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Will Roodepoort succeed this time?


Roodepoort, the pride of Lions rugby, will want improve on their performance in this year's Gold Cup when they meet their opponents from the 2014 Community Cup final - Rustenburg Impala - at Ruimsig on Saturday.

The ëPoorte lost 13-11 in a closely contested final in George that year and it is expected that Saturday's game will be another close encounter.

It is the only time that a club from the Lions has advanced to the final of the competition in the new format.

There is only one survivor from that final in the Roodepoort side - reserve scrumhalf Andre Esterhuizen - who started on the day.

Rustenburg Impala has no fewer than five members from their 2014 winning campaign - locks Henro Huyser and Tiaan Nel, eighth man Leon du Plessis, centre McDonald Duma and winger Dumi Matyeshana.

Both teams are ready for Saturday's match, which is arguably the most important game of the round robin for both teams. Roodepoort have bolstered their squad with a number of names, with former Lions centre Stokkies Hanekom being their headline star.

The former Griquas and Wits wing - Lux Ntsepe - will provide the X factor, knowing he is playing alongside the powerful Roodepoort forward pack.

This is a game that will be won or lost in the forward collisions, and Pieter Matthews and company knows that the responsibility rests on their shoulders.

Impala's side includes the brilliant number eight Leon du Plessis, who is playing in his fifth Gold (or Community) Cup. The battle between him and the up-and-coming Ruan du Toit will be one you don't want to miss. The game starts at approximately 15:00.

The teams

Roodepoort: Lux Ntsepe, Ashley van Wyk, Stokkies Hanekom, Cisko du Toit, Louis Trichardt, Wesley Roberts, Brandan Rieck, Ruan du Toit, Cliffie Vermaak, Wesley Pretorius, Marnus Coetzee, Pieter Matthews, Calla van Heerden, Hennie Mare, Zander Schlemmer. Reserves: Quinton Pretorius, Jakes Qinela, Ian Pottas, Griffith van Wyk, Carl Mellett, Migael du Plessis, Spyker Esterhuizen, Rodney Robinson.

Impala: Andre Grobler, Dewaldt Havenga, McDonald Duma, Justin St Jerry, Dumisani Matyeshana, Siya Masuku, Ethan Sias, Leon du Plessis, Justin Wheeler, Tiaan Prinsloo, Tiaan Nel, Henro Huyser, Ivann Espag, Nico Peyper, Andre Engelbrecht. Reserves: Brandon de Beer, Andre Olivier, Isak Deetlefs, JP la Grange, Nico Kruger, Johnny Welthagen, Xolani Nkosi, Jaco Botha.

This weekend's Gold Cup fixtures:

  • Roodepoort vs. Impala
  • Springs vs. Swallows
  • College Rovers vs. ERU
  • Naka Bulle vs. Sishen
  • Worcester vs. Northam
  • Gardens vs. Secunda
  • Progress vs. Durbell
  • Welkom vs. Bloemfontein Police


  • 23-02-2019 Stormers snatch victory in 85th minute

    Stormers snatch victory in 85th minute

    23 February 2019


    A tense Vodacom Super Rugby match between the Emirates Lions and DHL Stormers ended in a last gasp victory to the home side, when they clinched a try in the 85th minute of the game at Newlands on Saturday. The Lions enjoyed more territory and made two of their scoring chances count. After 19 minutes, the men from Jozi were up 14-3. The Stormers struggled to score in the first half. SP Marais slotted a second penalty goal in the 29th minute.

    Just when it appeared as if the hosts were building some momentum deep in Lions territory, prop Ali Vermaak was shown a yellow card for flying into a ruck from the side. The half ended with the Lions leading 14-6.

    The Lions failed to capitalise on their superior numbers and their lead though, while the Stormers added six more points. The game was in the balance at 14-12 to the Lions after 60 minutes. The Stormers enjoyed a couple of chances to win the game at the death. Lions flank Marnus Schoeman was sin-binned for a cynical infringement at the lineout in the 77th minute.

