Lions overpower WP
Cape Town - The Golden Lions have outplayed Western Province in their Currie Cup encounter at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg.
The men from Johannesburg romped home 42-25 winners - scoring five tries - after leading 20-9 at the break.
The Lions struck first when hooker Bandise Maku crashed over in the sixth minute.
Flyhalf Elton Jantjies added the conversion as the Lions never looked back.
WP flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis put the visitors on the board with an 11th minute drop goal, before adding a penalty in the 21st minute (7-6).
Jantjies stretched the Lions' lead to 10-6 with a 23rd minute penalty before Catrakilis narrowed the gap back to one point after half an hour.
Ill-discipline again crept into the Province game to allow Jantjies to slot another penalty in the 33rd minute (13-9), before Lions fullback Jaco Taute scored on the stroke of half-time to give the hosts an 11 point advantage at the break.
Catrakilis brought Province back into contention, slotting three penalties in a 10 minute period, leaving them trailing by only two points, but the Lions raced away again when Taute claimed his second and replacement hooker Martin Bezuidenhout also dotted down for the bonus point - with Jantjies converting the latter's try.
Jantjies kicked another penalty to stretch the lead to 35-18 before reserve hooker Deon Fourie added some respectability to the scoreline for the Capetonians when he scored an intercept try late on, but the Lions had the last laugh when flanker Derick Minnie scored their fifth touch-down in injury time.
The Lions have now secured top spot on the log with one round of games left before the semi-finals, while WP remain in fourth spot, but should still make the playoffs after the Blue Bulls also stumbled in their game against Griquas earlier on Saturday.
Should WP beat the Pumas at home next week, they will qualify for the semi-finals.
Taute was awarded with the Man-of-the-Match accolade.
Tries: Bandise Maku, Jaco Taute (2), Martin Bezuidenhout, Derick Minnie.
Conversions: Elton Jantjies (4)
Penalties: Jantjies (3)
Try: Deon Fourie
Conversion: Demetri Catrakilis
Penalties: Catrakilis (5)
Drop goal: Catrakilis
15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Doppies la Grange, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Joshua Strauss (captain), 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
Substitutes: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 David Bulbring, 19 Jaco Kriel, 20 Burton Francis, 21 Dylan des Fountain, 22 James Kamana
15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Marcel Brache, 11 JJ Engelbrecht, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nick Koster, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Nick Fenton-Wells, 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg (captain), 1 JC Kritzinger
Substitutes: 16. Deon Fourie, 17. Frans Malherbe, 18. Hilton Lobberts, 19. Nizaam Carr, 20. Pieter Louw, 21. Louis Schreuder, 22. Johann Sadie