Lions tipped for dreaded drop

2012-02-15 10:39

Cape Town - The people have spoken: it is the Lions who are likeliest to disappear from Super Rugby if it cannot be expanded to accommodate the Southern Kings.

Some 6 000 Sport24 readers responded to our poll asking the topical question: “Which of the five South African Super Rugby franchises is ‘favourite’ for the wooden spoon in this year’s local conference?”

It is pertinent because, with negative sentiment coming from the other SANZAR partners around the possibility of swelling the competition somehow to 16 teams - thus six from South Africa - the last-placed SA team this year may be the one to make the costly sacrifice.

And our readers suggest the financially-troubled Lions, despite being Currie Cup champions, will be the ones to bring up the rear in the conference.

They earned 32% of “support” for the wooden spoon, fairly closely followed by the Cheetahs on 29%.

That echoes what happened last season, when the Lions were second-last on the overall table, only superior to the Melbourne Rebels, whilst the Free Staters finished 11th, and second from bottom in purely SA terms.

But the Sharks getting the smallest percentage in the poll (11%) is interesting because it obviously implies that readers back the Durban franchise, and not last season’s best SA conference side the Stormers, to fare best among the South Africans.

The Stormers got 13% of the vote, and the Bulls 14, suggesting that the men from Loftus will be the mid-tablers in the local conference, although it looks tight between the traditional “big three” in our country ...


  • Lukas - 2012-02-15 10:47

    hahahahahahahahhahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa that is the bigest joke i have ever heard.

      jrheeder - 2012-02-15 11:42

      Whoever wrote this article must be completely oblivious to the turf war going on between the stormers and bulls fan boys, and that is the reason no one is paying attention to the banana boys.

      Rob - 2012-02-15 12:47

      jrheeder The article is reporting on the results of a POLL, bright spark! Suggest you read properly first before commenting.

      Bootman - 2012-02-15 13:49

      This poll is not a true reflection of public opinion. I voted for the Bulls to end last............BULLS ARE FAIRIES

      Thomas - 2012-02-15 20:40

      What a stupid article!! "The people have spoken" If the people could speak and have an influence the Kings would have been history long ago!!!

  • David - 2012-02-15 10:49

    News 24 Rob, you tipped the CC final between WP and the Sharks. How wrong were you. my prediction. the stormers wilol be at the bottom.

      mrbroom - 2012-02-15 11:39

      50% wrong...

      John - 2012-02-15 11:53

      Yeah 50% wrong... Not bad. He passed

  • Lexa - 2012-02-15 10:55

    oh please, Rob you are the most boring writer here and now you come with this cr@p! hahahaha, what a joke! There is only one way to shut you all up, watch the Lions this season! and Rob, what happened to your WP/Sharks CC final, huh? knob!

      Lexa - 2012-02-15 10:59

      all your poll proves is that out of 6000 people 32% of them don't want the Lions to beat their team!

      Kevin - 2012-02-15 11:25 once you've read the above link, you'll understand that the Stormers are it!

      John - 2012-02-15 11:55

      The Lions and Sharks will fight it out for top honors in our conference.

      eyresa - 2012-02-15 12:01

      @ Kevin, You left out the sh.

  • Taetjo - 2012-02-15 10:58

    Oh well... Let the game begin. The Lions will teach all you people a lesson or two! Watch this space.

  • Marius - 2012-02-15 11:08

    What everyone here commenting against SARU's decision about the Kings participation next year seem to forget, or probably doesn't even know, is that the whole Kings saga and Super Rugby has been around since 2005 when a decision was made by all 14 unions that an EC franchise should be include in Super Rugby. This was ratified in a Cape High Court case in 2007 when SARU did not deliver on it's decision. The court ruling gave SARU a few years to accommodate the EC franchise. But that period has now expired and when the Rebels and not the Kings were awarded the 15th spot by SANZAR, although the Kings business plan and player base was far superior to what the Rebels could bring to the table, let's face it, the Rebels can't even fill their team with Australians, let alone players from the Melbourne area, and now SARU is sitting with a huge problem. That is facing a contempt of court lawsuit and also having to pay the Kings a huge amount for loss of earnings since 2007. Just taking all the unions in Super Rugby's annual 40 million plus share of the TV rights money and you are already looking at a payout in excess of 200 million to the Kings. So there is a lot more to this than what meets the eye. The Lions are already bankrupt, so replacing them with the Kings is SARU's easiest way out of a huge financial dillemma.

