Planet Rugby

The Lions lash the Leopards

27th August 2010 20:39

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Renaldo Bothma LIons double

Renaldo Bothma: Two tries

The Lions cruised to a bonus-point win over the Leopards on Saturday, winning 45-22 in their Currie Cup clash in Johannesburg.

Running with virtually every ball they received the Lions outscored their visitors seven tries to three after leading 24-10 at half time.

The impressive display of running rugby and good support overturned an early 5-0 deficit following one of the characteristic sniping tries by Leopards scrum-half Michael Bondesio.

The Lions got their bonus point after only 38 minutes, following four very good tries, with the highlight probably the 60 metres run for his first try by huge lock Johan Snyman after a recycled ruck ball.

The Lions went into the break 24-10 ahead after a Neill Jacobs penalty had pulled back three points for the Leopards when they were 17-5 behind following Lions tries by Renaldo Bothma, Snyman and Warren Whiteley with only one converted by Elton Jantjies.

Michael Killian added the bonus point try just before the break after some good interplay by the backs and Elton converted.

The confidence with which the home side flung the ball around impressed, as well as their good backing up and especially the speed with which the ball was recycled from the breakdown.

Snyman impressed with his physical presence and also his work rate in covering ground from the one breakdown to the other. Not quite match fit yet, he could well provide that grunt up front that the Lions have been in need of all year. His second try, in bending down at full speed to pick up a ball from the ground after a Leopards handling error underlined his skills.

On the negative side, the Lions tuned over a few balls at the rucks and relaxed on defence towards the end when the game was won and many replacements possibly disrupted their structures.

Jantjies missed his third just after the restart and the Leopards had a reasonable spell, including winning some of the mentioned turnovers. They even kicked for the corner in an effort to try and catch up to the Lions score.

But 18 minutes into the second half Jantjies, who was again exemplary with his distribution and the speed he brought to the backs, set his backs in motion and Jano Vermaak rounded off another good Lions try after juggling a wayward pass from Killian who had made the break.

Jantjies converted from in front of the posts to make it 31-8 late in the third quarter.

Six minutes later flankers Joshua Strauss, who made the running, and Bothma combined with the latter scoring his second try after an inside pass. Replacement fly-half Burton Francis converted.

The Lions allowed the game to become a little too loose, and with seven minutes remaining the Leopards were rewarded for their efforts with a try that started 70 metres out and was rounded off by full-back Jan van Zyl.

Clayton Durand's conversion was good (38-15) and it became 38-22 when RW Kember scored virtually from the kick-off with Warren Whiteley off with a yellow card following a dangerous tackle.

The scorers

For the Lions:
Tries:Bothma 2, Snyman 2, Whiteley, Killian, Vermaak
Cons: Jantjies 3, Francis 2

For the Leopards:
Tries: Bondesio, Van Zyl, Kember
Cons: Durand 2
Pen: Jacobs

Lions: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Joshua Strauss, 6 Renaldo Bothma, 5 Franco van der Merwe (c), 4 Johan Snyman, 3 Ross Geldenhuys/Ruan Dreyer, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Wayne Swart, 18 George Earle, 19 Derick Minnie/Jaco Kriel, 20 JP Joubert, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Pieter Engelbrecht.

Leopards: 15 Jan van Zyl, 14 Deon Scholtz, 13 Jovan Bowles, 12 Walter Venter, 11 Shuaib Samaai, 10 Neill Jacobs, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Riaan Swanepoel, 7 Reginald Kember, 6 Wilhelm Koch (c), 5 Anthonie Gronum, 4 Brad Mockford, 3 Barend van der Walt, 2 Gavin Williamson, 1 Bennie Uys.
Replacements: 16 Marthinus van der Westhuizen, 17 Johan Coetzee, 18 Edrich Linde, 19 Christo van Niekerk, 20 Jean Tiedt, 21 Clayton Durand, 22 Danie Dames.

Venue: Coca-Cola Park (Ellis Park), Johannesburg
Referee: Craig Joubert

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