The Golden Lions moved up to second in the Currie Cup standings after recording a 41-22 bonus-point win at the EP Kings on Saturday.
The Golden Lions moved into second position in the Currie Cup table after recording a 41-22 bonus-point victory against the EP Kings on Saturday.
It was an impressive showing from the visitors as tries from Jaco Kriel, Ruan Dreyer, Schalk van der Merwe, Franco Mostert and Derick Minnie saw them win with a maximum haul on the road.
Meanwhile, the EP Kings remain winless in the 2014 competition but were very much in touch with seventeen minutes remaining of the game.
It was an entertaining opening 40 minutes between these two outfits as three tries apiece were scored at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, with only the width of a post meaning the Golden Lions went in 21-19 ahead. Home fans' hopes were subsequently high of recording their first win of the Currie Cup season.
Kriel opened the scoring with two minutes played when he powered over from close range, Ruan Combrinck adding the extras for 7-0. He went on to record 100 percent off the tee.
And that seven-point lead was doubled fourteen minutes later when a strong line-out drive from the Golden Lions saw tighthead prop Dreyer crash over from three metres out.
The EP Kings were at this point desperate to get a foothold in the match and it came on 28 minutes when a line-out drive led to Paul Schoeman powering over from a driving maul. However he wasn't awarded a try as referee Marius van der Westhuizen adjudged Lionel Mapoe to have entered from the side, which meant a penalty try was instead given alongside the Golden Lions wing being shown a yellow card. The Kings sensed blood.
Carlos Spencer's side were soon level as Mapoe watched on the sidelines, with George Whitehead's intelligent grubber being dived on by inside centre Shane Gates for 14-all.
However the Golden Lions would rally and had a reply of their own when loosehead Van der Merwe crossed after good carrying from Kriel, who capitalised at the tail of a line-out.
21-14 soon became 21-19 though in Port Elizabeth when EP Kings wing Siviwe Soyizwapi went over on the left but Scott van Breda attempt hit the upright at the end of the first-half.
Home fly-half Whitehead would show more intelligence soon after the break when with nothing on for his side, he sent over a drop-goal that pushed the hosts 21-22 in front.
However, two penalties from Combrick on the 60th and 63rd minute restored the advantage in favour of the determined Lions, who were beginning to turn the screw in Port Elizabeth.
And turn the screw they did as further tries from second-row Mostert and then replacement back-row Minnie gave the scoreline more of a healthy feel to those wearing white and red.
For EP Kings:
Tries: Penalty, Gates, Soyizwapi
Con: Van Breda 2
For Golden Lions:
Tries: Kriel, Dreyer, Van der Merwe, Mostert, Minnie
Con: Combrinck 5
Pen: Combrinck 2
EP Kings: 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Tim Whitehead, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Kevin Luiters, 8 Aidon Davis, 7 Paul Schoeman, 6 Thembelani Bholi, 5 Steven Sykes, 4 David Bulbring, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 BG Uys
Replacements: 16 Mike van Vuuren, 17 Charles Marais,18 Shaun McDonald, 19 Stefan Willemse, 20 Tobie Botes, 21 Dwayne Jenner, 22 Ntabeni Dukisa.
Golden Lions: 15 Ruan Combrinck, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Andries Coetzee, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 MB Lusaseni, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Martin Muller, 19 Derick Minnie, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Ricky Schroeder, 22 Howard Mnisi.
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Referees: Francois Pretorius, Lusanda Jam
TMO: Jason Jaftha