      Heiku - 2012-02-15 11:33

      Go puke on some springbok jerseys why dont you

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-02-15 11:54

      Surprise , surprise! Some lips whispering about missing monies and other problems in Kings's country as well. It is not officially known yet and we will see if true and if the rumor can" vanish" before publicly known. Don't know if it is true, but apparently are these " lips" supposed to be informed.

      Niela - 2012-02-15 12:13

      @Marius Dink jy regtig dit is regverdig dat die Kings 'n plek in Super Rugby gegee word ten koste van 'n ander span?

      goyougoodthing - 2012-02-15 12:26

      Interesting Marius, you leave a few things out though: 1. SARU refuse to divulge what Test Match fee the Union paid to SARU, which normally stands at 4 million or so for other Unions. 2. A number of tickets for the games were given away free to boost attendance, therefore skewing stats. 3. The Kings would have had to play their 'home' games in Australia, thereby negating any EC influence 4. The unanimous voting would indicate that the big 5 know that voting no would mean they might be targeted in crunch games, 5 vs 9 is a lose lose. The way SARU is organised gives power to the small Unions who bring in little and take a lot. 6. Financially the Kings would need substantial backup from SARU in order to buy the players that they want. 7. Most importantly, they can't beat Border, who the Sharks put 70 points on last week. Spin it any which way you want it's a farce.

      Marius - 2012-02-15 13:07

      @goyougoodthing. Your point 3 is not correct. The Kings would have played in the Australian conference against all the other Aussie teams, but still on a home and away basis, with the home games in PE. This would in fact have helped all the other SA franchises, because that would have brought the amount of travelling that the Aussie teams would have had to do more in line with what the SA teams have to do every year

      Bootman - 2012-02-15 13:39

      goyoustupidplank..........the only farce here is you. The Kings beat Border in both games last year (home and away) and the Sharks did not play Border last week it was Boland moron................BULLS ARE FAIRIES

      goyougoodthing - 2012-02-15 14:22

      my mistake, i got the random second division teams wrong, replace the names and the point still stands.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-02-15 14:29

      @Marius, my apologies with point 3, you are of course correct. It would have been an interesting season, no doubt with a table bottom in the making. (I doubt any team would handle that travel). It would have, of course, provided a perfect excuse for poor performance so the very idea of the foray into the Australian conference made no sense. I will also be interested to see what the match day ticket prices are for SuperRugby down there. I doubt they would be the same as other provinces and I also doubt all the tickets will be face-value price in any case. There is a mist of non-transparency with all things EC.

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-15 18:22

      @ goyougoodthing, EP Rugby ticket prices are usually more than the other unions charge. R70 for warm up games where the other unions charge around R30/40 whatever they charge for Super Rugby next year the stadium will be fuller than run down Coca Cola Park

      Raymond - 2012-02-16 09:31

      lions are not bankrupt idiot!

  • calliedj - 2012-02-15 11:20

    The Kings should play two promotion relegation matches against the SA conference last placed team.

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-15 18:24

      So a 2nd division team getting almost no money from TV rights should play a team getting around R40M a season.... Super Rugby is about Franchises, but thats obviously to higher grade for some people around here..

      Jack - 2012-02-15 19:02

      two words: court order there are no two ways about this - it will happen and SARU should have seen it coming...

  • Kevin - 2012-02-15 11:23

    Lions...who cares. The Stormers will be SA's flag ship again. Why? well you'll have to go and read:

      Lynton - 2012-02-16 09:35

      Kevin, I am a huge Stormers fan. But even I am getting irritated with you pasting the same article over and over...why not try and keep the feedback on topic. ie. Kings and Lions. IMHO I think the team that deserves it more should be there, irrelevant of how much more money the one has over the other one. A system of keeping the top 5 CC teams in super rugby would seem the most fair?

  • Schalk - 2012-02-15 11:24

    lees vandag se koerant die OP KINGS verloor amper met n krieket score @ die LIONS hoe kan hulle SA rugby se naam so GAT maak en die KINGS laat deelneem in 2013????

      jonker.fourie - 2012-02-15 12:28

      Schalk, dit was nie die OP Kings wat gespeel het nie. Dit was 'n Grens/SWD kombinasie span.

      eyresa - 2012-02-15 14:35

      You are right jonker, but EP Rugby did not put their best team up yesterday because it would have just added fuel to the fire in this debate about them getting an S15 spot. They would probably still have been trounced by the Sharks.

