Johannesburg - The Golden Lions strengthened their position at the top of the standings after claiming a 36-28 victory over the Blue Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.
A dominant first half display, when they raced into a 30-7 lead at half-time, set up this victory for the Golden Lions although the Blue Bulls launched a brave fightback after the break and outscored their visitors by four tries to three, reports Planet-Rugby.
The Blue Bulls were always playing catch up to try and stay in the contest and did to their credit show some good signs. However, their huge deficit at the break and a pack that did not match their opponents at scrum time proved their undoing on several occasions.
It took the Golden Lions just three minutes to treat the crowd to more of the same superb attacking rugby which we've seen from them throughout the season.
After setting up several phases inside the Bulls' 22, the ball came out to Marnitz Boshoff who delivered a perfectly-weighted cross-field kick which Courtnall Skosan gathered before crossing over for the opening try.
Ten minutes later, Boshoff slotted a penalty and he then added a drop-goal which meant his side were in control of proceedings at 13-0 after the opening quarter.
Five minutes later, Howard Mnisi secured a turnover inside the Bulls' 22 and threw an inside pass to Franco Mostert who crahed over for his side's second five-pointer.
The home side tried their best to strike back but things went from bad to worse in the 34th minute when Ruan Combrinck intercepted a wayward pass from Dries Swanepoel, close to the Blue Bulls' 10-metre line, and raced away before dotting down under the posts.
The Bulls struck back shortly before the break when Jamba Ulengo crossed for their opening try.
Ulengo 2, Stegmann, Botha
Skosan, Mostert, Combrinck
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Lappies Labuschagne (captain), 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Dean Greyling
Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 RG Snyman, 19 Deon Stegmann, 20 Ivan van Zyl, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 Burger Odendaal
15. Andries Coetzee, 14. Ruan Combrinck, 13. Stokkies Hanekom, 12. Howard Mnisi, 11. Courtnall Skosan, 10. Marnitz Boshoff, 9. Ross Cronje, 8. Fabian Booysen, 7. Stephan de Witt, 6. Jaco Kriel (captain), 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Martin Muller, 3. Ruan Dreyer, 2. Robbie Coetzee, 1. Jacques van Rooyen
Substitutes: 16. Malcolm Marx, 17. Julian Redelinghuys, 18. MB Lusaseni, 19. Kwagga Smith, 20. Jaco van der Walt, 21. Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 22. Sampie Mastriet