Planet Rugby

Lions' surge continues

02nd September 2011 20:01

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Lions v Pumas

Made to work: Jaco Taute takes on his opposite number MJ Mentz

The Lions bagged an important bonus point in injury time to sew up a 34-20 Currie Cup win over the Pumas on Friday.

The win takes the tournament leaders ten points ahead of second-placed Western Province on the standings, edging them closer to a home semi-final.

The Lions were on the board in the 10th minute when full-back Jaco Taute regathered his chip ahead on the counter-attack before putting wing Michael Killian away for a superb try under the sticks.

Elton Jantjies converted and the Lions were looking good 7-0 ahead. However, the same couldn't be said of wing cum centre Lionel Mapoe who was forced off the field with a dislocated elbow, which will no doubt spell the end of his season.

And to rub further salt into the Lions' wounds, Pumas pivot Coenie van Wyk slotted over a penalty to put his team on the scoreboard.

His opposite number stretched the Lions' lead back to seven points with another well-struck three-pointer, and Jantjies was on hand once again to convert Michael Rhodes' try after the flank burst through two would-be Pumas' tacklers for a splendid touchdown.

Van Wyk raised the flags again to take the scores to 17-6 in favour of the visitors, but Jantjies replied immediately with his second successful penalty attempt to make it a fourteen-point ball game.

The Lions were over the line for try number three after Taute emerged from a pile of bodies with ball in hand following a powerful surge to the Pumas' tryline by the visiting forwards.

Once again Jantjies added the extras that took his team into a comfortable 27-6 half-time lead, with victory and a bonus point in sight.

Or so it seemed...

The hosts were far more threatening in the second stanza, and looked to be more settled on attack.

They would have been rewarded early in the second half but flanker Jaco Bouwer lost the ball forward going over the line.

Pumas skipper Corne Steenkamp made sure, however, seven minutes later when he dived over on the left - dislocating his finger in the process - with Van Wyk converting a tough kick to close the gap to 27-13.

With five minutes remaining on the clock, Pumas full-back MJ Mentz finished off a marvellous piece of team work to storm over, and Van Wyk converted, narrowing the gap to within seven points.

The Lions, however, picked up the bonus point when replacement lock Johan Snyman went over, and Jantjies added another conversion to seal the victory.

The Pumas, who had a bonus point snatched away in front of a lively home crowd, remain the only team in the competition without a win.

The scorers:

For Pumas:
Tries: Steenkamp, Mentz
Cons: Van Wyk 2
Pens: Van Wyk 2

For Lions:
Tries: Killian, Rhodes, Taute, Snyman
Cons: Jantjies 4
Pens: Jantjies 2

Pumas: 15 MJ Mentz, 14 Deon Scholtz, 13 JW Jonker, 12 Tian Meyer, 11 Wilhelm Looch, 10 Coenie van Wyk, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Christo le Roux, 7 Jaco Bouwer, 6 Corne Steenkamp (c), 5 Marius Coetzer, 4 Rudi Matthee, 3 Ashley Buys, 2 Marthinus van der Westhuizen, 1 Dawie Steyn.
Replacements: 16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 De-Jay Terblanche, 18 Willem Serfontein, 19 Reginald Kember, 20 Martin Sithole, 21 Tiaan Marx, 22 Johan Jackson.

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/Joshua Strauss, 7 Michael Rhodes, 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 Joshua Strauss, 20 Jaco Kriel, 21 Doppies La Grange, 22 Burton Francis.

Referee: Jason Jaftha

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