Welkom - The Golden Lions are top of the log in the Northern Section of the Vodacom Cup after beating the Down Touch Griffons 36-20 in the HT Pelatona Projects stadium in Welkom on Friday afternoon.
Scoring a bonus point for four or more tries, the Johannesburg based side has made sure of the fact that they will be hosting a home quarterfinal next weekend. Their opponents are yet to be determined.
Against the Griffons, the visitors looked in good nick and started well with eighth man Jano Venter dotted down as early as the 8th minute for what was to be the first of two five pointers for him on the day.
Scrum half Jaco van der Walt converted and it wasn't long before he was called to action again to convert full back Ashlon Davids try a couple minutes later, which he did with great success.
The Lions were the better team in the first half and it was echoed by Venter's second try in the 19th minute, that went unconverted. It was as though the Griffons used their time to gauge if the Lions defense could be breached. And when they realised that it could, eighth man Nicky Steyn and winger Vuyo Mboto both rounded off good passages of play with tries of their own to put the halftime score at 19-10 in favour of the visitors.
The Lions started the second half with a bang as Van der Walt scored a five pointer of his own before centre Stokkies Hanekom went over for his converted try. The Griffons got one back via full back Tertius Maarman before wing Norman Nelson dotted down for the bonus point. But the Lions had the last say when replacement loose forward Ruan Ackermann dotted down 15 minutes from full-time.
Tries: Jano Venter (2), Ashlon Davids, Jaco van der Walt, Ruan Ackermann, Stokkies Hanekom
Conversions: Jaco van der Walt (3)
Down Touch Griffons
Tries: Norman Nelson, Tertius Maarman, Vuyo Mboto, Nicky Steyn