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MTN Lions

MTNGolden LionsThe partnership between the Golden Lions Rugby Union and MTN South Africa came to an end as of Friday 13 December 2013, with the company opting not to renew their sponsorship of the GLRU teams.

After a fruitful three-year relationship, the telecommunications giant have chosen to realign their sponsorship portfolio and will no longer sponsor a rugby outfit.

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MTN LionsThe Lions have finalised their warm-up matches ahead of next year’s Super Rugby tournament, however there are rumours of demands and coaching demands by the Pumas, who form part of the Lions Super Rugby franchise.

These rumours want us to believe that the Pumas are insisting that their coach, Jimmy Stonehouse, has to be involved in coaching at the MTN Lions. With Golden Lions coach Johan Ackermann’s coaching contract already extended and with him the designated figure to take the head coach role for the MTN Lions, this spat could easily turn ugly if the parties do not reach some compromise and consensus.

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Rudolf StraeuliMTN Golden LionsRudolf Straeuli’s reported shift from Kings Park to Ellis Park is not a done deal yet, but there are plenty of good reasons why it will happen.

Golden Lions Rugby Union CEO Manie Booysen confirmed to this website that they are “in conversation” with Straeuli at this stage.

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Bees RouxThe newly promoted Golden Lions will formally sit down with prop Jacobus (Bees) Roux on Tuesday to see if they can sign him on a short-term Currie Cup contract.

Roux, better known as ‘Bees’, hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in August 2010 – when he was arrested in connection with the death of a South African police officer in Pretoria.

Roux was given a five-year suspended jail sentence in 2011 over the beating to death of Tshwane metro police officer Johannes Mogale the year before.

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EllisparkAnything you can do, we can do better! This is the message, loud and clear, from Lions fans to their Southern Kings rivals.

The Kings have been praised for their good crowd attendances at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, but the Lions will well and truly upstage them.

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JC Janse van RensburgJC Janse van Rensburg will ‘ride off’ into the proverbial sunset soon, but the long-standing captain is determined to leave the Lions with a perfect parting gift.

The 27-year-old uncapped Springbok prop wants to ensure he plays part in the Johannesburg-based franchise regaining their Super Rugby status.

Having captained the Lions to a 26-19 win over the Southern Kings in the first of the two promotion-relegation matches in Port Elizabeth last week, Janse van Rensburg will run out in front for the last time in the return match at Ellis Park on Saturday – before heading to French team Bayonne, where he signed a to-year deal.

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Super RugbyThe Vodacom Bulls missed out on a fourth Vodacom Super Rugby final in seven years when they were beaten in the second tense semi-final by a spirited Brumbies team in Pretoria on Saturday evening.

As a result, the Brumbies will now travel to Hamilton to face the defending champion Chiefs in the 2013 Final. Both teams have won the title before – the Chiefs last year and the Brumbies in 2001 and 2004.

The Chiefs won hosting rights for the Final when they beat the heavily-favoured Crusaders by 20-19 in a nail-biter at the Waikato Stadium on Saturday morning (SA time). The defending champions fought back brilliantly in the second half after they were behind by 3-9 at the break.

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Southern KingsMTN LionsKings (14) 19 / 26 (19) Lions (Final Score)

The Southern Kings and MTN Lions did battle in the 1st of 2 Promotion / Relegation games for Super Rugby

at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth at 19:10 SA Time (17:10 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1, SHD & CSN on TV in SA.

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MTN LionsSouthern KingsThe FIRST of two Promotion / Relegation matches, to decide wo of the MTN Lions or the Southern Kings will take part in Super Rugby 2014 will be played on Friday 26 July 2013 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth.

This follows after the Southern Kings ended last in the South African Super Rugby Conference, in fact ended stone last in the whole of 2013’s Super Rugby competition. SARU’s determination was that the team who ended last in the South African Conference will play a series of two Promotion / Relegation matches against the MTN Lions, who had to make way at the end of 2012 in favour of the Southern Kings, in rather unfortunate and bumbling circumstances engineered by SARU.

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Yes, I've deliberately inverted the WP Logo, for disrespecting the Lions

Yes, I’ve deliberately inverted the WP Logo, for disrespecting the Lions

WP coach John Dobson has named his team to take on the Lions in a friendly at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Friday. Kick-off is at 19:00.

One of 2 things must happen as a result of the Western Cape deciding not so send their Super Rugby side, but rather a WP “No-Namers Side” consisting of a mix of Vodacom Cup and Under 21 players, to face the Golden Lions. Either the Golden Lions must go on and man-shame WP for daring to disrespect the Lions so much and at the same time proving that the Lions are indeed still a team with Super Rugby quality. Alternatively, if the Lions do not manage to win against this mottley crew, they must lose and lose well, so that it is clear for all and sundry to see that the final demise of the Lions is imminent.

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MTN LionsSouthern KingsSo the long awaited “non-grudge” game between South Africa’s newest Super Rugby franchise and the team they displaced has come and gone, with the Lions winning the game on the score board.

But who were the real winners on the day and why?

Here’s my personal take on it all:

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Luke WatsonSouthern Kings captain Luke Watson has said that SARU’s decision to relegate the Lions was unfair and expressed sadness at the Lions’ Super Rugby exit.

Speaking to SportsTalk in a radio interview, Watson sympathised with the Lions’ plight, and said fans had every right to feel aggrieved.

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MTN LionsRussiaLions 51 (20) / (3) 13 Russia (Final Score)

The Lions and Russian Bears did battle in the first game of the MTN Lions Challenge at Ellis Park, Johannesburg at 19:00 SA Time.

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1, SHD4 & CSN on TV in SA.

The Lions proved to be too strong for a game Russia side who never stopped trying. The Lions ran in 5 tries, and were awarded a further 2 penalty tries on a cold and damp Highveld evening.. The Lions still have a way to go before any possible promotion / relegation games for Super Rugby 2014, but after a display like this to build on, coach Johan Ackermann will feel they have started on the right path.

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MTN Lions ChallengeLions coach Johan Ackermann has named five debutants in the starting line-up to face the Russian Bears at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Lock Franco Mostert, flank Warwick Tecklenburg, flyhalf Lionel Cronje and centres Harold Vorster and Stokkies Hanekom will all make their first appearance for the Johannesburg side in the first match of the Lions Challenge series.

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