Schalk Brits runs into Wayne Barness


Massive try saving hit by Israel No.8


The Top 5 Crazy Cards of All Time


Buck Shelford tribute


Isa Nacewa tackle on Gareth Owen


Matt Toomua Falcon vs the All Blacks


Sebastien Chabal knocks out Marc Giraud


Rupeni Caucau try and nice assist


Random great tries from 2008

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Golden Lions beat the Sharks to win the 2011 Currie Cup

The Golden Lions claimed the 2011 Currie Cup after a brilliant performance in the final in Johannesburg on Saturday as they beat the Natal Sharks 42-16 in an entertaining game. It's their first piece of major silverware since 1999. 

Coached by Kiwi John Mitchell, the Lions had a fantastic season as they were fairly unaffected by the World Cup and ended top of the table. The Sharks on the other hand missed a lot of key players in the last two months, but when they all returned for the big game, they didn't gel. 

"The Lions were, without doubt, the best team on the park and worthy winners of the Currie Cup - we just have to take it on the chin," said Sharks captain Keegan Daniel. "We're disappointed we didn't convert opportunities into points in the first half when we had territory and possession, but you can't win finals with the ill-discipline we showed.

Getting to a final is one thing, but you need to produce a great game, which we couldn't do. The Lions were phenomenal," he added.

It is the Lions' first home victory in a Currie Cup since 1950, so it was a massive moment for the union that lifted the first ever Super Rugby competition, the Super 10, way back in 1993. 

Young flyhalf Elton Jantjies was outstanding on the day, kicking everything asked of him and marshalling his troops expertly. He's had the experience and know-how of Carlos Spencer to call on, and it showed. While Sharks fullback Pat Lambie seems to be a long term option for the Springboks number ten slot, Jantjies is tipped by many to be an ideal candidate. 

On the other side of things veteran Wickus Van Heerden, who captained the side without success a few years back before moving to the Bulls in search of bigger things, said that it was one of the best experiences of his career. "To see a packed Coca-Cola Park is very special. I know where we have come from as a team, and this is unbelievable," he said. Van Heerden has now won the Vodacom Cup, Currie Cup, Super 14, and the World Cup. 

CJ Van Der Linde was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle, which is included below, but that didn't affect the Lions at all as they scored some great tries while Jantjies kept the scoreboard ticking over. Below are highlights of what was a thoroughly enjoyable game of rugby.

Posted at 7:10 pm | 26 comments

Sharks hammer Western Province to win the Currie Cup 2010

Blue Bulls win the Currie Cup final 2009

Natal Sharks win the Currie Cup 2008

Viewing 26 comments

Juggernauter November 01, 2011 9:47 pm

Wow.. looked like a great match. And the atmosphere was just breathtaking! Good to see the Lions celebrate. The Currie cup looks fitter than ever! Hopefully this will inject some style into the Super Rugby Lions franchise. BTW, than Jantjies looks class.

On a side note, I think that calling Ellis Park "Coca-Cola Park" is crap.

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stroudos November 01, 2011 10:28 pm

3:30 - sheer class by Michalak. Shame Ndungane wasn't on his wavelength.

Van der Linde yellow - if he had brought Daniel to ground safely, wouldn't it have been illegal anyway? Can you clear people out from rucks like that?

Final whistle - is that Pietersen putting in an unnecessary little cheapshot on the Golden Lions scrum-half?

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Juggernauter November 01, 2011 10:32 pm

I think Ndungane just isn't good enough...

And yeah that's Pietersen at the end. Great player but too prone to making late/high tackles

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BuzzKillington November 02, 2011 7:33 am

I'm honestly surprised Pietersen hasn't been banned from the game for life. I don't think he's a malicious player but he's just CRAP, he can't tackle for his life and seems to clotheslines about 5 people a game.

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breakaway November 02, 2011 6:32 am

Enjoyed watching this as a neutral and came away thinking, like JNauter above, that Jantjies really looked the goods .. impressive goalkicking and lots of nice touches in general play.
And yeah, Coca-Cola Park! The horrible power of money.

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katman November 02, 2011 9:04 am

Less the knock-on try by Alberts, the score should have been 42-9.

This has been a long 12-year wait.

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Merja November 02, 2011 10:07 am

How come there is a player wearing the n°24 on the field for the Lions at the end ? (at 6 minutes in the vid)

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katman November 02, 2011 10:10 am

He ripped his jersey earlier and went into a replacement jersey.

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Foitor November 02, 2011 1:08 pm

Keegan Daniel, the Sharks n 6, had to change his shirt at half-time(or maybe earlier) and played the second half in the n 23 jersey as well.

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UHtiger November 02, 2011 10:37 am

What no thanks to the kiwi coaches?

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Stefan November 02, 2011 11:27 am

stunner of a game, can't wait for the return of super rugby now!

