The Golden Lions provisionally moved to the top of the Currie Cup standings on Friday thanks to a 29-15 win over the Pumas.
The Golden Lions provisionally moved to the top of the Currie Cup standings on Friday thanks to a 29-15 win over the Pumas at Ellis Park.
Unbeaten at home this season, the Lions outscored their visitors from Nelspruit four tries to two, claiming the bonus point needed to move above Western Province, who face the Griquas on Saturday.
Working off the platform of a dominant set-piece, the hosts scored three unaswered tries in the first half-hour to lead 19-3 at the interval.
The Lions absolutely demolished the usually impressive Pumas pack as the first scrum, and used the momentum gained to spread the ball wide. It was recycled to Stokkies Hanekom, who sliced through two tight forwards to ghost over for the opening try after just three minutes.
Ruan Dreyer added a second shortly afterward thanks to excellent work by flank Kwagga Smith, who showed great skill to avoid the touchline and offload to the tighhead prop, who crashed over from close range.
To add insult to injury Pumas wing Jerome Pretorius copped a yellow card for taking his opposite number in the air.
At the quarter mark, the Pumas got into a favourable scoring position following a superb exit kick by flyhalf Justin van Staden.
The Mpumalanga side camped out in the Lions 22 for five minutes as the hosts conceded penalty after penalty.
The Pumas' efforts at breaching the Lions' defence came to nothing and after a few failed attempts they instead opted for the three points with Van Staden converting a penalty to close the gap.
Wing Courtnall Skosan grabbed an opportunistic try as the Pumas were punished for slinging the ball around loosely on their try line, allowing Skosan to pounce on the ball when it was fumbled.
Ruan Combrinck converted two of the three tries while the Pumas' only reply came from a Justin van Staden penalty to leave the visitors trailing by 16 points as the teams swapped ends.
The second half held little comfort for the Pumas as the Lions again found easy access over the advantage line to clinch the bonus-point try.
It took just three minutes after the restart to claim the fourth try as lock Franco Mostert finished off a brilliant move that featured a 40m dash from Willie Britz and a handful of offloads from Hanekom and Dreyer.
Jaco van der Walt rubbed salt into the wounds with a cheeky drop to take the scores to 29-3 on the hour mark.
The Pumas were again on the wrong side of referee Jaco van Heerden's whistle when Frankie Herne was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle with six minutes to play.
Pumas centre Stefan Watermeyer and prop Vincent Koch claimed a consolation tries in the closing stages but the result was long settled as the Lions claimed a well-deserved full house of points.
Tries: Hanekom, Dreyer, Skosan, Mostert
Cons: Combrinck 3
Drop: Van der Walt
Tries: Watermeyer, Koch
Pen: Van Staden
Yellow cards: Pretorius, Herne
Golden Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe (c), 12 Stokkies Hanekom, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Ricky Schroeder, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Derick Minnie, 20 Warwick Tecklenburg, 21 Mark Richards, 22 Howard Mnisi.
Pumas: 15 Coenie van Wyk, 14 Trompie Pretorius, 13 Jacobus Jonker, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Rosco Speckman, 10 Justin van Staden, 9 Dylon Frylinck, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Corne Steenkamp (captain), 5 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 4 Frikkie Spies, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Francois du Toit, 1 Corne Fourie.
Replacements:: 16 Frankie Herne, 17 DeJay Terblanche, 18 Marius Coetzer, 19 Jaco Bouwer, 20 Reynier van Rooyen, 21 Juan-Claude Roos, 22 John-Wessel Bell.