Year in review: Green and Gold gets ruggered

2011-12-23 09:40

The 2011 season will go down as one of the most disappointing years for our proud rugby nation on the international front.

At least the Golden Lions Rugby Union and their fans had one of the most memorable years in their history.

The Springboks crashed out of the Rugby World Cup in the quarterfinals in New Zealand after being pipped 11-9 by foes Australia.

They registered only one Tri-Nations victory against a New Zealand “B” side in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape.

Their latter result could be forgiven, given the fact that more than 20 star players were on the sidelines with niggling injuries during the away leg. The star team only played the two home matches.

But the World Cup will remain a bitter pill for most of the players and die-hard fans for years to come.

Apart from the poor refereeing in the quarterfinal, tThe Springboks lacked innovation in attack.

Boasting the most territory and possession, and having one of the best goal-kickers in flyhalf Morné Steyn, the mighty Green and Gold opted to kick only one drop goal.

Mistakes such as the marginal forward pass from Jean de Villiers to Patrick Lambie en route to the tryline and opting to kick for touch rather than having a shot at goal after being awarded a penalty in Australia’s 22m area, came at a high cost.

In Super Rugby, the Stormers became the first rugby franchise to lift South Africa’s conference trophy – under the new competition format – after winning 12 of their 16 matches.

This earned them second spot on the combined log standings – behind Australia’s Queensland Reds – for a home semifinal in Cape Town.

The Sharks also sneaked into the top six on the combined log for a play-off spot after shoving aside defending champions Bulls in their final match.

But after a long journey to New Zealand to face the highriding Crusaders, they suffered a heavy 36-8 defeat.

The Saders defied the odds by thumping the Stormers 29-10 in a one-sided encounter to book their place in the final against the Reds in Brisbane, Australia.

The Reds, this season’s surprise package, were crowned the Super Rugby champions for the first time.

On the domestic front, the Lions finally gave their fanatical fans something to smile about.

A combination of consistency in selection and the fact that the Blue Bulls, Sharks and Western Province were missing their star players due to the World Cup, allowed the Joburg Pride to work their way to the top of log table with 10 victories in 14 matches.

Their impressive form continued in the semifinal where they beat Province 29-20.

The Sharks beat the Cheetahs 20-13 to book their place in the final.

With the Sharks’ Springbok players looking exhausted and the team battling to gel as a unit, the Lions ran riot inside the den for a convincing 42-16 win and first Currie Cup title in 12 years.

Next season, the Super Rugby format will change slightly as a three-week break has been incorporated into the series in June to accommodate the domestic tours.

Meanwhile, Argentina will feature in the new Rugby Championship with the Tri-Nations teams, which should give the fans something new to look forward to.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.