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Springbok Captain

As we wait, and as we wonder, with some trepidation I tell you, for the announcement of our next coach, thoughts will start turning to the next captain. I have posted an article by Totalflanker as to his thoughts on what makes a good Captain.

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After much debate and investigation, the Golden Lions and the Lions Super Rugby teams, under the guises of the GLRU and Lions Rugby (PTY) LTD have decided that their futures’ remain at their historical home Coca-Cola  (Ellis) Park.

The stadium was rebuilt in the early 1980′s and was given another major facelift for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The full media releases from the various parties reads:

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Cheetahs (15) 25 / Lions (5) 25 (Final Score)

The Toyota Free State Cheetahs hosted the MTN Lions at Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein at 15:00 SA Time.

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1, SHD & M-Net on TV in SA.

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A last-ditch fightback from the Lions resulted in 14 points by them, with 3 minutes left on the clock, to eventuate in a draw. Kiss-your-sisters, boys!

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The two most successful Absa Currie Cup sides from the last decade, the Vodacom Blue Bulls and the Toyota Free State Cheetahs, square off in Pretoria on Saturday afternoon.

These two sides have won or shared the Absa Currie Cup no less than seven times in the last ten years. The Vodacom Blue Bulls were champions in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2009, while the Toyota Free State Cheetahs won the trophy in 2005 and 2007. They shared the spoils in 2006.

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CJ van der Linde has signed a contract of just over 2 years to join the Lions from 1st August 2011 to 31st October 2013 the Johannesburg based Union announced in a media release this morning.

Herewith the full announcement as received from the Lions.

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As a Lions supporter the Rugby fare during the playoff stages of competitions can become a bit dreary unless you fancy watching the teams you’ve booed all season.

After all, it’s been a while since the team from Johannesburg had a sucessful play off game.

Personally, I don’t normally watch a great deal of Rugby when the Lions are having a weekend off, but this week I made an exception, and what a treat it was.

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As the cold of Winter starts to really be felt on the Highveld, Lions Rugby have started a drive to collect blankets for those souls less fortunate than those of us here on Rugby Talk.

The collection will take place in earnest at the Lions – Sharks match this weekend.

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On Friday the rugby romantic in me was awakened after a long slumber, only to be given a strong sedative a couple of hours later. Continue reading

Ever since the demise of that “arranged marraige” that was the Cat’s, the two orphaned children that were born out of it, namely the Cheetahs and the Lions have competed non-stop, year after year to avoid the wooden spoon in Super Rugby, and 2011 appears to be no different.

It’s been debated before, but I thought it about time, as a Lions supporter to ask the question again. “Can South Africa sustain a competetive 5th Super Rugby franchise?”

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In an official Lions Media release, the Lions have announced that Lions Professional Rugby is now officially called the MTN Lions. This follows the recent signing of a three-year sponsorship deal by the Mobile operator.

… but that’s not all…

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Bulls (10) 30 / Lions (6) 23 (Final Score) 

The Bulls hosted the Lions at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria at 17:05 SA Time. This was the match thread for discussion of the game. The match was broadcast live on SuperSport 1, SHD & M-Net on TV in SA.

The match started with a lot of errors both ways but gradually go better until late in the 2nd Half when the tries suddenly started raining in.

The Bulls deserved their win.

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Lions coach John Mitchell has sharpened his axe and will be making some changes in personnel ahead of Saturday’s Super Rugby match against the Bulls in Pretoria.

“There will be some changes to the 22,” said Mitchell.

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On a cool, damp Saturday evening, the Lions hosted the Western Force in what was a “must win” game for both sides.

After what was an error ridden and somewhat depressing game of Super Rugby, the majority of the 13 535 paying spectators must have wished they’d stayed at home and watched in warmth and comfort.

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Lions fullback James Kamana will appear at a SANZAR judicial hearing in Johannesburg on Tuesday 15 March after being cited for a dangerous tackle during last Saturday’s Super Rugby clash with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

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In the last Super Rugby match of the weekend, the Toyota Cheetahs hosted the Lions in a bottom of the table clash in Bloemfontein.

In what was effectively a make or break game for both sides, it was the visitors from Johannesburg who emerged with the points that they hope will ressurect their Super Rugby season.

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Cheetahs (14) 20 / Lions (16) 25 (Final Score) 

The Cheetahs hosted the Lions at Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein at 17:05. This was the match thread for discussion of the game. The match was broadcast live on SuperSport 1, HD & M-Net on TV in SA.

The Lions finally managed to break their 17 game Super Rugby duck, winning by 25 / 20.

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Lions scrumhalf Jano Vermaak will, in all likelihood, be relegated to the bench for Saturday’s Super Rugby clash with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, coach John Mitchell said on Monday.

The quickfire scrumhalf took a knock to his head in last week’s match against the Blues and, although he should be ready for action by the weekend, Mitchell said he will not be taking any risks.

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Lions (25) 32 / Blues (17) 41 (Final Score) 

The Lions hosted the Blues at Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg at 19:10 SA Time. This was the match thread for discussion of the game. The match was broadcast live on SuperSport 1, SHD & M-Net on TV in SA.

In a frenetic game the Blues came out victorious after putting their All Black subs on in the second half. Both teams earns a bonus point for tries.

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Elton Jantjies capped of an impressive 2010 with a call-up to the Springbok squad, so why does the 2011 version seem so out of his depth? Continue reading

Stormers (9) 19 / Lions (8) 16  (Final Score)

The DHL Stormers hosted the MTN Lions at Newlands, Cape Town at 19:10 SA Time. This was the match thread for discussion of the game. The match was broadcast live on SuperSport 1, SHD & M-Net on TV in SA.

The Stormers escaped jail with a very late comeback to eventually win by 3 points and with a number of their old stalwarts not firing. Guys like Bryan Habana, Conrad Jantjes, Ricky Januarie and Andries Bekker seem to be playing on hype and reputation only.

The gutsy Lions tried till 4 minutes into injury time to slowly move upfield and score, which they nearly did, only to be denied by a desperate steal by the Stormers.

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The DHL Stormers host the MTN Lions this evening, in what for the home side will be their 2011 Super Rugby opener.

The weather for Cape Town today is expected to be hot and dry, peaking at 30°C, and we can expect the Rugby to be just as hot. Continue reading

A game played at 100 miles an hour showed the difference in fitness levels. The Lions were much better prepared and in far greater match fit condition than the Bulls yesterday. Only the experience of the Bulls helped them to hang on and win their first game.

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