    The Lions defended desperately during this period, and conceded penalty after penalty. The Stormers looked to have blown their chance to win the game when the ball shot out of a scrum in front of the posts. Jantjies pounced quickly, and the Lions couldn’t stop the scrumhalf from scoring. Kwagga Smith was Man of the Match and Marvin Orie again made the most tackles.

  • 19-02-2019 Naudé on loan to Lions

    Naudé on loan to Lions

     19-February 2019

    Franco Naudé will join the Lions Rugby Company on loan from the Vodacom Bulls with immediate effect. Naudé will bolster the Lions squad at centre. The 22-year old has one cap in Vodacom Super Rugby (vs Sunwolves, 2017). The former Hoërskool Garsfontein midfielder established himself as an age-group player and earned his Junior Springbok colours in 2016.

  • 15-02-2019 Emirates Lions sign partnership with Sonda Sports

    Emirates Lions sign partnership with Sonda Sports

    15 February 2019


    The Lions Rugby Company is pleased to announce a new partnership with Sonda Sports which will allow our Emirates Lions squad to wear state-of-the-art rugby GPS trackers during all training sessions.


    Sonda Sports, a leader in their field, delivers a revolutionary GPS tracking system designed to enhance the productivity of professional athletes. This software will allow the coaching team to access the very best in statistical data, which will aid them in a whole manner of different ways.


    "This system enables our coaches to monitor training every day, so that we can develop the players' fitness in the most professional way possible. We are continually striving to be at our best in everything we do, and we know that Sonda Sports will be the right fit for our team," said Lions Rugby Company CEO Rudolf Straeuli.


    The wireless sports performance system monitors and improves players' performance while also enhancing players' development and preventing injuries.  The purpose of the GPS is to help players and coaches on every level to maximize their overall skills and capabilities. Sonda Sports is famous for developing innovative ideas for analysing and monitoring the overall productivity and performance of athletes on the sports ground. Their primary motive is to develop and implement new, high-end technologies and make them available to athletes across the globe.


    Sonda Sports is a European company based in Wroclaw, Poland. For more information visit


  • 12-02-2019 Strong Emirates Lions outfit for VSR opener

    Strong Emirates Lions outfit for VSR opener

    12 February 2019


    Warren Whiteley will lead a strong Emirates Lions side when they take the field against the Jaguares in their Vodacom Super Rugby opener in Argentina on Saturday evening (23:40 SA time).


    Carlu Sadie and Stephan Lewies will make their Vodacom Super Rugby debut for the Emirates Lions in the starting line-up. The bench includes new faces Frans van Wyk, Ruan Vermaak, Gianni Lombard and Wandisile Simelane. Each of the previous seven meetings between the Jaguares and the Emirates Lions have been won by the home team on the day. The Lions currently have four wins to the Jaguares' three.


    Lions' hooker Malcolm Marx (27) won more turnovers than anyone else in Super Rugby 2018. Players not considered due to injury were Kwagga Smith (calf strain, should be ready in a week), Stephan Lewies (minor pectoral tear, should be ready in a week), Cyle Brink (recovering from long-term injury), Robbie Coetzee (recovering from long-term injury), Johannes Jonker (recovering from long-term injury) and Ross Cronje (recovering from long-term injury).

  • 01-02-2019 Spidey Whiteley ready to lead

    Spidey Whiteley ready to lead

    #SuperHeroSunday team list announced

    1 February 2019


    Warren Whiteley is the real Spiderman when he leads the Emirates Lions against the Cell C Sharks at the Cape Town Stadium on #SuperHeroSunday.


    Whiteley leads a side brimming with experience but also interspersed with some talented youngsters in the starting line-up and on the bench.



    • This is the first ever #SuperHeroSunday Double Header at the Cape Town Stadium, featuring all four Vodacom Super Rugby franchise teams on the same day at one venue.
    • South Africa's top players will be wearing their new jerseys inspired by Marvel's Spider-Man, Thor, Black Panther and Captain America will run out at Cape Town Stadium on #SuperHeroSunday, 3 February, at the first public appearance of the Marvel makeover of SA's Vodacom Super Rugby teams.


