Golden Lions president Prof Jannie Ferreira is not preparing to hit the panic button just yet.
Under new coach Eugene Eloff, the Lions showed some promise in their first two Absa Currie Cup encounters, but the wheels came off on Saturday as Rassie Erasmus’s Cheetahs tore them to pieces. The Cheetahs won 59-5 and scored eight tries to one, with the visitors having to wait until the 60th minute to trouble the scorers.
The Lions now languish at the bottom of the eight team log, with a solitary point from their first three outings, a situation that is unacceptable for one of the richest unions in the country.
They find themselves behind so-called “smaller unions” such as the Valke, Griquas and the Pumas, but admittedly have played three tough matches against the Sharks, Blue Bulls and Cheetahs. The situation needs to be rectified immediately. A loss to the Valke on Friday could be the last straw.
“I want to see the reports first before I push any panic buttons,” Ferreira told keo.co.za. “Although it is a young team and we are building for the future, the manner of the defeat is simply unacceptable.”
Ferreira admitted Friday night’s game against the Valke at Ellis Park was a “must win game”.
“The Valke are a tough team to beat and they will be on high after getting their first win of the campaign at the weekend.” The Valke beat Griquas 23-8 thanks to three tries in the final quarter of the match.
Frans Ludeke refused to comment. He was shifted to the position of director of rugby following the conclusion of the Vodacom Super 14, but today said that was not true. “I have no comment. I will not speak about another coach at the union. I had my time and that is that.”
When pressed for an answer given that he was the Lions director of coaching, Ludeke said: “My role at the union is to improve myself and concentrate on schools and club rugby. I have never taken up that position.”
Lions CEO, Andy Turner, was unavailable for comment.
By Andrew Hollely