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The next game for the Lions is against the Jaguares in BA on 1 Feb 2020, kickoff at 23:40 SA Time.

Post-Whiteley Lions: Lean pickings in 2020?

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Jong Leeu
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    Posted: 23-Nov-2019 at 4:46pm
The next Super Rugby season is increasingly likely to confirm at least one thing: the Lions' days as genuine title contenders are over.

Although a very recent generation of the Johannesburg-based franchise will be remembered overwhelmingly as "bridesmaids", it was to their enormous credit nevertheless that they reached three finals in a row between 2016 and 2018.

In a climate already weighing so powerfully against all South African franchises, given the crippling (and still only mushrooming) exodus of talent to more cash-flush foreign climes, it was a superlative effort for a quite protracted period.

So was 2019 - their first year subsequently of failing to crack the showpiece, and not even the knockout phase as a whole - simply a blip that will be corrected smartly in 2020?

You would have to be the most steadfastly optimistic of Jo'burgers to anticipate that being the case.

As things stand, the Lions would be defying substantial odds just to crack the last four of the competition, never mind actually win it - at least in its post-Super 10 guise - for the first time.

In short, the near-glory days of the late part of this decade have almost certainly gone.

A painstaking "rebuild" under inexperienced new head coach Ivan van Rooyen will instead be the order of the day - even if that is something applicable, to varying degrees, to virtually all the SA sides next year.

In the Lions' case though, their cause has been gradually aggravated by a series of unforeseen misfortunes to accompany other factors like the constant lure of foreign employment.

You might say this week's confirmation that increasingly injury-jinxed, but massively influential captain Warren Whiteley won't play any on-field part in Super Rugby 2020 (retirement likelihood thus flickers ever more brightly) was simply a cruel cherry on top, for want of a better expression, for detrimental circumstances not related to any "want-away" issues.

Apart from his famously cerebral and motivational qualities in the heat of battle, the 32-year-old Whiteley has also been the Lions' most consistently classy loose forward for several seasons, as well as one of their now discernibly shrinking stock of Springboks.

Always a fine athlete with some genuine X-factor in unstructured play, Whiteley also proved beyond doubt, as a starter in that thrilling 36-34 Bok triumph over the All Blacks in Wellington in 2018, that he was willing and highly able to get his hands dirty much closer to the coalface.

Hardly blessed with a massive arsenal of proven Super Rugby-calibre loosies, they will miss him profoundly in the 2020 competition, even if he slots into some sort of mentoring/coaching usefulness to the cause.

But the Whiteley blow really completes (they'll be hoping there aren't more, nasty curveballs?) a catalogue of events, unrelated to ubiquitous northern-hemisphere migrations that are the scourge of all SA teams, they could have done without in recent seasons.

In that respect, contemplate also the names, in no special order, of Julian Redelinghuys, Warwick Tecklenburg and Swys de Bruin.

Now 30, so at an age where a tighthead prop might instead be around his very prime, the popular-figure, low-slung scrummager Redelinghuys was cruelly forced into premature retirement by a neck injury in late 2017.

Admirable flank grafter Tecklenburg, currently 32 so potentially very much still a wily Super Rugby factor, had voluntarily - and probably unexpectedly to many - pulled the plug on his rugby career much earlier in 2017, to focus on family farm obligations.

With Whiteley confirmed as side-lined, Tecklenburg no longer active and talented Bok tearaway Jaco Kriel now on the books of former Lions mastermind Johan Ackermann's Gloucester, the Lions enter 2020 for the first time without ALL of the key, lauded three loosies who had started their first in the sequence of three Super Rugby finals against the Hurricanes in 2016.

Indeed, of that match-day 23 at the Cake Tin, the present Lions are left with only around a quarter of that group as they contemplate a new campaign in 2020.

Bear in mind that Malcolm Marx is effectively on a year's sabbatical (in Japan) from the Lions now - given the Whiteley setback, perhaps not the best time, really, to be losing their juggernaut hooker and one of few genuinely world-class customers in the Ellis Park ranks.

But then there's the unfortunate situation surrounding De Bruin, the head coach of the past two seasons, an Ackermann disciple who could well just have been coming fully into his own at the helm of things - in contrast to other SA outfits where rookie head coaches will be a pretty glaring phenomenon next season.

Instead, De Bruin's mental health concerns have prevented him from building on any foundations he may have laid at the franchise, and untried Van Rooyen has the formidable task of filling the hole in 2020.

The Lions ought to have one thing going for them, of course: their legendary squad "gees", assuming it will remain relatively undimmed, and an ability to defy negative expectation.