    The Emirates Lions will be dressed in the familiar webbed suit of Spider-Man; the Cell C Sharks will adopt the Black Panther look; the DHL Stormers will be looking to hammer their opponents in the colours of Thor; and the Vodacom Bulls will shield all attacks thrown their way as Captain America. The jerseys will be exclusively worn in most South African derbies. The teams will wear in their usual jerseys for matches against international opposition.

  • 30-01-2019 Get your Spiderman rugby jersey today

    Get your Spiderman rugby jersey today


    30 January 2019


    The new Spiderman rugby jerseys are now available for you to purchase. Make sure you grab yours ahead of the #SuperHeroSunday match this weekend.


    You can buy the jersey and at of the following shops:


    You can expect to pay the following:

    Men - Replica: R799 | Lite: R499

    Women - Replica: R749 | Lite: R449

    Kids - Replica: R749 | Lite: R449

    For any queries please phone the Canterbury Lions Shop at 011 402 0034.

  • Lions embrace Sadie

    Meet our new young prop

    31 January 2019


    Carlu Sadie, one of the fresh new faces at the Emirates Lions, has spoken about settling in with his new team mates in Johannesburg, moving from Bellville, the place he grew up in, and about the huge influence former Springbok prop Julian Redelinghuys has had on him.


    Read the full article now

  • Emirates Lions vs Vodacom Bulls friendly

    Mahuza to lead youngsters


    The Emirates Lions will take on the Vodacom Bulls in a friendly on Saturday, 26 January at 15h00 at Loftus Versfeld B-field.


    Sylvian Mahuza will captain a young Emirates Lions side in the first pre-season friendly of 2019. Mahuza is the most experienced player in the squad that will travel to Pretoria with 31 Super Rugby caps under his belt. Kick-off is at 15:00 and entrance is free.


    To check out the team sheet, click here.


  • Hero-On-Hero combat has moved from the big screen to the rugby field

    #SuperHeroSunday - some thing you never knew you needed


    Get your Spider-Man suit ready - Marvel is coming to South Africa in a big way as a plethora of superheroes get ready to invade Cape Town on Sunday, 3 February for #SuperHeroSunday.


    The Emirates Lions players Warren Whiteley, Malcolm Marx and Elton Jantjies in their Spider-Man jerseys for the Marvel-inspired Vodacom Super Rugby matches.Graphic provided by Lions Rugby Company This Vodacom Super Rugby season the Emirates Lions will become Spider-Man, arguably the most popular superhero of all, and just like the comic character, they will wear an advanced Superhero costume.


    We identify with heroes as if they were sports teams - well now they are! It will be the first time the teams officially wear the new-look jerseys, which will also be worn during other SA derbies throughout the Vodacom Super Rugby season.


    The Emirates Lions (Spider-Man) kick off proceedings at 14h00 against the Cell C Sharks (Black Panther) followed by the DHL Stormers (Thor) versus the Vodacom Bulls (Captain America).


    The idea of our heroes fighting, sparks our imaginations and our emotional investment. Expectations are that the season's first hit-out (powered by DStv, SuperSport, Marvel, and Vodacom) will be fast and spectacular as teams try and establish solid early form.


    There will be an emphasis on entertainment, with families encouraged to dress up as their favourite superheroes, and the day will be packed with activations and assorted giveaways and prizes.


    Tickets from R50 (or four for R150) are available at Computicket. Corporate hospitality can be arranged via Unfortunately there will be no ticket sales at the stadium on match day.


    Gates open at noon.


  • 05-12-2018 GLRU appoints Meintjes as deputy

    GLRU appoints Meintjes as deputy


    The Golden Lions Rugby Union is proud to announce that Stephen Meintjes has been co-opted as a deputy to the Executive Committee.

    Meintjes is not a new face at the Lions. He started his career as a referee for the union in 1985. He was appointed as Chairman from 2002 to 2006 and was elected onto the Executive Committee in 2003 under the then president Jomo King.

    He was appointed as Chairman of the SA Rugby Referees Association in 2002, re-elected in 2003 and served as Chairman until 2015.

    GLRU President Neville Jardine said Meintjes brings a wealth of experience as a deputy, given his solid finance and banking background.

