June 24, 2009
Posted on 06/24/2009
Gloomy outlook for Lions?
The rain, cold temperatures and gale-force winds has me longing for the sun and the balmy temperatures of Durban - and the blanket coverage of a sun-drenched SW19 on the various sports channels available here is not helping matters.
Denied the chance to return to Robben Island or climb Table Mountain due to the inconsiderate weather, I accepted an invite to South Africa College Schools (SACS) to catch some junior action ahead of the Newlands clash. SACS, the oldest school in South Africa, was playing host to Kings Hospital School from Dublin and both sides did their best in what were atrocious conditions. A 5-5 draw was a fair result by all accounts but I must admit I was driven under cover long before the final whistle.
It was heartening to see another bumper crowd at Newlands, bolstered by the thousands of Lions fans who remain committed to the tour. They braved the elements with the kind of enthusiasm we have come to expect from the Lions' loyal following. I guess when you have paid several thousand pounds for the chance to be here you are not going to let the small matter of the end of he world spoil your fun.
But the Lions' fans were unable to inspire great things from their team. Despite the demoralising draw at the hands of the second string Boks, the Lions did their best to remain positive after the game but a citing for lock Nathan Hines will not have helped the mood in the camp.
Luckily, I am escaping the gloom here in Cape Town ahead of the Lions who are due to remain here until Friday. The bad news for them is that the weather shows no signs of breaking up before the weekend which is sure to hamper their preparations for the second Test.
Meanwhile, the Springboks are basking under the sun in Jo'burg where conditions will not be a million miles away from those at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria - that will stage the pivotal Test clash on Saturday.