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-15 18:17

      eyresa you are even more of a plonker, the EP Kings play the Sharks on Saturday and the game was in was made up of locals.AS giving them a chance to prove themselves which obviously didnt happen it has nothing to do with playing the Lions The Lions are deff a better team than the Kings whoever they are made up of but they have been given enough of a chance and proved nothing.1996 is a long time ago and the Lions are bankrupt BIG TIME

  • etienne.theron - 2012-02-15 11:25

    Lions beat Kings 88 - 0 last night and beat the Sharks + their Sprinboks in the final.

      Derrick - 2012-02-15 12:11

      & I Believe the King's were lucky to get 0- what a joke- they can't even get into the Currie Cup via normal channels ( relegation/promotion ) & now they are intent on further embarrassing South African rugby

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-15 18:12

      Lions beat a composite SWD/Border team last night WIth SWD drawing against WP on the same day... So not sure sure who was picked The main squad plays the Sharks this w-end Of that squad prob 50% will make up next years squad which will replace the toothless Lions Great CC team against weakened opponents, but rather crap Super Rugby Team

  • Chris - 2012-02-15 11:31

    Marius jy weet nie wat jy praat nie word net wakker aseeblief

      Marius - 2012-02-15 12:54

      @Chris. Jy kan altyd die Kaapse Hooggeregshof rekords opsoek oor die saak as jy my nie glo nie. Al wat ek weet is dat SARU 'n hengse groot probleem op hulle hande het, wat hulle miljoene kan kos. En nou soek hulle die goedkoopste oplossing vir daai probleem, want hulle ander alternatief in om die Lions ook finansieel uit te bail anders sal hulle ook nie kompeterend kan wees hierdie jaar nie, want hulle sal nie hulle spelers se salarisse kan betaal nie. En dit los hulle dan nog steeds met die geld wat hulle volgens die hofuitspraak aan die Kings sal moet betaal. So dus op die einde sal dit hulle dubbeld so veel kos.

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-15 18:25

      Marius seems to know allot more than you Chris facts speak for themselves to much hot air around here

  • Chris - 2012-02-15 11:31

    Sorry vir die spelling

  • watkykjy - 2012-02-15 11:32

    Los die Lions se bal - sport met Kaptein Kortbroek -

  • Nico - 2012-02-15 11:32

    I'm sure if the poll said "who must be replaced if any?" the results would have looked a LOT different. Your conclusion is on the same level of choosing the best car based on body color.

  • Francois - 2012-02-15 11:34

    Prove them wrong Mr Mitchell! I believe in these young Lions of you!

  • Chris - 2012-02-15 11:38

    Think its between the pink bulls and the cheethas.........

  • Grant - 2012-02-15 11:42

    Twisting stats again!! Just because sharks have least votes to finish LAST does not make them favourites to finish FIRST... I'm a Sharks fan, but stupid use of stats grinds me!

  • DuToitCoetzee - 2012-02-15 11:46

    @Sport24. The people have not spoken!!!!!!! The people purely ticked who they think the "authorities" will drop. if there must be one. This is based on past Super Rugby records, but is not necessarily support the people's view/choices. Putting a question like that does not truly reflect all options. If you put a extra block to tick where you say "Do you think the Kings must 1st prove themselves in CC" you would have had a 95% + tick for that. I suggest you add this option and open the voting again. When done we can discuss the matter properly.

  • Grant - 2012-02-15 11:49

    The likeliest losers of a Super rugby spot would be the Cheetahs. Not on performance, but because they are the "Poor Cousins" of our Super Rugby Franchises and they are the the one union who could possibly have a successful merger with the Kings (Bloem is closer to PE than CT or Durbs). The Bulls, Stormers, Lions and Sharks are big unions with money to throw at legal costs should there be an attempt to religate them.

  • John Murray McKay - 2012-02-15 11:53

    The sponsors will never allow it. Money talks!

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-15 18:27

      unfortantuly it does not work like that John,franchise licenses talk

  • jean.rossouwsa - 2012-02-15 12:10

    Sensasie soekers! Shame, wil jy nou vir my se n spant wat 88/0 wen word vervang met die span wat 0 het in Super Rugy! Regtig tydmors!

