Lions!! What were you thinking??



  • The Joburg Lions who top the Super Rugby table and have a very real chance of hosting the playoff's all the way to the final (if they make it) have just blown it by resting 15 of their best players for their trip to Argentina. 
     
    The Jags will no doubt blast them off the park now and the Lions will go down to second.
     
    WTF kind of decision is that. I'm sure some of the players will be pissed knowing that they worked bloody hard to get to 1st in the first place.
     
    The only positive is that they will be fresh come the quarter finals, but wouldn't home town advantage be more of a carrot?
     
    Bizarre, Bizarre, Bizarre!!!



  • They will still be at home come 1/4 finals as they will still top their group...



  • And they'll host a semi. Only potentially risked the home final.
    They're still possibities to host that if:

    1. They beat the Jagulars (still very much on the cards)
    2. Top seed loses in playoffs (based on current standings Canes beating Chiefs in QF is not beyond the realms of probabilty)
      Good calculated gamble IMO.


  • Yep, their rationale is that the SA teams have struggled after returning from Argentina.  The other point mentioned in the other thread is that if the Lions don't finish 1st their QF opponent will be a NZ team, not the Sharks.  Playing last means they will know their fate before taking the field.



  • It's an interesting decision, not a scenario teams have faced before, but with the addition of Argentina the travel factor is huge, especially come the playoffs with 3 tough games on the trot.
    It's a bit of a gamble but an understandable one. The kind of decision that only hindsight will tell us if it's a good one or not.
    I reckon we'll see this kind of stuff more and more, especially if even more teams are added.



  • I think it's a very good decision.



  • And they'll host a semi. Only potentially risked the home final.
    They're still possibities to host that if:

    1. They beat the Jagulars (still very much on the cards)
    2. Top seed loses in playoffs (based on current standings Canes beating Chiefs in QF is not beyond the realms of probabilty)
      Good calculated gamble IMO.

    Point 2 is crucial. There is a huge chance that the #1 NZ side is knocked over by another NZ side in the quarters or the semis thus meaning the final will be at Ellis Park anyway.



  • nature of the comp...sure it isn't ideal to not play your best side, but they are giving themselves the best shot at being there at the business end of the comp, where ever that may be



  • Thats thinking too far in advance.  As top qualifier they would be playing the number 8 ranked team - probably the sharks (as it must be a SA team).
     
    As second qualifier, they will be playing an NZ team.  As the form lies, you would surely be wanting to play the SA team who you've already trounced?



  • Thats thinking too far in advance.  As top qualifier they would be playing the number 8 ranked team - probably the sharks (as it must be a SA team).
     
    As second qualifier, they will be playing an NZ team.  As the form lies, you would surely be wanting to play the SA team who you've already trounced?

    Totally agree. The whole decision just seems odd.



  • Good decision made by coach Akkers. This is effectively the Currie Cup team that is going over and will be lead by the more than capable Ross Cronje. Also the "Angry Warthog", Akker. is in the starting XV.
     
    A 26 hours trip is not fun.
     
    Just a win will secure overall top spot . As I don't see the Chiefs winning with a BP and neither the Saders to win with a BP.
     
    So far the weather looks to be clear, with the same temp as Jo'burg at the moment.
     
    Also suspect that the JAG's dissipline will let them down a bit , with a definitely yellow for them sometime during the match.



  • Why would you risk losing top spot and instead of playing the Sharks who they smashed earlier this season, they risk playing a kiwi team like the Hurricanes/Crusaders who bet them comfortably during the regular season.
     
    I hope they get smashed in Argentina for being too cocky at this stage of the season.



  • Leaving too much to chance. Ref will also have a lot to do with it. Always be the master of your own destiny.



  • Why would you risk losing top spot and instead of playing the Sharks who they smashed earlier this season, they risk playing a kiwi team like the Hurricanes/Crusaders who bet them comfortably during the regular season.
     
    I hope they get smashed in Argentina for being too cocky at this stage of the season.

    And then pick up injuries in this game and being not feeling the best in the quarters?

    Leaving too much to chance. Ref will also have a lot to do with it. Always be the master of your own destiny.

    They are masters of their own destiny.
     
    It is a calculated move by the management. This article sums up the reasons behind management decisions.
     