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Pretzel November 02, 2011 1:33 pm

With regards to the Van Der Linde yellow:

Can anyone give any reference to the actual technique of clearing a ruck like he did? I mean I play second row, or back row, and have rolled people to the side, driven them off the ball, or grabbed their shirt and pulled them my side when they bridge, but never flipped someone like this.... I mean the landing itself was pretty "safe" but surely those studs up in the air like that could cause significant damage if they hit another player, so surely the act of flipping him like that was pretty bad no?

Tbh, CJ looked like he was always asking for trouble at that ruck, look at the way he comes in, his right arm is tucked in and he drives his shoulder into the players back....

RE pieterson the clothesliner, yeh, I wonder why he hasn't had a significant ban yet...

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Juggernauter November 02, 2011 7:02 pm

Just thinking, how come the domestic competition final in New Zealand (the ITM Cup), which is supposed to be a rugby-mad country attracts less than 10k people, while the final of the domestic South African competition (the Currie Cup), which is a rugby & football loving country, attracts 50k+ people?

Something for the kiwis to learn from the saffas!

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katman November 02, 2011 8:45 pm

Almost 65 000. And you can hear it in this video clip. Listen when the prop Cilliers goes over for the try that pretty much swung the game away from the Sharks (just past 5 minutes). That's a big stadium roar.

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tumeke November 03, 2011 1:40 am

@juggernauter 3 reasons ,
1) The ITM cup final was 1 week b4 rwc kicked off. (wont be the same next year)
2) All rugby fans had pretty much spent there wages/allowances on rwc tickets (notice all those sold out minnow games).
3) Hamilton is just a city for farmers to go shopping its the a**hole of NZ and usually has pretty bad weather (5/6 chiefs home games in super rugby 2011 were in terential rain).
Its hard to compare crowds at a stadium in a country with 50 million against a country with 4 million.

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UHtiger November 03, 2011 4:16 am

New Zealand 4 million population, South Africa 50 million.
That aside i'd say that a lot were saving for the world cup as well.

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katman November 03, 2011 11:21 am

Of that 50million, at least half have no interest in rugby or no disposable income (or both).

And probably a lot more than half.

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Pretzel November 03, 2011 2:54 pm

I sort of agree with that, you have to also look at the mentalities, in NZ rugby is a "religion" apparently, so shouldn't that mean that their 4 million are far more likely to be into rugby than SA's 50 million who probably are more into football...

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UHtiger November 03, 2011 8:52 pm

I never got the "rugby is a religion" line that non new zealanders throw around, rugby is a sport just like in every other country. Is it new zealands favourite sport? Yes. But it isnt taken as seriously as most people make out (as is shown by the low attendances). New Zealand isnt the best at the sport because of how seriously they take it, it because they have a very good mix of natural flair and power from the maori/polynesian players mixed with the hard grafting work ethic of the players with european decent (speaking in general terms).

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breakaway November 04, 2011 1:42 am

UHtiger is right in saying that the "religion" idea about NZ rugby is very exaggerated. Anyone who has spent much time there would notice that NZers play just about every type of sport you can think of and rugby is just the most pre-eminent. The country's historically high Olympic medal-per-capita ranking is one indicator of this.
The Currie Cup is the oldest competition of its type in rugby and has a long tradition dating back to 1889.. every final carries all the prestige and significance that can only be earned over time. The ITM Cup only dates back to 2006 when it started out as the Air New Zealand Cup. For all its importance as the current inter-provincial comp in NZ it just doesn't get the juices going in the same way.
However the Ranfurly Shield, first played for in 1904, is steeped in a tradition of legendary games and incidents. Run on an unusual challenge system it's survived all the changes to the sport over the decades to remain, for most people, the most important prize in NZ provincial rugby. The Shield has never had trouble getting crowds and in the most recent game where Taranaki held onto the Shield against Hawke's Bay, it attracted about 18,000 in a city of about 65,000. The Shield record is 52,000 for a 1985 Auckland challenge against Canterbury in Christchurch.

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Pretzel November 04, 2011 12:13 pm

....actually plenty of NZ'ers have likened it to a religion

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breakaway November 05, 2011 3:57 am

@Pretzel.. "actually plenty of NZ'ers have likened it to a religion"

Doesn't change the point that it's mostly a journalistic cliche whether it's about rugby in NZ or in any other rugby stronghold, football (soccer) in any of the zillion places in the world where it dominates sport and much of society, cricket in India, or anywhere that a particular sport is woven into the culture. Nobody's saying that rugby isn't very important in NZ, it's just that the whole "religion" metaphor tends to distort things at times.

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UHtiger November 03, 2011 8:46 pm

And half of 50 million is 25 million so still a lot more than 4 million.

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cheyanqui November 04, 2011 11:34 pm

seeing this video reminds me how disappointing it was to see Mark Lawrence left behind for RWC 2011.

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