The Lions moved five points clear with a final score of 34-29 after they won a thrilling clash with the Sharks at Ellis Park yesterday.
A late try from Jaco Kriel proved the difference as the Lions claimed their fifth win of 2017. Malcolm Marx and Courtnall Skosan also crossed for the hosts while Coenie Oosthuizen and Kobus van Wyk went over for the Sharks.
The Sharks let slip a 10-point lead after a late converted try brought the Lions within three points.
Bosch was their orchestrator and he opened the scoring on three minutes with a penalty after Lions lock Andries Ferreira did not roll away.
That became 10-0 five minutes later as a great angle from wing Van Wyk 40m out led to him finding prop Oosthuizen who finished off.
The Lions looked shell-shocked, but got themselves on to the board at 13 minutes when the Sharks had strayed offside. Jantjies did the rest.
However, at 20 minutes, a long-range effort from Bosch made it 13-3 before the Sharks were denied not once, but twice. Firstly, a penalty from Bosch struck the upright, but after they managed to regather possession, André Esterhuizen thought he had scored on the left wing. But after the television match official intervened, the visitors were denied owing to an earlier clear-out from Etienne Oosthuizen that saw him make contact with the neck.
The Sharks had every right to feel upset, but one man keeping his cool was Bosch as after a Jantjies penalty, the Sharks fly half sat back in the pocket from 46m out to send over a sweetly struck drop goal. Those trading of blows meant the score was 16-6 to the visitors.
Then came a late onslaught from the Lions as they capitalised on lock Oosthuizen’s yellow card, with Marx powering over off the back of a driving maul. The hosts made that count in the 44th minute when quick hands led to Skosan scrambling over on the left, with Jantjies moving them 20-16 ahead.
Full back Coetzee’s drop goal had the distance to make it 23-16 on 52 minutes. But the Sharks weren’t done and when Van Wyk finished off on the right wing for a try converted by Bosch, suddenly the game was locked up.
Bosch struck a long-range penalty following an offside at 65 minutes to nudge the Sharks 26-23 ahead. But the lead did not last long when Jantjies levelled from wide on the right.
Bosch then struck a penalty from at least 65m out on 70 minutes, but again, Jantjies cancelled that out with six minutes to play.
The thrills kept coming until the end though as a long-range drop goal attempt from Bosch struck the crossbar and from the counter the Lions crossed through flanker Kriel.
The assist went to Kwagga Smith and despite Jantjies missing the extras, they held on to win an epic derby. – Sport24