-rugby/news/190522_Jantjies_20_mature_playmaker_and_key_Lions_leader


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 10:08 am 
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Jens, do you have an update re Whiteley? Injured?


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 10:13 am 
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handyman wrote:
Jens, do you have an update re Whiteley? Injured?

Picked up a bone bruise against the Tahs, not serious but painful. Shouldn't be out much longer but won't play against the Sharks


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 10:18 am 
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Former Lions centre Howard Mnisi has left the franchise to join the Kings ahead of the 2019-20 Pro14 season. DYLAN JACK reports.

The 29-year-old, who has been struggling over the past two seasons with a recurring knee injury, has moved to Port Elizabeth after not being included in the Lions’ Vodacom Super Rugby squad this year.

https://www.sarugbymag.co.za/mnisi-signs-kings/


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 12:02 pm 
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Meanwhile the Lions confirmed that prop Dylan Smith and loose forward Vincent Tshituka have both put pen to paper to continue their journey with the Lions until 2021.

Both are local players – with Smith having matriculated at King Edward VII School in Johannesburg and Tshituka a former learner of Northcliff High.

Smith represented the Lions at Craven Week in 2011 and 2012 and a year later represented the union at Under-19 level.

The flank, Tshituka, only started playing rugby in grade eight at wing.

He moved to flank in grade 10 and went on to represent the Lions Academy side in 2016.

https://rugby365.com/tournaments/super-rugby/news-super-rugby/lions-rest-marx


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 8:18 am 
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In an move not in keeping with the modern trend of late, Springbok and Lions fullback Andries Coetzee has committed his services to the Johannesburg union for another 12 months.

As players depart South African shores en masse seeking greener - and more lucrative pastures abroad - Coetzee has bucked the trend and put pen to paper on an extension of his contract until the end of the 2020 Super Rugby season.

The Lions also confirmed in a press release on Thursday that promising 21-year-old lock Reinhard Nothnagel will make Gauteng his home until at least the end of the 2021 season.

https://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/SuperRugby/coetzee-bucks-the-trend-stays-at-the-lions-20190530


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 8:53 am 
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Thanks for the update Jens. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 11:29 am 
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Is Swys de Bruin a strong enough character to handle Jantjies?


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 12:05 pm 
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handyman wrote:
Is Swys de Bruin a strong enough character to handle Jantjies?

Ackers probably just flexed is small toe muscle and Jantjies would kak his pants.


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:22 am 
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Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies has apologised for his behavior following an altercation with his team-mates, Netwerk24 reports.

The Springbok pivot was excluded from Saturday's Super Rugby encounter against the Stormers, with the Lions saying he was dropped because he "breached team protocol".

The Lions did not state exactly what team protocol Jantjies broke but it is believed that he had a difference in opinion with some of the Lions players during last weekend's trip to Durban for a match against the Sharks.

Some rumours suggest he had an altercation with team-mates on the field at Kings Park and also disregarded a decision from captain Kwagga Smith to kick for posts.

Netwerk24 reported on Friday that Jantjies has apologised to his team-mates but his future with the team appears to be in doubt.

The report added that Jantjies will meet with Lions CEO Rudolf Straeuli on Monday where the situation and his future will be discussed.

His contract with the Lions ends at the end of 2019.

https://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/SuperRugby/jantjies-apologises-but-his-lions-future-appears-in-doubt-20190601


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 Post subject: Re: Lions 2019 SR thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:27 pm 
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Winger Aphiwe Dyantyi has put pen to paper and committed to the Lions until 2021.

https://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/SuperRugby/star-bok-wing-extends-lions-stay-20190606


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