Cape Town - The Golden Lions claimed a hard-fought, come-from-behind 38-35
victory over the Blue Bulls in a topsy-turvy encounter at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Tries from Shaun Reynolds, James Venter, Dillon Smit and a Hacjivah
Dayimani brace proved too much for the Blue Bulls who scored through Johnny
Kotze, Andre Warner and a Ruan Steenkamp hat-trick.
The away side bossed the opening exchanges and were rewarded
with the game's first try. Having taken a quick-tap penalty close to the Blue
Bulls' try-line, the ball was swung to centre-field, where fly-half Reynolds
showed dazzling footwork to cut through the centre of the hosts' defence.
Warner would hit back for the home side, however, as a Blue
Bulls' counter-ruck forced the turnover. The scrum-half pounced on the loose
ball and dummied his way past a couple of defenders to go untouched in under
Soon after, the Blue Bulls took the lead for the first time in
the match when flank Steenkamp scored a superb individual effort, breaking his
way past a number of tacklers.
The visitors' second came after come superb interplay between
backs and forwards. Howard Mnisi was the creator as his long pass put James
Venter in for the score-equalling try as Reynolds added the extras to make it
Kotze would go over due to some questionable Golden Lions'
defending moments later to regain the lead but the away side would restore
parity once again through scrum-half Smit with a fine individual effort.
The home side would have the last laugh of the first-half as
enforcer Ruan Steenkamp spun his would-be-tackler to twist his over way from
close range and grab his brace as Libbok added the extra two points for a 28-21
lead as the sides went in to the interval.
Ten minutes after the break, the visitors found themselves even
further behind as Steenkamp went over for his hat-trick. However, the Blue
Bulls enforcer would turn from hero to zero moments later, when he was
sin-binned for a neck roll.
This would give the Lions a route back in to the game as they
capitalised on their numerical advantage through a magical Dayimani brace - the
flanker showing his winger-like speed on both occasions to snatch the back lead
dramatically at 38-35.
It looked as if the Blue Bulls might steal it in the closing
stages, but for a brilliant turnover steal by Golden Lions' hero Dayimani at
the breakdown to seal victory.
Blue Bulls 35 (28)
Tries: Andre Warner, Ruan Steenkamp (3), Johnny Kotze
Conversions: Manie Libbok (5)
Golden Lions 38 (21)
Tries: Shaun Reynolds, James Venter, Dillon Smit, Hacjivah Dayimani (2)
Conversions: Reynolds (3)
15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Jade Stighling, 13 Jonny Kotze, 12 JT Jackson, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 André Warner, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (captain), 7 Jano Venter, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Hendré Stassen, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Matthys Basson
Substitutes: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Conraad van Vuuren, 18 Ruan Nortje, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Ivan van Zyl, 21 Tinus de Beer, 22 Duncan Matthews
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Shaun Reynolds, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Len Massyn, 6 James Venter, 5 Marvin Orie (captain), 4 Rhyno Herbst, 3 Johannes Jonker, 2 Corne Fourie, 1 Sti Sithole
16 Pieter Jansen, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Vincent Tshituka, 21 Madosh Tambwe, 22 Wandisile Simelane