Lucky Boks Down The Lions

Ian TaitCorrespondent IJune 21, 2009

Lions, Lions, Lions” Erupted from a sea of red! Fifteen thousand plus British and Irish Lions fans called to arms.

After five minutes Captain John Smit crossed over for South Africa’s first try. The Green and Gold rose to the challenge and sang out “Why are you so quiet?”

To say that the Springboks had mauled the Lions in the first half was an under-statement. Up until the replacements came in that is. Why, when you are in total domination of the scrums, would you pull off your two props? The fact that the Sharks front row and the Bulls second row were so strong also proves the two provinces' dominance in the Super 14 this season was no fluke. Bekker was lost and Januaries, who, can’t even make the Western Province A side, was pathetic. If Peter De Villiers thinks he needs to pick Januaries because of colour, then he may as well call up Hiennie Adams who is a far better and more intelligent player.

I have made that error before, thinking the game is won and brought on substitutions only to disrupt the team and lose the game. De Villiers should have known better. The Lions selection also raised some eye brows. No Adam Jones and Mathew Rees to start in the front row. The Lions did concede three penalties in the first half for illegal binding and according to Graham Rowntree, the scrum coach of the Lions, they had no answer to the strength of the Bok front row. As long as there are no injuries to our current starting front three, we will dominate the series. Steenkamp and Carstens did not make the grade when they came on. This is worrying.

The All Blacks managed to secure a victory against France yesterday to tie the two game series. After losing 27-22 last week to a very impressive young French side in Dunedin, the Blacks came out with a point to prove. They were far from convincing and don’t be surprised if they don’t do well in the Tri-Nations. Australia was too strong for the Italians who again went down 34-12. Italy plays New Zealand next week and is sure to get another thrashing.

In the World Cup T20 South Africa choked again. They just don’t seem to have the mental nerve to make it into a final. After going through the tournament unbeaten they only had to beat Pakistanto go through to the final. They ended up seven runs short. Sri-Lanka was too strong for the West Indies in the other semi-final, making them the only unbeaten team of the series. However, this was not good enough as Pakistan took the trophy.

Bafana-Bafana have made it through to the Confederation Cup Semi Final. The tournament has been a great success to date and will only bode well for the World Cup next year. Spain won the 15th consecutive game yesterday when they beat South Africa 2-0. South Africa looks like they will play Brazil in the Semi Final and Spain will play either Egypt or Italy, depending on tonight’s results after Egypt beat Italy mid-week.

So hopefully next week when writing this report, the Springboks would have won the Series and the US Open golf would have been completed. The amount of rain that has fallen on the course has been amazing. It was so disruptive, even Ernie Else could not make the cut. Tiger Woods is 12 strokes off the PGA rookie Ricky Barnes who was on -8 after two rounds. The third round should be completed today and the final round hopefully on Monday.

Until next time, take care, keep fit, and enjoy the sport.