Lions make positive start

The Golden Lions U18 team began its preparations for the Craven Week on a winning note, beating the Leopards 24-13 on Tuesday night.

While the victory was not as convincing as he might have hoped, Lions head coach Gollie Gouws told that he thinks not too much should be read into it, and that they are on the right track.

‘It was our first outing and we made seven changes during the game – giving everyone in the squad a run – so we never quite settled down,’ he said. ‘The Leopards, on the other hand, fielded a virtually all-white side, ahead of announcing their final team after the match. We played according to the Craven Week quota rules, and our depth is clearly satisfactory.’

The selectors have made a number of changes ahead of their second warm-up game, against the Valke in Alberton next Tuesday.

Monument flanker Tiaan McDonald, the son of former Springbok Ian McDonald is promoted from the B team, while Monument centre Michael Bean comes up from the Cs to replace the injured Helpmekaar centre, Sebastian van Heerden.

In other changes lock Ruan Venter is replaced by Armand Liebenberg and Bean’s Monument team-mate Jaco Viljoen comes in, with KES utility back Lonwabo Ntleki moving to the bench. KES eighthman Kojo Asedu-Darkwah replaces Florida’s Fabian Booysen.

The changes bring the number of Monument players in the starting lineup to 11, with two on the bench, making the Lions virtually a Monnas team in different colours.

Golden Lions U18 – M van Rooyen (Monument), R van Niekerk (Monument), C van Heerden (Monument), P Willemse (Monument), A Liebenberg (Florida), S Nel (Monument), T McDonald (Monument) K Asiedu-Darkwah (KES), V Van der Watt (Florida), M Schmidt (Monument), C De Klerk (Monument),M Bean (Monument), J Venter (Monument), T Mooki (Florida), B Odendaal (Monument), W Fourie (Florida), S Siyotula (Jeppe), C Kazedi (KES), H Venter (Monument), L Ntleki (KES), S Tenza (St John’s), S Shabangu (Jeppe), F Booysen (Florida), R Venter (Monument).