    "The main focus of his duties will be finance, audits and risk management, as well as restoring and rejuvenating the referees' portfolio while he will also assist with constitutional matters.

    "We want to ensure the long-term sustainability of the GLRU and we believe, given Stephen's vast experience that he can make us achieve this. I am confident that he will ensure that we are on the right path," Jardine added.

    Meintjes' appointment is with immediate effect.

  • 19-11-2018 New ticketing partner for Emirates AIrline Park

    New ticketing partner for Emirates Airline Park

    19 November 2018


    EPS (Pty) Ltd has acquired the services of a new ticketing partner, Ticketpro, ahead of the launch of their 2019 Lions Membership packages, to go on sale on Black Friday.


    South Africa‘s leading ticketing innovator, Ticketpro, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Blue Label Telecoms Limited, has been responsible for many of South Africa‘s premium sporting and entertainment events. Through utilising innovative technology developed by Blue Label Telecoms Limited, Ticketpro has been able to significantly streamline ticketing, hospitality and access control for a range of events across the country.


    Read the full article now


  • 2019 Boksmart Coaching Course info released

    26 November 2018


    Complete your World Rugby Level 2 certification with the Golden Lions Rugby Union. Everything you need to know about Boksmart information and course dates can be found in our Amateur rugby section.


    Check it out now.


  • Industry changes push player severance

    09 November 2018


    Due to the changes in the Rugby Industry whereby the decision to reduce professional players has been instigated the Lions Rugby Company (Pty) Ltd. has been involuntarily required to offer mutual severance packages to contracted players.



  • Start planning for the 2019 Vodacom Super Rugby

    12 November 2018


    This just in. The 2019 Vodacom Super Rugby schedule has finally been released. Check it out to see when the Emirates Lions will be playing and plan your rugby weekends now.



  • 27-11-2018 Emirates Lions sign new sponsor

    Lions Rugby Company (Pty) Ltd is proud to announce the signing of a three year contract with The Skills Development Corporation (SDC).


    They are an accredited learning institution specialising in Training and Learnership initiatives focused on the B-BBEE codes of good practice and proud winner of the 2018 Education Training & Skills Development award at the National Business Awards.


    Edgar Rathbone, Managing Director of EPS (Pty) Ltd, welcomed SDC on board as the latest sponsor to the Lions Rugby Company, to be sported on the shoulder of the new Vodacom Super Rugby jersey for 2019.


    "We are proud to be associated with SDC, a company that has done so much for upliftment in our country. Their slogan really sums it up 'We are the difference' and they really have made the difference in so many young lives in South Africa. We hope we can assist in changing even more lives over the next 3 years and beyond."


    The Skills Development Corporation (Pty) Ltd recognizes an obligation to raising the profile of education, training and skills development within South Africa. As an accredited training provider they endeavour to maintain the highest principles, core values and ethical standards in carrying out all their business activities, characteristic that the Lions can associate with.


    "The decision to partner with the Lions Rugby Company was made out of the passion for the sport. The Lions' path to success is very similar to that of SDC's and we would like to be by their side every step of the way as they move closer and closer to the top spot in South African rugby," said Daniel Gibhard, CEO of SDC.


  • 13-10-2018 Xerox Golden Lions book Currie Cup semi-final spot

    13 October 2018

    Xerox Golden Lions book Currie Cup semi-final spot

    The Xerox Golden Lions beat the iCOLLEGE Pumas 33-21 (halftime 21-14) with a bonus point, in their Currie Cup Premier Division match at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday.

    As a result of the five-try outcome, the Lions moved into third position on the table tied with the second-placed Sharks, but slightly behind on points difference.

    The visitors got off to a quick start as centre Lionel Mapoe intercepted a poor pass from scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer in the second minute and sprinted through to score under the posts untouched. Jantjies added the extra two points.

    Three minutes later it was Devon Williams who timed his run into the Pumas back line to perfection to collect the final pass and score for flyhalf Chris Smith to convert and level the scores. The Lions were back in front when hooker Corne Fourie scored from a rolling maul and Jantjies was again on target from the kicking tee.

