It was the predicted cakewalk for the Blues in Johannesburg on Saturday as they scored seven tries in a 56-14 win over the lowly Lions.
It was the predicted cakewalk for the Blues in Johannesburg on Saturday as they scored seven tries in an emphatic 56-14 victory over the lowly Lions.
A dead-rubber it was in the capital city and at times it lived up to its title but for odd flashes of attacking brilliance, non better shown than a brace of scores from veteran Carlos Spencer.
But in the end the class of the Blues coupled with a rather limp defence placed in front of them sealed this result soon after the game got going.
Out of the blocks came Pat Lam's wounded charges following their disappointing loss to the Cheetahs just seven days ago. And it took them only five minutes to break the deadlock when Benson Stanley spotted a hole in midfield before he offloaded to centre partner Rene Ranger. It was a pass that the former did not really need to make but Ranger was all too pleased to collect, with Stephen Brett's simple extras following.
Brett's inclusion was only a late call from the Aucklanders as he had been pencilled in on the bench in midweek due to a niggle. However, the number ten ran out eager to make his mark and did just that with a score adding to nineteen points from the kicking tee.
That aforementioned try was yet another example of why the Lions are now sitting with twelve defeats and no victories next to their name in 2010. It only took the Blues just a couple of phases from attacking lineout ball off Jerome Kaino before Brett spotted and duly ghosted through, with a conversion and penalty taking the arrears to 0-17 on the half-hour.
But then came a moment to savour for former Blue Spencer. From a lovely breakout from their own 22 by Tonderai Chavhanga, the Lions showed just a glimpse of what they can do as the wing's pass found Walter Venter who shipped it back inside to his full-back.
With the scores at 7-17 it needed the hosts to plug any holes in their defence if they were to sew any seeds of doubt into the Blues outfit. It did not happen as once again the holes emerged for this time Alby Mathewson. A 40th-minute response from Spencer did bring the deficit back to ten points but it was to be a short-lived semblance of hope for the few who made the journey out to Coca-Cola Park.
Further tries after the interval from Paul Williams, Tom McCartney and two for Joe Rokocoko then made the scoreline embarrassing for the now record-breaking side sat at the foot of the Super 14 table. For the Blues it was a decent run-out before they meet the Chiefs.
Man-of-the-match: He wasn't even meant to be playing but Stephen Brett lapped up the leaky defence that was put in front of him in Johannesburg. A try and nineteen points from the tee was a decent day at the office for the fly-half, who enjoyed the front-foot ball.
For the Blues:
Tries: Ranger, Brett, Mathewson, Williams, McCartney, Rokocoko 2
Con: Brett 5
Pen: Brett 3
For the Lions:
Tries: Spencer 2
The Lions: 15 Carlos Spencer, 14 Michael Killian, 13 Deon van Rensburg, 12 Walter Venter, 11 Tonderai Chavhanga, 10 Herkie Kruger, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Derick Minnie, 7 Wikus van Heerden, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 George Earl, 4 Franco van der Merwe, 3 Gert Muller 2 Charles Emslie, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
Replacements: 16 Hannes Franklin, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Nico Luus, 19 Justin Wheeler, 20 Jacques Coetzee, 21 Jaco Taute, 22 Bernardo Botha
Blues: 15 Isaia Toeava, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Paul Williams, 10 Stephen Brett, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Serge Lilo, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Anthony Boric, 4 Kurtis Haiu, 3 John Afoa, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Tevita Mailau, 17 Charlie Faumuina, 18 Filo Paulo, 19 Vilami Ma'afu, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 22 George Pisi.
Referee: Mark Lawrence (South Africa)