  • Christo - 2012-02-15 12:21

    Nouja meningspeilings is ook maar net dit!! Geen manier sal die Lions laaste eindig nie. Ongelukkig sal die "voorreg" die Cheetahs toeval. Bevrees die lesers het die kat aan die stert beet.

  • Johnny - 2012-02-15 12:28

    What does the EP Kings want to accomplish with the Super 15... they are getting their arses whipped wherever and whenever they play... even the Lions trashed them 88 - 0

      jonker.fourie - 2012-02-15 12:32

      Johnny, please go read the article about the game. The EP Kings didn't play the Lions, it was a Border / SWD combination team. Not EP.

      Bert - 2012-02-15 12:47

      @jonker fourie, het jy gesien wat het border en swd met die kings gemaak laasjaar?

      Johnny - 2012-02-15 12:53

      Good, Excuse my blunder above - "Southern Kings" and not "EP Kings" But I still would not like to see any of the other franchises to go, wether its Stormers, Sharks, Bulls, Cheetahs or Lions.

      Vincent - 2012-02-15 17:45

      @jonker.fourie - If i am not mistaken the name on the score board read Southern Kings and not Border/SWD.

  • Bert - 2012-02-15 12:34

    en toe ek getel het was dit anders . . . . . . . .

      Bert - 2012-02-15 12:47

      gaan kyk na die pol op

      Marius - 2012-02-15 13:11

      @ Bert. Die OP Kings het Border en SWD laas jaar ook met meer as 70 punte gewen, so jou punt is?

  • Johan - 2012-02-15 12:54

    Ek wonder wat sal SARU doen as al 5 SA spanne onder die top 8 eindig? Ek meen as al die spanne goed perform (as n rugby liefhebber hoop ek so) hoe kan jy n span soos die Kings laat speel?

      Gerhard Grobler - 2012-02-15 17:21

      Praat jy Johan!! Rugby moet regoor al hierdie bs seevier. ?

  • Herman - 2012-02-15 13:02

    Serious what a joke 88/0

  • Herman - 2012-02-15 13:03

    Serious what a joke 88/0

  • springbokke - 2012-02-15 13:04

    Goodbye sport.....Politics and greed, the name of the game .....

  • andre.nell - 2012-02-15 14:00

    Southern Kings should first play Currie Cup ??????????

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-15 18:40

      SARU should of thought about that 5 years ago......

  • Ryno - 2012-02-15 14:17

    88-0 and you want these clowns to play in the S15? They will get slaughtered, how many tries can a team score in 80 mins? I wonder, I suppose one every 2 minutes is possible. If the Kings play S15 we will see

  • pjnvanderwalt - 2012-02-15 14:37

    Similar poles done last year suggested that the Lions would not reach the Currie Cup semis.

  • Grant - 2012-02-15 15:53

    yeah that's because most sharks supporters don't work and have time to take part in silly online polls..

  • Hendrik Reyneke - 2012-02-15 16:52

    @basie what did the lions do with the other sa super rugby teams? As I recall the lions haven't beaten the stormers since 2001 in super rugby! I take nothing away from their currie cup victory last year, but this is super rugby! A different kettle of fish. Do well in super rugby then you can get some bragging rights. Currie cup last year was a watered down affair even if the boks did return the last couple of weeks! All the teams are up to full strength in super rugby. Let's talk after the season. Good luck, it's going to be a cracker this year!

      Gerhard Grobler - 2012-02-15 17:45

      @Hendrik- I agree, prove yourself in Super rugby and earn respect. Do good and prove yourself on the highest level. I'm a realistic dreamer and one has to remember what brand the Lions are bringing to the party this year. It's going to be an exciting and exhilirating season. This could finally be the year where things around for the Lions. They have excellent coaching staff, according to me the best president of all the unions and commited players that ALLREADY bought into Coach John Mitchell's plans. It can only work. Most people I spoke to have spoken good about the Lions and the style of rugby they're playing, regardless of which blue, black, striped or orange team they support. Lets wish the Lions luck in the S15 and support rugby, not politics! Go Lions!!!

  • Johan - 2012-02-15 17:28

    Rob jy het seker nooit rugby gespeel nie Jou kop is baie vlak word wakker ou maat wanneer jy wakker word is jou koffie ys koud. Lions was net te gord vir jou spannetjie in die Kaap en selfs baie better teen die Sharks.Jy moet n bietjie wakker skrik

  • coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-15 18:08

    what a sour bunch we have on here KINGS ON THE RISE!!!

      whusselmann - 2012-02-15 18:41

      One positive person can make a difference.Thank you Patrick.