    The Lions, however, were reduced to 14 men on the half hour when centre Howard Mnisi was yellow carded for cynical play.

    The Pumas took advantage of the numerical advantage and after a long period of sustained pressure it was their No 8 Francois Kleinhans who crashed over for the score. But once again, the Lions put their noses ahead when Mapoe displayed great feet to lay off to left wing Courtnall Skosan to score. Jantjies’s conversion made it 21-14.

    The Pumas were dealt a blow just before halftime when try-scorer Kleinhans was sin-binned and just before he returned after the break, the Lions capitalised when Skosan got in for his second try which secured the bonus point.

    The Lions were starting to stamp their authority on the game and this became even more evident when Fourie bundled his way over for his second try of the night on the hour.

    Jantjies added the extras and the Lions had one foot in the semifinals at 33-14.

    But the Pumas were not about to throw in the towel and came back at the visitors with centre Ryan Nell scoring their third try with 12 minutes remaining.

    XEROX GOLDEN LIONS – Tries: Lionel Mapoe, Corne Fourie (2), Courtnall Skosan (2) Conversions: Elton Jantjies (4)

  • Xerox Golden Lions U21 & U19 teams take on the Cell C Sharks

    4 October 2018


    Catch all the action when the Xerox Golden Lions U21 and U19 teams take on the Cell C Sharks at Emirates Airline Park on Friday, 5 October 2018.

  • 22-09-18 Lions go down in wet Durban

    Lions go down in wet Durban

    22 September 2018

    The Cell C Sharks retained their unbeaten status in the Currie Cup when they secured a 37-21 win over the Xerox Golden Lions in Durban on Saturday. The home side dominated for long periods although it took them some time to get going as wet weather made handling and underfoot conditions difficult. They eventually outscored the Golden Lions by four tries to three and Robert du Preez finished with a 17-point haul courtesy of four conversions and three penalties.

    The Sharks opened the scoring in the third minute via a Robert du Preez penalty but the visitors struck back in the eighth minute when Sylvian Mahuza had an easy run-in for the opening try after gathering a perfectly weighted cross-field kick from Shaun Reynolds.

    Reynolds added the extras but that would be the last time the visitors would trouble the scorers during the opening period as the Sharks dominated the rest of the half

    The Lions were more competitive after the break and on the hour-mark James Venter scored their second try off the back of a lineout drive deep inside Sharks territory. In the 75th minute, Wandisile Simelane did well to boot the ball up field and beat Sbu Nkosi in a foot race before diving on the ball behind the home side's try line to add some respectability to the final score.

    Tries: Sylvian Mahuza, James Venter, Wandisile Simelane

    Conversions: Shaun Reynolds (3)

  • 15-09-18 Western Province end Lions unbeaten run

    WP end Lion's unbeaten run

    15 September 2018

    Western Province beat the Golden Lions 65-36 in a high scoring Currie Cup match at Ellis Park on Saturday afternoon, to maintain their unbeaten run in the competition.

    The North/South derby saw two of the competition's unbeaten sides come up against each other in a mouth-watering clash at Ellis Park.

    The Lions have been in scintillating form this season with three wins from three, but Province had other ideas as they completely blew the home side out of the water in the first half with some skilful and efficient rugby.

    With barely a minute on the clock, Province struck first blood with a try through Springbok Dillyn Leyds who benefited from a brilliant break down in the middle, from South African Under-20 eighth-man Juarno Augustus. SP Marais added the extras before he was on the kicking tee again to stretch their lead through a penalty kick.

    The Lions hit back almost immediately, when Lionel Mapoe - who could well see himself back in the Springbok frame in the coming weeks due to injuries sustained to Lukhanyo Am and Damian de Allende - cut through the middle before Shaun Reynolds burrowed his way over the line. Reynolds added a penalty to narrow the score to three points at 13-10, but those proved to be the Lions final points of the first half as a flurry of Province tries followed.

    Province had a commanding 39-10 lead at the break. The second half was as frenetic as the first, as tries simply didn't dry up for either side.

