Lions overcome Bulls
August 5, 2011
The Griquas were in imperious form over the Sharks on Friday © Getty Images
The Golden Lions continued their excellent form in the Currie Cup with a 36-27 win over the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
After two early penalties from Lions fly-half Elton Jantjies, Blue Bulls hooker Chiliboy Ralapelle sent a message to Springboks coach Peter de Villiers with an early try. And the Bulls took the lead soon after through the boot of fly-half Francois Brummer. Stefan Watermeyer soon stretched the lead for the home side scoring in the corner. However, the Lions struck back immediately with skipper Joshua Strauss crashing over for the visitors. Brummer slotted another penalty on the half-time whistle to give the hosts a 19-16 lead at the break.
The second-half started on a sour note for the hosts with lock Filip van der Merwe shown a yellow card for his continual infringements and Jantjies levelled the score. And the Lions made the home side pay for a string of penalties with Michael Killian diving into the corner. Van der Merwe's night did not improve with the Boks lock shown a second yellow card with ten minutes left on the clock with the score standing at 29-22 to the Lions.
The Lions were soon reduced to 14 men with replacement Michael Rhodes sent to the sin-bin and Bulls winger Akone Ndungane showed his finishing ability crashing into the corner to bring his side back within two points. However, Lions' Warren Whitel passed inside to Killian who scored his second try and what proved to be the match winning score. Jantjies nailed the conversion to give the Lions an impressive 36-27 win.
Elsewhere on Saturday the Free State Cheetahs overcame the Western Province 28-22 in Bloemfontein.
The Cheetahs- buoyed by the return of star fetcher Heinrich Brussow who was introduced in the 55th minute - had fly-half Sias Ebersohn to thank for their win with the half-back slotting 23 points. The Cheetahs - who found themselves 13-9 down at half-time - went behind in the opening exchanges of the match with Demetri Catrakilis' boot and Johann Sadie's try giving the visitors some daylight. However, the boot of Ebersohn kept them in the game.
The key moment of the match came in the 67th minute when Province's replacement lock Adriaan Fondse received a yellow card for an off-the-ball incident. The Cheetahs had put themselves back in the lead at this stage through the boot of Ebersohn and Corne Uys late try under the posts secured an important 28-22 victory for the Cheetahs.
On Friday - The Griquas shocked the reigning Currie Cup champions the Natal Sharks winning 43-22 in Kimberley.
The Griquas had Rudi Vogt to thank for their win with the fullback contributing 23 opints to their eventual total. The home side started with a bang running in a try after 16 minutes through Rayno Barnes. Following a penalty from former French international Frederic Michalak the Sharks threatened to get back in the game but a try from Hendrik Roodt kept the Griquas out in front. However - the Sharks had the final say of the first half with hooker Craig Burden crossing the line to make it 14-13 and Michalak added a further three points to put the Sharks 16-14 up at the break.
The home side started the second-half in a similar fashion to the first with a score from Lourens Adriaanse. Vogt and replacement Bok Pat Lambie exchanged penalties soon after. However the boot of Vogt extended the Griquas' lead and a try from Jonathan Mokoena took the game beyond the grasp of the champions. A late Vogt penalty secured the win with the Griquas prevailing 43-22.
Elsewhere on Friday the Leopards beat the Pumas 27-15 at Potchefstroom to record their first win of the season.
The homeside led 24-12 at the break with winger Danie Demas, flanker Luvuyiso Lusaseni and fullback George Tossel crossing the try-line. The Pumas - in response - had Dean Scholtz and Dewald Pretorious to thank for their tries in the first 40. However, it was the boot of Wesley Dunlop which kept the Leopards in front at the break.
After a thoroughly uninspiring affair in the second-half - where both sides ran in a combined six points - the Leopards secured their first win of the season.
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