Lions investment bears fruit

2011-03-14 10:16

Jóhann Thormählen

Bloemfontein – Money does not solve every problem, but when long-term investments start yielding positive returns it will put a smile on any businessman’s face in Johannesburg.

Lions fans will certainly have a spring in their step after their team won their first Super Rugby match in almost two years on Saturday. They beat the Cheetahs 25-20 at the Free State Stadium. Their previous victory was in May 2009.

“We always believed in ourselves. It was just about sticking to our guns under pressure – as we had to do against the Cheetahs with a yellow card against us. The victory is a good sign. We will certainly enjoy it,” said Lions coach John Mitchell.

Having lost 17 successive matches prior to the victory, it’s too early to start talking about the Manchester United era, but the Lions have certainly risen.

And Mitchell believes a victory does not always have to be pretty.

“It was a good performance. Sometimes you also have to win ugly. We had a number of opportunities that we did not finish. We’re a team that can score four tries against anyone. We’re growing in leadership and confidence.

“We’re ambitious and believe in what we do. Goalkicking and defence is very important in Super Rugby and we saw that against the Cheetahs.”

Lions warhorse Wikus van Heerden believes the four points were well-deserved.

“The signs of a looming victory have been there for a while. It’s nice to be able to achieve it against the Cheetahs. We are busy going from strength to strength,” he said.

Flyhalf Elton Jantjies missed two conversions, but passed his test with the boot after struggling under pressure in the first few weeks.

“Young placekickers need to experience pressure situations like Elton did with the last penalty. It will definitely mean a lot to him. He will still experience plenty such situations and then hopefully will again get it right,” said Mitchell.

The coach said that Kiwi fullback James Kamana had also more than contributed his part.

“James definitely made a big contribution. He has the ability to beat opponents on attack and brings a good energy to the side. Jaco (Taute) and he are two different players. It was a difficult choice between them,” said Mitchell.


  • Koos - 2011-03-14 10:34

    Nice one Lions! waar is al die cheetah huiskatte nou???

      Martin - 2011-03-14 11:22

      Maar ou Koos, hoekom koop julle nie net die blerrie beker nie? Enige span kan bv. 15 All Blacks koop en n kampion word! Eintlik het die str0nd alles by die Viskop haaie begin en volg julle net...

      seeps.mazi - 2011-03-14 13:50

      Martin two words buddy - Professional era. Get with it - sell some farms down there and buy some players you may just like it and you may just win something? Also the Sharks have an academy you twit, they don't just buy........ You just pissed off that your team is the new Woodenspoonists for 2011. Even the Rebels have more points!

      Mumford - 2011-03-14 14:29

      seeps...and if it was not the 50/50 pass from Ciprianni the Sharks would have lost to the Rebels!!! So rather think before you start mouthing off like you the CEO of S.A rugby!!

      Russell - 2011-03-14 14:40

      Mumford what a crap arguement(what if) rubbish!!!like Danie Craven used to say "check die scoreboard"for instance "what if"Ashley Johnston ,s try was scored ??What then and a dozen or two other "what ifs"

      Mumford - 2011-03-14 14:49

      Russell, i think you need to take a chill pill.So Russell if Kaplan asked for the TMO would Ireland not have won????But anyway , my point i am trying to make is that the Sharks did not cruise to victory over a team seeps thinks are usless.So yes i think a BIG IF can be used with regards to that game! Sharks need to catch a wake up!!

      Russell - 2011-03-15 08:46

      mumford there can be no if,s dude ,chill pill taken btw. if,s will never change a score.As for Kaplan arguement dude (he simply did,nt) so "if"i can take a chill pill you sir can catch a reality check or for that matter cash a reality cheque ,there is nothing great about stormers porformance !!

  • Sandile - 2011-03-14 10:44

    Well done The Lions!!

  • Pappa Smurf - 2011-03-14 10:48

    Stormers suck!!!!!

      Jacques - 2011-03-14 11:01

      haha ass

      Johnny - 2011-03-14 11:32 city papsak suckers......!!!!

