Johannesburg - A convincing 29-15 (half-time 19-3) victory over the Pumas at Ellis Park on Friday evening launched the Golden Lions into first
place on the Currie Cup standings.
Their position at the summit
of the log after taking the full complement of points could be
short-lived, though, as Western Province play Griquas at Newlands on Saturday where a win
could return them to the top.
The Lions established early
dominance as they scored four minutes from the kick-off before adding a
second try in the eighth minute.
While the match had its quality
moments, there were times that neither side could string together a
decent passage of play due to handling errors.
It could easily
have been advantage to the visitors when they were en route for the
first try of the night, but one of the passes was adjudged to have gone
Instead the hosts celebrated when centre Stokkies
Hanekom sold a dummy to the outside before stepping inside to score in
the fourth minute, with Ruan Combrinck converting.
Buoyed by the
early lead and a dominating driving maul the Lions attacked the line
with gusto, which paid dividends in the eighth minute.
initially being denied the five-pointer when the assistant referee
indicated flank Kwagga Smith had stepped out on the way to the try the
Television Match Official (TMO) was consulted.
Although Smith came
painstakingly close to stepping out, he managed to keep the ball in play
which prop Ruan Dreyer picked up at ankle height to score.
Lions loose trio of Smith, No 8 Willie Britz and Jaco Kriel again
made a nuisance of themselves in the loose and at the breakdowns in
particular where they slowed the Pumas possession.
To add insult to injury Pumas wing Jerome Pretorius copped a yellow card for taking his opposite number in the air.
Pumas, however, found some composure after the early setbacks and
disrupted the Lions lineout and got a slight edge in the scrums.
At the quarter mark, the Pumas got into a favourable scoring position following a superb exit kick by flyhalf Justin van Staden.
The Mpumalanga side camped out in the Lions 22 for five minutes as the hosts conceded penalty after penalty.
Pumas' efforts at breaching the Lions' defence came to nothing and
after a few failed attempts they instead opted for the three points with
Van Staden converting a penalty to close the gap.
From the restart the Pumas were placed under severe pressure and in an attempt to exit a comedy of errors ensued.
on a fumbled ball, Courtnall Skosan picked the ball up a metre from the
line to dot down for his side's third try of the night, while Combrinck
converted to hand his side a 19-3 lead.
The second half held
little comfort for the Pumas as the Lions again found easy access over
the advantage line to clinch the bonus-point try.
deep, Lions flyhalf Jaco van der Walt sent a long flat pass to Britz, who ran into the gaping space where he made some ground
before offloading to Hanekom on his inside.
Hanekom in turn found Dreyer, who found Franco Mostert on his shoulder to score their fourth try of the evening.
the 66th minute Van der Walt added to his side's score with a drop goal
from the left-hand side of the field for a 29-3 scoreline.
Shortly after the restart the Pumas finally found the breakthrough when centre Stefan Watermeyer found the tryline.
Pumas were again on the wrong side of referee Jaco van Heerden's
whistle when Frankie Herne was shown a yellow card for a dangerous
tackle with six minutes to play.
As the siren echoed through the
stadium the Pumas got a consolation try with prop Vincent Koch scoring
and JC Roos adding the two points to end the match.Scorers:
Tries: Stokkies Hanekom, Ruan Dreyer, Courtnall Skosan, and Franco Mostert.
Conversions: Ruan Combrinck (3)
Drop goal: Jaco van der Walt
Tries: Stefan Watermeyer, Vincent Koch
Conversion: JC Roos
Penalty: Justin van Staden
15. Andries Coetzee, 14. Ruan Combrinck, 13. Lionel Mapoe (captain), 12. Stokkies Hanekom, 11. Courtnall Skosan, 10. Jaco van der Walt, 9. Ricky Schroeder, 8. Willie Britz, 7. Kwagga Smith, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Martin Muller, 3. Ruan Dreyer, 2. Armand van der Merwe, 1. Schalk van der Merwe
Substitutes: 16. Malcolm Marx/Willie Wepener, 17. Jacques van Rooyen, 18. Julian Redelinghuys, 19. Derick Minnie, 20. Warwick Tecklenburg, 21. Mark Richards, 22. Howard Mnisi
15 Coenie van Wyk, 14 Jerome Pretorius, 13 JW Jonker, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Justin van Staden, 9 Dylon Frylinck, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Corne Steenkamp (captain), 5 Giant Mtyanda, 4 Frikkie Spies, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Francois du Toit, 1 Corne Fourie
Substitutes: 16 Frankie Herne, 17 DeJay Terblanche, 18 Marius Coetzer, 19 Jaco Bouwer, 20 Reynier van Rooyen, 21 JC Roos, 22 JW Bell