Thursday, June 25, 2015

TBT - When the Lions played the "E-boks"

Yes, we're starting up a "Throwback Thursday" slot and yes, it may seem like we're jumping on a bandwagon that loads of other sites seem to be doing these days BUT...the truth is we had a weekly "archive" slot going long before TBT was a thing so we'd prefer to say we're "reviving" rather than "jumping".

THIS WEEK'S TBT : 

LIONS-13 Emerging Springboks-13


This week we're turning back the clock to 2009 - to be a match we covered in June, it kind of had to be a Lions tour and on June 23 the "midweek" team played out a 13-13 draw with the "Emerging Springboks".

Seemingly as I wrote up the match I thought it was hilarious that a team would use the name "Emerging" - little did I know that almost exactly six years later I'd be writing about an Irish version.

I guess this leads me to the question...did any of the Springboks who played on that wet, windy day in Newlands ever actually "emerge"???  Here's the lineup...

Emerging Springboks: Zane Kirchner, Luzuko Vulindlu, Deon van Rensburg, Morgan Newman, Bjorn Basson, Earl Rose, Jano Vermaak; Wian du Preez, Bandise Maku, Werner Kruger, Steven Sykes, Wilheim Steenkamp, Dewald, Potgieter (capt), Jean Deysel, Duane Vermeulen.
Replacements: Tiaan Liebenberg (for Maku, 52), Pat Cilliers (for Du Preez, 64), Franco van der Merwe (for Sykes, 64), Jacques Botes (for Deysel, 64), Heini Adams (for Vermaak, 64), Willem de Waal (for Van Rensbug, 52), Danwel Demas for Basson, 73).
A couple ended up at Leinster with varying degrees of success, Wian du Preez played for Munster, but overall I think it's only Mr Vermeulen who can say he "truly" made it.

Back on the Lions side, to put the game in context we had just lost the first test so we were looking for options to try and level the series at Loftus Versfeld.  And one of those options led the sides out onto the pitch, one Ronan O'Gara.
...though it angers me to agree with Stu Barnes, he does have a point when he says that there’s a serious argument for leaving ROG out altogether and having Hook on the bench, for the Welsh factor, the fact that he’s proven on tour he can nail pressure kicks, but most of all because he brings a different style of offence should the Geech need to mix things up late on.
I'm not altogether sure what I meant by "the Welsh factor" - perhaps it was because Mike Phillips was the presumptive starting 9?  Anyway...it's probably best that we don't dwell over what actually went on to happen in the second test.

Another test position that was up for debate was on the left wing, and here the Sky commentator many love to hate did manage to get my goat...
Barnes did piss me off at one point when Luke missed a tackle and he said “Oh, now THAT’S a mark against Fitzgerald”. Bloody hell, man – how many marks have been against Monye even BEFORE he got picked to start in Durban?
 In the end it was a try from Darwel Demas (never really emerged at the highest level unless you count 15 appearances for Aironi) brilliantly converted from the touchline by Willem de Waal (also spent time in Italy, in this case Treviso) which pinched a draw at the death.

Stay tuned for another throwback down memory lane next week.
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