The Golden Lions extended their lead at the Currie Cup summit after a fine 28-19 win over the Sharks in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The Golden Lions extended their lead at the top of the Currie Cup table after a fine 28-19 win over the Sharks in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The home side's hero was impressive fly-half Elton Jantjies, who contributed 20 points in their victory via six penalties and a conversion.
Apart from his fine goal-kicking – he did not miss with a single attempt – Jantjies also impressed with his general play.
His tactical kicking was the source of much frustration for the Sharks, as he pinned them back in their own half with beautifully executed kicks in to touch.
Another player who caught the eye for the home side was their inside centre Alwyn Hollenbach, who combined well with Jantjies on attack and organised the hosts' defensive efforts.
After Jantjies scored two penalties early in the match, Sharks pivot Frederic Michalak replied with a spot kick of his own before Lions outside centre Lionel Mapoe scored the opening try of the match in the 21 st minute.
Mapoe rounded off in the corner after his inside backs did well to create space for him in the build-up. Jantjies converted before twice trading penalties with Michalak and at half-time the home side was leading 19-9.
The Lions have received accolades throughout this season for their enterprising play but they showed in this clash that they are also capable of mixing their game, especially by matching the Sharks in the physical exchanges up front.
Both teams showed a willingness to run the ball, especially in the second half, but in the end the Sharks' ill-discipline cost them this match.
They infringed continuously at the ruck area, and Jantjies kept the the scoreboard ticking when given an opportunity to take a shot at goal.
The Lions' defence, particularly in the latter stages of the second half when the Sharks came back strongly, also stood out, and in the end it secured them this win.
Although veteran centre Stefan Terblanche scored a converted try late in the second half and Meyer Bosman also slotted a penalty, Jantjies sealed the win for his side with a late penalty.
The win means that the Lions are still in pole position on the table with 27 points from seven matches and the Sharks and Western Province share second spot with 22 points after the same number of matches.
For Golden Lions:
Pen: Jantjies 7
Pen: Michalak 3, Bosman
Golden Lions 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Wikus van Heerden, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 Johan Snyman, 19 Michael Rhodes, 20 Jaco Kriel, 21 Doppies La Grange, 22 Burton Francis.
Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Sibusiso Sithole, 13 Stefan Terblanche, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Keegan Daniel (c), 5 Ross Skeate, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Eugene van Staden, 18 Jan Andre Marais, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Jacques Botes, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Adrian Jacobs.
Referee: Jaco van der Peyper