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Kings Team vs Lions


Southern Kings Media release:


Main changes:
Darron Nell named Captain in place of Andries Strauss who was not considered following breaking his hand on Friday during practice
Ronnie Cooke named Vice Captain and in charge of backline
Shane Gates gets his first start at Centre for Strauss
SP Marais returns to Fullback and Demetri Catrakilis at flyhalf.
Hadleigh Parkes come onto right wing, with Marcello Sampson on left.

Forwards are consistent with team throughout season, Schalk Ferreira, Bandise Maku and Kevin Buys up front, Darron Nell pairing with David Bulbring, with loose trio of Wimpie, van der Walt, Jacques “Vleis” Engelbrecht and Cornell du Preez.

15. SP Marais
11. Marcello Sampson
13. Ronnie Cooke (Vice Captain)
12. Shane Gates
14. Hadleigh Parkes
10. Demetri Catrakilis
9. Shaun Venter
1. Schalk Ferreira
2. Bandise Maku
3. Kevin Buys
6. Cornell du Preez
4. Darron Nell (Captain)
5. David Bulbring
7. Wimpie van der Walt
8. Jacques Engelbrecht

16. Charl du Plessis
17. Hannes Franklin
18. Steven Sykes
19. Devin Oosthuizen
20. Nicolas Vergallo
21. George Whitehead
22. Waylon Murray



Media Release From MTN Lions
MTN Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has announced his side to face the Griquas at Ellis Park this Saturday. Kick-off is at 15h00.

1. JC Janse van Rensburg (C)
2. Francois du Toit
3. Julian Redelinghuys
4. Hendrik Roodt
5. JJ Breet
6. Warwick Tecklenburg
7. Derick Minnie
8. Lambert Groenewald
9. Guy Cronje
10. Marnitz Boshoff
11. Anthony Volmink
12. Dylan des Fountain
13. Stokkies Hanekom
14. Deon van Rensburg
15. Ruan Combrinck

16. Mark Pretorius
17. Jacques van Rooyen
18. Ruan Dreyer
19. Hugo Kloppers/Gavin Annandale
20. Willie Britz
21. Ross Cronje/Viaan van der Watt
22. Lionel Cronje
23. Chrysander Botha
24. Deon Helberg

Leopards and Steval Pumas Remain Unbeaten.


SARU Media Release:

Leopards, Pumas remain unbeaten in Absa Currie Cup First Division:

The Leopards and Steval Pumas continued to assert their authority in the Absa Currie Cup First Division this weekend as they registered their second victories in as many weeks to remain the only unbeaten teams in the competition.

The EP Kings and Regent Boland Cavaliers on the other hand bounced back from their first round defeats, which allowed them to close in on the early pace setters.

The Leopards vs Valke:

The Leopards started their clash against the Valke strongly thanks a to a hat-trick of tries by right wing Edmar Marais in the first 20 minutes at Profert Olen Park, which laid the foundation for their 50-25 bonus point victory. The Valke, however, fought back with scrumhalf Anrich Richter making a sniping run for their first try in the 27th minute to add to Wesley Roberts’ two penalties for a 22-13 half-time score. The hosts then took back control of proceedings in the second half and ran riot with three tries in nine minutes to push the match out of reach for the Valke. The visitors managed to salvage some pride thanks to a determined effort on attack in the last quarter as they crossed the tryline twice. But Leopards and SA Under-20 fullback Sylvian Mahuza’s debut try took their score to 50 points. Leopards flyhalf Adriaan Engelbrecht also had a memorable day with the boot thanks to his six conversions and one penalty goal for a total of 15 points.

Steval Pumas vs Border Bulldogs:

The Steval Pumas, meanwhile, had to fight all the way for their 23-16 victory in an arm-wrestle of a clash against the Border Bulldogs at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday evening. The Bulldogs produced a fine first half performance with hooker Dean Muir opening up the scoring with a try in the 16th minute thanks to a clever box kick by scrumhalf Sinovuya Nyoka. A penalty goal by Bulldogs’ fullback Karlo Aspeling and two by Pumas flyhalf Carl Bezuidenhout late in the first half, however, saw the Bulldogs take a 10-6 lead at the break.

The second half was equally tense as the forwards continued their domination. Aspeling scored the first points of the second half thanks to another penalty goal, but this was cancelled out as Pumas’ flank Jaco Bouwer crashed over the tryline to take the score to 16-13. Another penalty by Aspeling levelled the scores at 16-16 with 13 minutes play. But the Pumas had the last say two minutes from time as the forwards put in the hard yards on attack to work Corné Steenkamp into position for the winning try.