  • Mielie - 2012-02-15 18:18

    Mokkof Fot

  • whusselmann - 2012-02-15 18:39

    It is clear that most guys posting here don t understand professional rugby or the need to develop our black talent.Only Jongi Nokwe and Luke Watson at this stage could be sure of a place in the EP Kings side for next year.As a professional outfit with big sponsors Kings will buy the best players available on the market that they can afford.What do you think will happen to the players whose franchise won t play in Super Rugby next year?Most will try to get onto the Kings books.The top young Eastern Cape players will then stay where they are.I can remember numerous brilliant players out of this region,some that went on to play for the Boks.Danie Gerber,Johan Heunis,Hannes Marais,Frans Erasmus,Jaques du Plessis,Pote Human,Gavin Cowley,Garth Wright,Carel Fourie,Schalk Burger,Adri Geldenhuys ,Cheeky Watson and a lot of other players out of EP that played for other provinces.Let s bring back the Eastern Cape glory years.Let this also become a place where we can develop young black South African players in one of the toughest competitions that there is.

  • coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-15 18:44

    Can any of you tell me how many EC players currently play Super Rugby?? All you rugby experts out there

      Shane - 2012-02-15 20:02

      Why don't you tell us?

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-16 00:12

      Well Shane here are a few players who were born, played or from the Southern Kings area Zane Kirchner,Lwazi Mvovu, JJ Engelbrecht, Bjorn Basson,Elton Jantjies, Rory Kockott, Ryan Kankowski, Siya Kolisi, Jacques Potgieter, Keegan Daniel, Dewalt Potgieter, Daron Nel , Luke Watson, Ryno Gerber, Bandisa Maku, Micheal Killian , Odwa & Akona Ndungane, Jongi Nokwe, Kabamba Floors , Deon Stegmann, Lionel Mapoe, JP Joubert, Fabian Juries, Schalk Burger, Tim Whitehead

  • Taun - 2012-02-15 19:57

    SARU should have pumped a lot more money into EC rugby many years ago, would also have gone a long way towards reaching their transformation goals. With enough money to keep some of the star players coming from the EC schools, it wont take long to turn the kings into a superb rugby team. SARU has gone the wrong way about this by bulldozing the kings into the Super Rugby picture, without giving them the chance to prepare for it.

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-16 00:15


  • Ridwaan - 2012-02-16 09:35

    Have you seen the Eastern Cape ? there is no money there, and unemployment is the highest in the country, i find it hard to beleive that they will attract bigger sponsors than a union based Joburg. The money in Jhb is huge comparatively. How much can SARU give realistically over a 4 year period ? Also, whoever (Lions/Cheetahs) gets so called "force relegated" , they will challenge it in court, and they will win. If you are contracted to 2015, its in black and white. Simple as that. Nobody can force you out unless you breached the contract.

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-02-16 13:11

      Huge money in JHB and the Lions are hopelessly bankrupt...explain please

      Ridwaan - 2012-02-17 01:58

      Simple as to why they were bankrupt - Manie Reynecke - Ex CEO of Lions, a rugby man without a business brain. They had ZERO marketing ability, and did not know hot to tap into the wealth available here. No offence mate, but no company based out of the EC is going to invest there, and i dont see any sponsor from there ,comitting millions to a losing team. In fact, id like to see who the so called southen Kings BIG SPONSORS are.... I bet its non existant, yet they keep talking about this phantom that doesnt exist. No company in their right mind will spend R30mil + on a team thats gona be a laughing stock for the next 3 years.

  • Marius - 2012-02-16 11:27

    Watch this space, Lions will not end bottom of S.A. conference, and then the joke will be on the idiots among'st those 6000 who took part in those poll's, and made this prediction. And my was probably those losers from the Stormers and the Sharks. Go Lions, Bulls & Cheetahs!!!!!!

  • dafensh - 2012-02-21 09:02

    What is it with the Spears anyway? They can't even win the first division provincial competition. First win something, then you can talk.

  • dafensh - 2012-02-21 09:03

    What is with the Spears anyway? They can't even win a first division provincial tournament, and now they want to be part of super rugby? What word of super don't they understand. There is nothing super about the Spears, except that they are super terrible.

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