I am just one to admit to great lumps of egg on my face before when it comes to forecasting their fortunes in an occasionally bearish way and then being pleasantly surprised by their vibrancy instead.

Their administration is also, arguably, one of the better ones on the domestic landscape, even if we aren’t talking especially high bars on that front.

But boy, they're going to need truckloads, rather than by spade, of that spirit if they're to notably prosper next season, after a 2019 campaign that had already seen them drift out to an uncharacteristic (at the time, anyway) ninth-placed finish.

Early tip? They may do well to even emulate that place in the pecking order in 2020.\

https://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/SuperRugby/post-whiteley-lions-lean-pickings-in-2020-20191123

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vaal Leeu 3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Nov-2019 at 5:53pm
The loyal supporter in me wants to  challenge the author but in the back of my emotional free mind I fear that he might be right...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GoLions Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Nov-2019 at 6:04pm
Originally posted by Vaal Leeu 3 Vaal Leeu 3 wrote:

The loyal supporter in me wants to  challenge the author but in the back of my emotional free mind I fear that he might be right...
Funny enough, with all their financial issues the Stormers is probably the most settled of the SA teams. The Bulls have been stripped bare, the Sharks to a lesser degree and the Lions will have a very young, although talented, squad.

Tough season ahead
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Attie Karate Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2019 at 8:16am
Volgens wiki se Superugby transfers verloor Aus se spanne 28 spelers en SA en NZ se SR spanne verloor 40 spelers.

Vreemd vir my was dat die verre oorgroote meerderheid spelers na Japan gaan.
Up the Vaal!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote valie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2019 at 8:48am
Originally posted by Attie Karate Attie Karate wrote:

Volgens wiki se Superugby transfers verloor Aus se spanne 28 spelers en SA en NZ se SR spanne verloor 40 spelers.

Vreemd vir my was dat die verre oorgroote meerderheid spelers na Japan gaan.
Dit maak sin. Hulle speel die helfte minder games vir bietjie minder geld as in Europa. Volgens spelers wat al in Japan gespeel het, is die hits ook nie so hard soos in Europa nie, aangesien die spelers in Japan oor die algemeen kleiner is. Die game is vinniger, maar nie so hard op die lyf nie. Ek dink hulle hele seisoen  bestaan maar uit 13 games plus die uitspeelrondtes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Niela Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2019 at 8:50am
We look critically at our side, but the reality is that all the teams will be without players. We felt our player drain much harder than most , so hopefully we would have built up at least some resilience. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PaBz0r Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2019 at 10:08am
Originally posted by valie valie wrote:

[QUOTE=Attie Karate]e. Ek dink hulle hele seisoen  bestaan maar uit 13 games plus die uitspeelrondtes.

Die "foreign" ouens moet ook minder speel as die locals, so ek dink hulle speel miskien die helfde van die 13 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lion4ever Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2019 at 10:20am
We have some really talented youngsters, that are relatively unknown in SR circles. They could surprise many critics. On the flip side, we have an untried head coach. He also has some talented individuals in his coaching team. Add Whitely to the mix, and we have something exciting in the offing. 

But, we have to wait and see how Cash handles the pressure of being the head coach in SR.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Niela Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2019 at 10:47am
Must of the pressure should be self imposed, everyone has already written us off.

I will be happy if we make the top 8, that should be our goal...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Attie Karate Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2019 at 12:06pm
Originally posted by Niela Niela wrote:

Must of the pressure should be self imposed, everyone has already written us off.

I will be happy if we make the top 8, that should be our goal...


Ag nee donner man. Ons kan mos nie nou al tou opgooi nie. Ek wil bo eindig en die kompetisie wen. Enigets minder dan is die seisoen 'n mislukking.

*ek weet dis onrealisties en jou vorige post is 100% akkuraat
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LeeuBrul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2019 at 12:23pm
Ag nee dink al ons SA spanne bou maar weer nuwe spanne,Sharks,Bulls en Stormers spelers verloor,ons jong manne beter gevaar as die ander spanne se jong manne in die CC.Ons moet mik om ons conference weer te wen ,enigste settle span in ons groep is maar die jags,so tweede is ook nie te sleg en dan kan jy kwart eindrontes haal en enige iets moontlil....ek is opgewonde maar ook baie nervous vir die "nuwe" leeu span.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Niela Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2019 at 1:10pm
Originally posted by Attie Karate Attie Karate wrote:

Originally posted by Niela Niela wrote:

Must of the pressure should be self imposed, everyone has already written us off.

I will be happy if we make the top 8, that should be our goal...


