Lions thump Blue Bulls
The Golden Lions showed they could be a force to be reckoned with in the Currie Cup with a 62-23 win over the Blue Bulls in Pretoria.
The visitors ran in eight tries as a superb second half performance saw them rampage past their hosts, making the most of ten-minute period when the Bulls were down to 14 men.
It was the Bulls who were first onto the scoreboard when fly-half Tony Jantjies grabbed a three-pointer after just four minutes, only for his opposite number, Marnitz Boshoff, to even matters soon after.
Bulls winger Travis Ismaiel then notched up the first try of the match, and his first in the Currie Cup, when he was put into space down the far touchline after the backs and forwards combined well.
The Lions didn't have the territory but they picked up points on nearly visit to the Bulls' half during the opening period. From early on the Lions showed their intent to go for the corner instead of for posts and this industry was rewarded with a try to Jaco Kriel from a driving maul in the 17th minute.
Both sides were eager to run the ball and this tactic paid dividends for Bulls flyer Sampie Mastriet as he attacked from inside his own 22, slicing through the defenders before offloading to Jurgen Visser who continued the strong work. Visser was in the right place once more as he was on hand to collect the recycled ball and go over for the Bulls' second.
The Lions would not be kept at bay though and Deon Helberg profited from a great break by number eight Willie Britz to dive over from five metres out.
An exchange of penalties saw the Lions head into the break with a 20-16 lead and the match very much in the balance. It wouldn't stay that way for long though.
Once again it was the Bulls who started the half well, Francois Venter stepping past the last man and diving over for the five points after Clayton Blommetjies had broken through the line.
It look to be turning in the Bulls favour, but the Lions' tactic of kicking for touch rather than posts soon paid dividends to an extent they could only have dreamed of.
From a line-out drive, Bulls prop Morne Mellet was penalised for going in from the side and as it was a second offense, was shown a yellow card. It was here that the match turned on its head.
Britz added a third try almost immediately afterwards, dotting down at the base of the post after the Bulls had repelled an initial drive.
The visitors turned the intensity up a notch, with skipper Derrick Minnie rounding off a great team effort in the 54th minute. The flanker had a second six minutes later and suddenly the Lions were 41-23 ahead and facing a shell-shocked Bulls outfit who had no answer.
The floodgates opened and the Lions proceeded to run in tries through Anthony Volmink, Warwick Tecklenburg and Elton Jantjies as they delivered an embarrassing hiding to their neighbours, the final margin of victory a massive 39 points.
For the Blue Bulls:
Tries: Ismaiel, Visser, Venter
Penalties: Jantjies, Visser
For the Golden Lions:
Tries: Kriel, Helberg, Britz, Minnie 2, Volmink, Tecklenburg, Jantjies
Conversions: Boshoff 8
Penalties: Boshoff 2
Yellow card: Mellett (Bulls)
Blue Bulls: 15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 Ulrich Beyers, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Travis Ismaiel, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Ruan Snyman, 8 Jono Ross (c), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Morné Mellett.
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Marcell van der Merwe, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Jacques Engelbrecht, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Waylon Murray, 22 Clayton Blommetjies.
Golden Lions: Golden Lions: 15 Chrysander Botha, 14 Deon Helberg, 13 Robert De Bruyn, 12 Dylan Des Fountain, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Guy Cronje, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Derick Minnie (captain), 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Jacques Van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Lambert Groenewald, 19 Warwick Tecklenburg, 20 Tiaan Meyer, 21 Elton Jantjies, 22 Lionel Cronje.
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan