Lions fans countrywide will be packing their middle finger for work on Monday after they smashed the Sharks to take home the Currie Cup. In winning in emphatic fashion they have overcome all the criticism and cheap shots directed at them this season.
There were many who said the absence of the Boks during the World Cup favoured the Lions and for a while it looked like the early Springbok exit of the World Cup would be bad news for their supporters, but the Lions silenced their critics by putting away to teams laden with Boks in both the semi-finals and the final.
The Lions have had a shocking decade. For a team that plays in the financial heart of South Africa, you’d expect them to be put out a team that conquers everything in front of it, New York Yankees style. Sadly, instead, long-suffering Lions fans have been tortured with poor coaching, poor management and poor squads.
So seeing Elton Jantjies flaying the Sharks on Saturday evening must be sweet comfort to Lions supporters. Elton was written off by many early in the season who tend to forget the basic rule of talent: that it needs to be nurtured with some experience. Jantjies looked the genuine article on Saturday getting his backs away and slotting his kicks – even with the disturbing spectre of having Hugh Bladen refer to him as a “boy” during the broadcast. Clearly Hugh never took lessons on class and taste in the new South Africa. Elton looked on form and the future of Bok rugby looks good when you consider that we have Lambo, Jantjies and Steyn with years left in them all pushing for the Bok flyhalf spot.
Rumour has it, Elton was seen celebrating at the Eagle Falls Spur restaurant until all hours of the night.
Well done Lions fans, bring your coffee mugs, smug grins and your middle fingers to work and show them proudly all week. You deserve it.