Johannesburg – The Golden Lions scored 10 tries as they cantered to a resounding 66-19 victory over the Griffons at Ellis Park Park in Johannesburg to move up to fifth on the Currie Cup Qualifiers log.
Before anyone in the crowd or watching at home had a chance to get comfortable, the Lions opened the scoring. Straight from the kick-off, several delicious offloads (the best of all coming from Anthony Volmink) saw centre Jacques Nel cross the whitewash.
The Griffons responded immediately with a try of their own, Vuyo Mbotho finishing off a move that involved several forwards showing off some great handling skills.
The game promised to be a cracker with both clearly in the mood for running the ball. Unfortunately, that was just about as good as it got for the visitors from Welkom.
The Griffons defence was woeful and seamed either incapable or unwilling to stand up to their clearly larger opponents.
Size is obviously a huge advantage in this sport, but diminutive players can overcome their physical shortcomings with heaps of heart. With exception of fullback Selvyn Davids, not one player in purple and white showed any today.
Kwezi Mkhafu, the Griffons hooker, took one for his team when he received a yellow card for his side’s repeated infringements at close quarters. While he sat on the naughty chair, his team-mates shipped 19 unanswered points, effectively ending the contest.
After just 20 minutes the Lions had already secured their bonus point with tries from Stokkies Hanekom, Clinton Theron (his first in Currie Cup rugby), Stephan de Wet and the brilliant Ruaan Lerm.
Lerm will face tougher defences in his career, but the Lions captain and No 8 possesses an explosive running game to go along with silky handling skills.
Fans of the Lions’ Super Rugby side can rest easy knowing that Warren Whitely has a very capable deputy hovering around the fringes.
The first half fizzled out with errors abounding from both teams. Marnitz Boshoff was taken off the field with a suspected concussion after a sickening head clash.
The second half began just as the first with two quick tries. Poor tackling and efficient running combined yet again for Hanekom and Lerm to double their try tallies on the day.
By the time Lions’ winger Koch Marx crashed over from short range on the hour mark, to bring up the half century, the Griffons players were already thinking about their two and a half hour bus ride down the N2.
Selvyn Davids finally got the try he deserved, gathering the ball just inside the halfway line and accelerating with pace, chipping, gathering, and skipping over the line in the best piece of individual play of the game. He added some gloss to his own performance with another score on the siren.
Two further tries for the Lions courtesy of Jarryd Sage and JW Bell brought the total to ten: a thorough decimation.
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