Lions down Cheetahs in points-fest
February 13, 2009
The Cheetahs' David de Villiers is tackled by the Lions' Willem Alberts
© Getty Images
The Lions made a winning start to their Super 14 campaign with a 34-28 victory over the Cheetahs at Ellis Park.
The hosts began brightly with flanker Cobus Grobbelaar crossing for the opening try after just ten minutes which fly-half Earll Rose also converted. The Cheetahs bounced back with a penalty from centre Jacques Louis-Potgieter and the lead was theirs when No.8 Frans Viljoen notched a try just past the quarter hour.
However a yellow card for Cheetahs flanker Heinrich Brussow soon after saw the game swing back in the Lions' favour with wingers Ashwin Willemse and Henno Mentz both scoring tries within a five minute period. Rose added both conversions to take the Lions out to a 21-8 lead at the break.
Louis-Potgieter reduced the arrears with his second penalty at the start of the second half but a second yellow card - this time for fly-half Meyer Bosman - handed the advantage back to their opponents. Willemse made them pay with his second try which was again converted by Rose.
The Cheetahs rallied once more with Brussow scoring a try on the hour mark which was converted by Louis-Potgieter. And they were soon on level terms when Louis-Potgieter dotted down for his side's third try before adding the extras. But two late drop goals, one each by Andre Pretorius and Rose saw the Lions reclaim the lead and seal the win.
Lions: Louis Ludik, Ashwin Willemse, Jaque Fourie, Doppies la Grange, Henno Mentz, Earl Rose, Jano Vermaak, Willem Alberts, Franco van der Merwe, Cobus Grobbelaar (capt.), Gerhard Mostert, Anton van Zyl, Gert Muller, Willie Wepener, Heinke van der Merwe
Replacements: Hans van Dyk, Lawrence Sephaka, Rynard Landman, Todd Clever, Chris Jonck, Andre Pretorius, Jannie Boshoff
Cheetahs: Hennie Daniller; Bjorn Basson, Corné Uys, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Danwel Demas; Meyer Bosman, Tewis de Bruyn; Frans Viljoen, Juan Smith (capt), Heinrich Brüssow, David de Villiers, Nico Breedt, Bees Roux, Adriaan Strauss, Wian du Preez
Replacements: Richardt Strauss, Kobus Calldo, Wayne van Heerden, Hendro Scholtz, Sarel Pretorius, Fabian Juries, Piet van Zyl.