# Loffie tries his luck

Just like Dick Muir last week, Lions coach Eugene Eloff has produced a shock at fullback for the game against the Blue Bulls.

He has plucked Bedford Blues Club centre Mark Harris from obscurity and handed him the No 15 jersey for the crunch Absa Currie Cup derby at Ellis Park on Saturday.

He will form an inexperienced back three with Wylie Human and Louis Ludick, who last week made his debut at fullback against the Sharks. On Saturday he will be on the left wing.

After the baggage many of the team were carrying following the Cats disastrous Vodacom Super 14 campaign, the new players have helped team morale, says captain Wikus van Heerden.

“The vibe is really good at the moment despite the fact we lost last week,” van Heerden told keo.co.za. “There was a lot of negativity after the Super 14 and we knew we needed changes. and Loffie has brought a different approach to training and the guys are enjoying it more I think.”

Apart from Harris and Ludick, Eloff also introduced young tighthead prop Brian Mujati against the Sharks and by all accounts he acquited himself well against Namibian strongman Kees Lensing.

“The new guys are so keen and that rubs off on the older guys who are still feeling down. The positive nature has a ripple effect. I believe there could be exciting times ahead.”

Both teams will be itching for a win after the Lions lost to the Sharks in Durban and the Bulls struggled to beat the Valke in Pretoria in round one.

Lions team v Blue Bulls:

Mark Harris, Wylie Human, Jaco Pretorius, Thabang Molefe, Louis Ludick, Earl Rose, Jano Vermaak; Pietie Ferreira, Russel Winter, Wikus van Heerden (captain), Gerhard Mostert, Cobus Grobler, Brian Mujati, James van der Walt, Pietman van Niekerk.
Replacements: Ethienne Ryeneke, JC Janse van Rensburg, Jean Deysel, Ernst Joubert, Rory Kockott, Jody Rose, Grant Esterhuizen.

By Andrew Hollely

• 1.Tony Moneo:

While all other muppets discuss the Bok Squad, I will swoop and take the number 1 slot for myself…

I want to thank my wife, for the great food and my dogs for loving me……

• 2.

Kees isin’t the same without the Bulls pack behind him. He looked very ordinary on the weekend.

• 3.jondood:

Tony

You should only be thanking your wife then.

• 4.jondood:

Bulls by 15 plus

• 5.Tony Moneo:

• 6.Tony Moneo:

Hey jondood, my Bulldogs love me to bits, Im sure of it

• 7.DieBarry:

Hey Tony, did you eata da schicken?

• 8.Tony Moneo:

Diebarry, I only eata de peri peri schicken!

• 9.Bok fan:

How long until Janjes is back ?

• 10.PissAnt:

Poor old Wikus has been positive for a very long time now, and exciting times has been a coming for about 2 years now…

poor guy

• 11.Tony Moneo:

PA, Wickus is one of the nicest people I have ever met, really have a lot of time for him. I know my WP will see their backsides, so Im hoping the Lions do a bit better.

• 12.BloemBull:

Wikus is the definition of optimism. Always looking at the bright side of life, even though his team stumbles and stumbles and stumbles…

• 13.PissAnt:

Tony,

No doubt, I like this guy too, I just think he is fighting a losing battle.

• 14.sparticus:

Anyone know if the Boks u21 prop will play this w\end and for who ? I cant remember his name , it starts with a M I think.Shite man just too much players nowadays !!

• 15.wicked wugby wascal:

Kees lensing IS a machine. Since he left, the Bulls scrum is nowhere…

• 16.katman:

sparticus, you mean Heinke v/d/ Merwe? Or Sangoni Mxoli?

• 17.jb:

I rate both u21 props; who do they play for? Heinke pushed the AB no3′s head through his nought. The AB weighed in at 20stone; he was also their captain so he eventually moved to loosehead where Mxoli gave him teh same

• 18.Cheetha Champs:

Interesting side. I really like the look of old Brian Mujati. Sadly, there is just not enough experience around there.

Thabang Molefe at 12 is an awesome little player. Has legs like tractor tyres. The Lions will loose, but continue to improve, and hopefully give these young players a chance to grow.

• 19.bloubulsd:

Thanks for the selections, after last week I was concerned but I think we should be able to pull one through across the Jukskei!
We however need to play it wide, attack the back 3, not play against the forwards. Wikus is a good leader and won’t let us take control.

• 20.grootblousmile:

Staal, Stan,

Julle het belangrike Mail!!

Vinger op die knoppie, eerste om te bel kry ‘n groot bonus!!!

Ek gaan nie vroeg slaap nie!

• 21.

Both U21 props are from the sharks for those who asked above.

Henke im sure will be playing (as he did in the S14)

• 22.kevin w:

Wikus’s try was a long time coming too … until he f@cked that up and cost his side a bonus point. hahahahaha

• 23.katman:

The u/21′s had a replacement prop who was a pretty large fella too – anyone know anything about him? Black guy with arms the size of lamb roasts.

• 24.Btown:

Stikers (21),

Heinke was on loan to the Sharks for the S14. He is a Lions player. Will most probably feature next week.

• 25.

I’m a bit surprised that Loffie didn’t include Heinke in the match 22 already!

Anyway, six changes to the starting 15…but it might still be a struggle vs the Blue Bulls..

• 26.Redox:

Actually Sangoni Mxoli is eligible to play for the sharks in the cc and H VD Merwe for the lions in the cc only reason he didnt play for the cats in the s14 was because Ludeke in his infinite wisdom decided that he wasnt good enough and as a result heinke went on to have a pretty good season for the sharks as a draft player.

Katman

I think ur talking about Bandisa Maku he looked like a very good player too he is in the bulls u21 squad.

• 27.katman:

Thanks Redox. I’ll look out for him – looked like a monster of a man.

And to think Ludeke went and fetched Daniel Muller from the obscurity of the NPC without having checked out his credentials properly and sent him into battle, only to have his kop stuffed into his poepol by most of the Super14 front rows.

• 28.

Do we know anything about the new no 15? Sounds like he comes from Durban and played overseas recently…but is he any good?

• 29.copester:

Lions fans we have to give loffie a chance to develop this team.

I know its a bit clieched but he has to have a bedding in period and liscence to do what he needs to do to restore the old province.

I’m sure we have talent there it just needs time to grow.

In Heinke van der merwe we have the future replacement of Os du randt of that I’m sure of and with Chiliboy and Mxoli we have the makings of a wonderful future sprinkbok frontrow.

They are going to be the cornerstone of the boks for years to come provided there is no serious injury.

• 30.

copester, time is a luxury a coach doesn’t have…supporters expect results. Loffie already made a huge mistake by going into a game without a recognised kicker. Now he makes 6 changes to the side for the next game. I’m getting worried…..