    Replacement hooker Pieter Jansen and Hacjivah Dayimani scored for the home side to bring the scores closer. WP then scored two more tries to bury the game and condemn the Lions to their first Currie Cup defeat of the season.


  • 13-09-18 Xerox Golden Lions take on DHL Western Province

    The Lions Rugby Company will field three strong teams on Saturday 15 September when the Xerox Golden Lions Under 19, Under 21 and senior sides host the DHL Western Province sides.


    Xerox Golden Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen made three changes, one positional, to the side that will host Western Province in the DirectAxis and Nashua Currie Cup at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday.


    In the front row Corne Fourie returns at hooker, Andries Coetzee is back at full-back after a week of rest and Sylvian Mahuza returns to wing in the place of the injured Madosh Tambwe (dislocated ankle).


    The Lions juniors will look to continue their winning ways after a successful trip to Loftus in Pretoria last week.


    Under 19 captain Cal Smid, Under 21 captain Wayne van der Bank and senior captain Marvin Orie will lead their sides in their respective encounters.


    With sunny weather forecasted families are invited to enjoy a full day of rugby at Emirates Airline Park.


    Gates open at 10:30 and this is also the kick-off time for the Xerox Golden Lions Under 19 side. This is followed by the Under 21 teams (12:30) and the main kick-off is at 15:00.

  • 01-09-18 Lions climb to the top of the Currie Cup log

    Shaun Reynolds was once again the Xerox Golden Lions’ general at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday, scoring 22 points in their 47-14 victory over the Toyota Free State Cheetahs.

    Reynold's haul helped him to remain the top scorer in the Currie Cup competition, with an average of nearly 19 points per game.

    The Lions led 33-0 at the break and a record win was on the cards.

    Sylvian Mahuza and Reynolds both scored a brace in that period.

    The Lions went to sleep for half an hour in a cold second half until Hacjivah Dayimani and Howard Mnisi scored in the last ten minutes.

    Dayimani is also top of the pops on the try scorer's list with his five tries.

    Scorers: Golden Lions

    Tries: Mahuza 2, Reynolds 2, Orie, Mnisi, Dayimani

    Conversions: Reynolds 6

    Free State Cheetahs

    Tries: Fouche, Paige

    Conversions: Fouche 2

  • Lions triumph in CC opener

    24 August 2018

    The Xerox Golden Lions triumphed by 62-41 over Tafel Lager Griquas at Emirates Airline Park on Friday evening after trailing 19-20 at halftime.

    The Lions scored nine tries to the five from the galant but ultimately outclassed Griquas.

    Winger Courtnall Skosan collected a hat-trick of tries for the home side with captain Ross Cronje, Sylvian Mahuza, Len Massyn, Wandile Simelane, Hacjivah Dayimani (2) also adding their names to the scoresheet.

    Number 10 Shaun Reynolds added the remainder of the points with seven conversions and a penalty to douse the fire from the visitors who looked able to contain and even dominate the home side during the first 40 minutes.

    Griquas' tries came from Andre Starts, Khwezilokusa Mkhafu, Wilmar Arnoldi, Kyle Steyn, AJ Coertzen as forwards and backs combined in a series of slick movements before finally running out of steam in the final quarter.

  • Pivot moved to 15 – Lions U19's to face the Sharks

    15 August 2018 The Xerox Golden Lions Under 19 head coach Wessel Roux has moved his pivot Christian Humphries to fullback for Saturday’s Under 19 clash in Durban against the Sharks with Jonathan Viljoen getting his first start at ten in the competition.The pocket-rocket David Cary finds himself on the bench along with Janco van Heyningen, who returns from injury and both should have a big impact later in the game.Outside centre Edwin Ludick also returns to partner Yanga Hlalu in midfield.The Lions will, however, travel to Durban without regular hooker Dameon Venter, who is unavailable and Tiaan Drotskie gets a deserved start.Also in the mix for the first time this season is tighthead JW Meades, who starts from the bench.The Cubs have a a richness of props in the squad with Asenathi Ntlabakanye and Nkosikona Masuku in the starting XV and Meades and Keagan Glade on the bench.Lions versus Sharks: Christian Humphries; Njabulo Mjara, Edmund Ludick, Yanga Hlalu, Kennedy Mpeku; Jonathan Viljoen, Tinus Combrink; Cal Smid, Mandisi Mthiyane, Mark Snyman, Kwagga van Niekerk, Hendrik Smit/Ruben Kotzé, Asenathi Ntlabakanye, Tiaan Drotskie, Nkosikona Masuku.Reserves: Gustav de Jager, JW Meades, Keagan Glade, Ruben Kotzé/Hendrik Smit, Ziyanda Msipha, Hlumelo Ndudula, Janco van Heyningen, David Cary, Brendon Buitendag.

