Cape Town - The Lions thumped the Cheetahs 40-17 (half-time 23-3) in their Super Rugby derby at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
As it happened: Cheetahs v Lions
The men from Johannesburg ran in four tries in a dominant display against an error-prone Cheetahs outfit.
The Cheetahs, who are soon to lose coach Naka Drotske, played like a disjointed team in front of their die-hard fans. They knocked several balls on in promising attacking positions, while their weak defence again showed up several times during the game.
The Lions deserve credit though for employing their usual enterprising, attacking approach and they were duly rewarded with a bonus-point courtesy of scoring four tries.
Flyhalf Elton Jantjies was deadly with the boot, kicking 20 points and vindicating his current selection ahead of Marnitz Boshoff.
The Lions were a bit lucky though not to lose Robbie Coetzee to a red card in the 49th minute after the hooker performed a dangerous tip-tackle on Cheetahs replacement wing Rayno Benjamin.
The referee, Jaco van Heerden, referred the decision upstairs to Television Match Official Marius Jonker. Both officials bizarrely opted for a yellow card despite replays showing Coetzee clearly lifting his opponent above the horizontal and driving his head into the ground.
That decision aside, the Lions were 30-3 ahead at that stage and the game was already in the bag.
The win temporarily moved the Lions into top spot in the South African Conference with 36 points after 14 games.
The Stormers, however, could overtake them if they beat the Rebels at Newlands later on Saturday night.
In next weekend’s action, the Lions host the Waratahs in Johannesburg, while the Cheetahs travel down to Cape Town to face the Stormers in what will be Drotske’s last match in charge, before Franco Smith takes over.
Tries: Boom Prinsloo (2)
Conversions: Coenie van Wyk (2)
Penalty: Francois Brummer
Tries: Jaco Kriel, Lionel Mapoe, Courtnall Skosan, Faf de Klerk
Conversion: Elton Jantjies (4)
Penalties: Jantjies (4)
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Boom Prinsloo, 6 Carel Greeff, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Danie Minnie
Substitutes: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 BG Uys, 18 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 19 Steven Sykes, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Coenie van Wyk, 23 Rayno Benjamin
15. Andries Coetzee, 14. Ruan Combrinck, 13. Lionel Mapoe, 12. Howard Mnisi, 11. Courtnall Skosan, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Faf de Klerk, 8. Warren Whiteley (captain), 7. Warwick Tecklenburg, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Martin Muller, 4. Franco Mostert, 3. Ruan Dreyer, 2. Robbie Coetzee, 1. Jacques van Rooyen
Substitutes: 16. Armand van der Merwe, 17. Schalk van der Merwe, 18. Julian Redelinghuys, 19. Robert Kruger, 20. Kwagga Smith, 21. Ross Cronje, 22. Jaco van der Walt, 23. Harold Vorster