    [b]LIONS SELECTION: IT IS RISK AND REWARD[/b]
     
    The question of whether to rest your key players - in this case an entire first-choice XV - will always elicit strong debate and red-blooded emotions.
     
    And despite the possibility of losing their first place on the Super Rugby rankings, should they come up short against the Jaguares in their final league match on Saturday, they believe the reward outweighs the risk.
     
    Even though the matter had been debated to death in the days leading up to Tuesday's team announcement, the decision to send a 'B-Team' to Buenos Aires still provoked gasps of surprise.
     
    However, Lions assistant coach Swys de Bruin, speaking to rugby365 ahead of the team's departure to Argentina on Wednesday, said having a 'rested' and 'fit' squad for the start of the play-offs next week outweighs the risk of conceding first place on the table.

    Should the Lions win against the unpredictable and often erratic Jaguares team on Saturday, they will earn the right to host every game through to the Final - should they advance that far.
     
    Defeat will see them finish second to whichever New Zealand team wins the Kiwi conference.
     
    "However, now, if we win on Saturday, we will have a well-rested squad going into the play-offs," De Bruin told rugby365, adding: "It is a much-better situation for us to be in.
     
    "Even if we lose, we won't finish lower than second, which means we have a home quarterfinal and semifinal.
     
    "The reality is that our [eight] Springboks were away for a month [in June] and we have pushed them very hard," the Lions' assistant said, adding that another group of players were also away with the South Africa A Team.
     
    "If we lose [on Saturday] we will get stick. If we had opted to play our frontline players and lost, we would have been given stick.
     
    "I have learnt this lesson, during my days at Griquas and the Sharks, if you lose you get stick.

    "If you listen to what some 'experts' say, then they differ so markedly. Depending on the result, the one will say: 'I told you so' and the other will say: 'Bad luck'.
     
    "It is an absolute catch 22 situation.
     
    "We simply have to do what we feel and trust is the best for our [the Lions'] situation.
     
    "If we did not travel, we would not have even considered the option of resting players.
     
    "I know from experience what travelling does to you - it is a mission."
     
    De Bruin said they trust their squad system and have been rotating through the years, when people said they should not rotate.
     
    "A few years ago we played a B team in a friendly against the Sharks that really upset them, but then beat the Cheetahs away.
     
    "Our confidence grew from that.
     
    "In the Currie Cup we almost made a huge mistake when we played a B team against Griquas."
     
    Those are the risks and the rewards.
     
    The Lions believe they will reap the rewards in the play-offs.
     
    [url=http://www.rugby365.com/tournaments/super-rugby/74067-lions-selection-it-is-risk-and-reward]LIONS SELECTION: IT IS RISK AND REWARD[/url]



  • Leaving too much to chance. Ref will also have a lot to do with it. Always be the master of your own destiny.

    I think they have, and accepted that they will most likely be conceding top spot, and therefore increase the possibility of playing a final on the road (should they make it) and if they win, I garantee pundits will look at this as the crucial moment in thier campaign, which many will do if they dont win also....



  • Bleh, saw the title of the thread and opened it hoping to read that the Wellington Lions had signed Chris Eaton. Oh well, back to listening to Leonard Cohen



  • Interesting call by Ackerman and we will have to wait and see whether it was a stroke of calculated gamble genius, or a missed opportunity.
    Many factors for the coach to take into consideration: the travel, the fact that his Boks have had very little rest, injury risk to key players... the list goes on.
    Given that there is no guarantee that the knock-out finals play out according to seeding, I am in favour of the call.
     
    And there is no guarantee that the 2nd string Lions will lose against the Jaguars either...



  • Bleh, saw the title of the thread and opened it hoping to read that the Wellington Lions had signed Chris Eaton. Oh well, back to listening to Leonard Cohen

    🤣



  • Why would you risk losing top spot and instead of playing the Sharks who they smashed earlier this season, they risk playing a kiwi team like the Hurricanes/Crusaders who bet them comfortably during the regular season.
    I hope they get smashed in Argentina for being too cocky at this stage of the season.

    I do think it's got anything to do with being "cocky".
    Managing player welfare is extremely important and it would be hubris to not take these precautions when it's available to them.
    I very much doubt that the Lions are looking beyond week one of the finals and doing their best to prepare for that game. This is a franchise that hasn't played finals since the Laurie Mains days....