  • 27-10-18 Lion Cubs thrash Bulls

    Lion Cubs thrash Bulls

    27 October 2018

    The Xerox Under 21 Lions Cubs scored a run-away 58-24 victory over their Blue Bulls counterparts at Newlands on Saturday to be crowned the national champions at this age group.

    A blitz in the first 28 minutes, which saw them score 27 unanswered points followed by 19 points in the final ten minutes, was too much for the gallant Bulls who fought back gallantly during the middle of the game. The Lions proved to be a team of real thoroughbreds, with very few weaknesses and they stuck to their guns to score six tries in the final.

    If one Cub has to be mentioned it was the dead-eye-dick fullback Jeanluc Cilliers, who scored 28 points – four more than the entire Bulls team – in a typical finals approach. He kept the score board ticking over to keep his side in front at a stage when the Bulls pressed hard. Lock Handré Stassen and the nimble-footed Manie Libbok did eventually make a big difference and perhaps they should have started. To mention more Lions apart from Cilliers would be unfair and all of them were superstars.

    Gianni Lombard kicked the proceedings off with an intercept near his own '25' and took play to close to the Bulls goal-line which set up Len Massyn’s score. Thereafter Tyrone Green scored after a beautiful inside pass and when Lombard again dummied inside he ran straight through. Big Asenathi Nthlabakanye also made his presence felt and he scored in his Under 21 debut and it is unthinkable that he qualifies for two more seasons at this level. Hats off to coach Bafana Nhleko and his coaching staff.


    Lions Under 21s: Tries: Len Massyn, Tyrone Green, Gianni Lombard, Asenathi Nthlabakanye, Shaun Williams, Wandisile Simelane. Conversions: Jeanluc Cilliers (5). Penalties: Cilliers (6).

  • 29-10-18 Lions victorious U/21 Coach gets full-time call-up to Junior Boks

    Bafana Nhleko, head coach of the victorious Xerox Golden Lions Under 21 side that won the SA Under 21 Championship at Newlands on Saturday, will join the SA Rugby coaching ranks as assistant coach to the Junior Springboks.


    The Cubs beat the Vodacom Blue Bulls Under 21's in emphatic style, taking the trophy by 58-24. The Lions style of play and extreme fitness again made its mark in the final and it is this brand of rugby that Bafana Nhleko, head coach of the Xerox Golden Lions, will take to SA Rugby as he joins them at the end of the year.


    "We are very proud of our juniors and happy to see one of our top coaches, Bafana, getting recognition from SA Rugby for his hard work with our juniors. I believe there is no doubt that he will take the Lions way of play further and ensure that more of our juniors get noticed at higher levels," said Rudolf Straeuli, CEO of Lions Rugby Company.


    The team bid farewell to their Attack Coach Herkie Kruger after the semi-final at Emirates Airline Park a week ago when the Cubs beating the Free State Cheetahs to secure a spot in the final. Kruger has joined the Ministry full-time but will stay involved. '


    The Lions have always invested in top class coaches and this victory is testament to that. It is good that the Lions can bolster SA Rugby with quality coaches like Nhleko."


    Nhleko started his coaching career at the Lions in 2013 when he was appointed as the Under 19 Head Coach. He also coached the union's Super Sport Challenge team in 2016 and 2017 while he acted as defence coach of the Under 21 side in the same years. Nhleko thanked the Lions for their role in his growth as a coach and said he was looking forward to the next chapter in coaching career.


    Photo by: Lions Rugby Company/Monique Naude