Regent Boland Cavaliers vs SWD Eagles:

The Regent Boland Cavaliers also showed character in their clash against the SWD Eagles to overturn a 14-7 deficit at the break for their invaluable 22-17 away-victory in George on Friday evening.

Down Touch Griffons vs EP Kings:

In Welkom on Saturday afternoon, a fantastic first-half showing by the EP Kings, which earned them their bonus point try before the break and an encouraging 29-14 half-time lead, placed them in a comfortable position to weather a second-half fight back by the Down Touch Griffons and secure a 37-21 victory.

Absa Currie Cup First Division Round 2 results:
Down Touch Griffons 21-37 EP Kings
Steval Pumas 23-16 Border Bulldogs
SWD Eagles 17-22 Regent Boland Cavaliers
Leopards 50-25 Valke

Board backs John Smit in firing Plum


Sharks’ board has strongly stood behind Smit’s decision to fire Plum.

We recognise too that John may not have all the commercial experience yet. We have a Board and a management team to guide him in these areas. Our advice to John was, listen carefully before acting and at all times be honest and transparent. Recent actions may seem to contradict the advice given. However, the actions taken were not malicious and are explained below.

John Plumtree, who has served The Sharks with both loyalty and much success and, not withstanding that he has a contract until the end of 2013, he needed certainty on his future beyond that. He informed The Sharks that he had been approached with other options to consider and personal issues viz schooling that needed addressing.

The easiest decision and the line of least resistance for John Smit to take would have been to say “He needed time”, he could have delayed his call for months until he was entrenched as CEO.

However, consistent with both his own integrity and the Board’s guidance on Honesty and Transparency, he grasped the nettle and did not opt for the expedient approach. This approach was also in part accelerated by comments attributed to Nick Mallet and then taken to end further destructive speculation.

John Smit, has a vision on how he wants to run The Sharks and the Board cannot ask him as CEO to take accountability and then choose his team for him. These are really tough decisions and are never clean cut. John Smit has had the benefit of playing under both coaches and rates them both highly. The intensity of the debate is a positive reflection of the performance of John Plumtree. John Smit is our chosen leader and a man of substance. He has made his choice and I can only ask Shark supporters to get behind him and the team as our season unfolds.

A further issue, I would like to address is the Liquor Board matter.

Contrary to some public opinion, The Sharks are working actively in trying to reach an acceptable conclusion here. We would like things to remain as they were but we need to act responsibly and acknowledge:

We have had a tragic death at our stadium.
Irresponsible abuse of alcohol is a scourge in our society and it will not be encouraged in our stadium.
The Liquor Board has a duty to make sure that the above areas are properly addressed.

We are engaging with the authorities. We sense your frustration, but given the magnitude of the issues, we cannot promise overnight resolution. We can tell you that the authorities to date, have not been obstructive but driven by a sincere desire to find solutions that address both safety and the need for responsible drinking particularly given the family environment that we wish to retain at KINGS PARK.

Change is always traumatic. There is no easy way to deal with change. However, The Sharks are in a new era. We, the Board, are positive that the changes made, will with the passing of time, be shown to build on the solid platform created at The Sharks.

Thank you for all the support, interest and loyalty, you have demonstrated to The Sharks. John and team, through both their performance and conduct, will endeavor to repay this loyalty to you both on and off the field.

Hier kom Orania!


Orania se rugbyspan is toegelaat tot Griekwas se kompetisie – en sal teen enige ander span speel.

Ex-Bok assaulted at rugby


ormer Springbok scrumhalf and current College Rovers coach, Robert du Preez, was allegedly attacked by Brakpan fans and players following the Community Cup final in George on Monday.

Swartes het beter kans by Lions


Virgili Lacombe, Franse haker van Toulouse, is die vierde oorsese speler wat die Kings vir 2013 se Superrugby geteken het.

The dark truth of schoolboy rugby


Over the last few weeks, the Sunday Tribune has looked at the pressures associated with schoolboy rugby. We have also looked at how a worryingly increasing number of pupils are turning to supplements and drugs to get an edge.

Rugby hooliganism in Varsity Cup


The following story was sent to me following the supposed ‘Greatest Rivalry in University Rugby’ between Maties and Ikeys – quite frankly, it’s disgusting.

Two key injury withdrawals shake Lions


The Lions have been hit by two key injury withdrawals ahead of the Sharks clash with Elton Jantjes and Patric Cilliers out of the game.

Habana at 13 vs Kings


Springbok wing Bryan Habana will play at outside centre for the Stormers in their final Super Rugby pre-season clash against the Kings at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.