      Amelam - 2011-03-14 12:30

      'n Blou Bul se ma en sy vrou is koeie.Pappa Smurf Blou Bul.

      Johnny - 2011-03-14 15:33

      ......stormers = soft farts.... ......he he he he he...!!!

      Kaapie - 2011-03-16 09:43

      No wonder pretoria is the gay capital of SA, they suck the Stormers

  • Wow! - 2011-03-14 10:51

    Well done Lions. James Kamana definitely is a huge asset to the team. I am very impressed with Derick Minni's play as well BUT OVERALL well done Lions. I am a Cheetahs fan so this hurts. However it is great to see the Lions coming back so well.

      Hercules - 2011-03-15 17:11

      Wow, Wat gaan aan by die Cheetahs??? Wil voorkom of Naka sy touch verloor het.

  • saburger - 2011-03-14 12:00

    Nou vir die beker, julle bliksems!

  • grocer - 2011-03-14 12:11

    I'll say this: It couldn't happen to a more deserving side and coach. Even i have felt their pain for the last decade or so(as a sharks supporter). When a side pays its dues for sooo long, one can only be happy for them when they turn the corner. I felt the same when the bulls started winning in the s14. If you don't have simmilar sentiments, then there is something wrong with your "rugby soul". I'd have those 2 lions coaches in the bok setup ASAP.

  • Raka13 - 2011-03-14 12:31

    I am happy for the Lions, hopefully they can build on this performance, it is long overdue. Good Luck

  • Sonicboom - 2011-03-14 12:36

    Well done Lions, we are commiting to see every game at CocaCola Park this season, win or lose it has been entertaining rugby so far,

  • Makutu - 2011-03-14 15:33

    I'm a Lions fan and my favourite players in that team are the three Loose Forwads. Minnie, Straus and ESPECIALLY Whitely! Goodluck Lions, you are definitely a good team. Keep the spirits high!

      Oukoos - 2011-03-14 17:37

      And where's Earl Rose?

      Hercules - 2011-03-15 17:13

      Oukoos.... Ek's seker Rose speel steeds ..... vir die Canariese eilande beach volleyball...

  • sanza - 2011-03-14 21:22


      Frederick - 2011-03-15 19:29

      Sanza, you are probably the dumbest rugby supporter I have ever come across. I am a Lions supporter, so yes I'm glad for my boys, but also sad for the Cheetahs, just like we used to, they keep losing great players due to financial restraints and if you've been keeping an eye on the media, then you would probably also know that they only got their new sponsor(Toyota) to sign with them a day prior to the Super 15 start. Now considering this they did not have the means to fill the gaps that were created when other teams pounced on their talented players, next year WILL be different though end as for the Coaching staff, they are doing a brilliant job with what they have to work with. Yes, they stuffed up against the Sharks, but the loss against the Bulls was one that they should have taken, but the experience of the Bulls side was just too much for them. The game between the Cheetahs and our boys(the Lions) could also have gone either way, so my friend next time you want to comment, please make sure that you: 1. Know the game, 2. Know the players, 3. Know the coaches and 4. Keep your idiotic racist remarks to yourself, 'cause you are really making yourself look like a true idiot. Toyota said that they back the Cheetahs and thae BIG reason for this is: WE BOERE BACK TOYOTA, WE DRIVE THE BAKKIES, WE DRIVE THE FOURTUNERS and WE DRIVE THE "CRUISERS. The Boers won two world cups already, how many soccer world cups have we won? I rest my case.

  • andrew.c.seymour - 2011-03-16 09:26

    I'm sorry, let me get this straight- they beat the Cheetahs, and now the investment is paying off? Perspective, please, gentlemen. Let's see them win some big games before we start advocating the arrival of the new Super rugby champions..

      Kaapie - 2011-03-16 09:46

      Agree with you, SA supporters believe in the one swallow syndrome. They win one game they are world champs. Proteas beat Ireland(nogal) and are hot favorites and have lost their chokers tag.

  • pages:
  • 1