Ag nee donner man. Ons kan mos nie nou al tou opgooi nie. Ek wil bo eindig en die kompetisie wen. Enigets minder dan is die seisoen 'n mislukking.

*ek weet dis onrealisties en jou vorige post is 100% akkuraat

ek wil graag n n huis in Monaco koop, maar soos hulle se. It are what it are.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leeubok Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2019 at 1:15pm
Haha! Ek het dit al baie voorheen gese, mens moet vergeet van die term "bou stadium". Dit is 'n feit dat ons elke jaar spelers gaan verloor, so as ons die bou mentaliteit het gaan ons verewig bou en nooit erens kom nie. Ons het 'n goeie coach nodig wat kan werk met wat hy het van seisoen tot seisoen, en dit is waarom dit so belangrik is deesdae om n paar ervare manne te koop om leemtes te vul
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Attie Karate Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2019 at 2:23pm
Die groot issue is ook dat meeste rugbykontrakte jaar-tot-jaar is, met 'n paar 2 jaar kontrakte hier en daar. As jy nie die ouens wil vasteken nie, gaan jy hulle verloor. Ook wil die spelers nie te lank teken nie, vir as hulle dalk 'n beter aanbod kry en op die einde van die dag verloor albei kante meeste van die tyd.

Teken die ouens op 3 jaar kontrakte met jaarlikse verhogings en bonusse ens. en verlengingsopsies. As hy nie wil nie- daar is 100e ander spelers wie wil. Of as hy teken en hy kry 'n beter aanbod voor sy kontrak verstryk, dan moet die ander span sy kontrak uitkoop.

Die standvastigheid van 3 jaar is ook baie belangrik in rugby.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote valie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2019 at 7:50pm
Originally posted by Attie Karate Attie Karate wrote:

Die groot issue is ook dat meeste rugbykontrakte jaar-tot-jaar is, met 'n paar 2 jaar kontrakte hier en daar. As jy nie die ouens wil vasteken nie, gaan jy hulle verloor. Ook wil die spelers nie te lank teken nie, vir as hulle dalk 'n beter aanbod kry en op die einde van die dag verloor albei kante meeste van die tyd.

Teken die ouens op 3 jaar kontrakte met jaarlikse verhogings en bonusse ens. en verlengingsopsies. As hy nie wil nie- daar is 100e ander spelers wie wil. Of as hy teken en hy kry 'n beter aanbod voor sy kontrak verstryk, dan moet die ander span sy kontrak uitkoop.

Die standvastigheid van 3 jaar is ook baie belangrik in rugby.


Stem. Kontinuiteit is die wagwoord. Baie mense vergeet dat die kern van die Leeus span wat 2016, 2017 en 2018 in die finale gespeel het, met hier en daar n uitsondering, al eintlik van 2013 af saamkom.
Van 2018 af, het ons baie personeel verloor, wat dit vir enige afrigter moeilik sou maak.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote valie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2019 at 7:56pm
Originally posted by Leeubok Leeubok wrote:

Haha! Ek het dit al baie voorheen gese, mens moet vergeet van die term "bou stadium". Dit is 'n feit dat ons elke jaar spelers gaan verloor, so as ons die bou mentaliteit het gaan ons verewig bou en nooit erens kom nie. Ons het 'n goeie coach nodig wat kan werk met wat hy het van seisoen tot seisoen, en dit is waarom dit so belangrik is deesdae om n paar ervare manne te koop om leemtes te vul
Dis waar. Loffie het die term "bouproses" gecoin, en as verskoning gebruik oor hy nie die spelers ordentlik bestuur het nie.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote emiel1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Nov-2019 at 12:10pm
Originally posted by Attie Karate Attie Karate wrote:

Die groot issue is ook dat meeste rugbykontrakte jaar-tot-jaar is, met 'n paar 2 jaar kontrakte hier en daar. As jy nie die ouens wil vasteken nie, gaan jy hulle verloor. Ook wil die spelers nie te lank teken nie, vir as hulle dalk 'n beter aanbod kry en op die einde van die dag verloor albei kante meeste van die tyd.

Teken die ouens op 3 jaar kontrakte met jaarlikse verhogings en bonusse ens. en verlengingsopsies. As hy nie wil nie- daar is 100e ander spelers wie wil. Of as hy teken en hy kry 'n beter aanbod voor sy kontrak verstryk, dan moet die ander span sy kontrak uitkoop.

Die standvastigheid van 3 jaar is ook baie belangrik in rugby.



Stem. Selfs 'n top afrigter van 2 to 3 jaar om 'n gevestigde span as eenheid saam te snoer. 
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