Lions book home final

22nd Oct 2011, 19:43

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Franco van der Merwe halts Nic Groom's progress

Franco van der Merwe halts Nic Groom's progress

The Golden Lions will host this year's Currie Cup Final after they beat Western Province 29-20 in their semi-final in Johannesburg.

The Golden Lions will host this year's Currie Cup Final after they beat Western Province 29-20 in their semi-final in Johannesburg.

Fine goalkicking by Elton Jantjies, who contributed 19 points via the boot, paved the way to victory but a solid defensive effort by the hosts especially in the latter stages of the half kept WP at bay.

The first half was played at a frenetic pace and both sides ran the ball from all areas of the field in their quest for victory.

However, both sides committed errors and the two fly-halves (Jantjies and WP's Demetri Catrakilis) traded penalties before the match came alive in the 36th minute when Lions full-back Jaco Taute scored the opening try of the match.

The Lions' inside backs launched an attack inside their half, and after breaching their opponents' defence the ball reached right wing Deon van Rensburg, who offloaded to Taute, who scored under the posts.

This meant that the home side led 19-12 at half-time and although WP came with a full onslaught during the early stages of the second half the Lions soaked up the pressure by stopping them in their tracks with big defensive hits.

The visitors could not convert their attacks into points and they went further behind in the 48th minute when Michael Killian capitalised on a loose Western Province pass to score in the left-hand corner.

This gave them a 14-point lead and the Cape-based side had several cracks at the Lions' tryline for the rest of the match.

Although the home side defended gallantly they could not prevent Juan de Jongh from crossing the whitewash in the 70th minute.

The Springbok centre's effort was not enough however and the Lions managed to hold on for a deserved victory.

This result sets up an enticing final against the defending champions, the Sharks, in Johannesburg next weekend.

Man of the match: Lions flank Derick Minnie was at the heart of his side's defensive effort and he frustrated his opponents by winning several turnovers.

Moment of the match: WP were still in this match with the score at 19-12 to the Lions, but Michael Killian's converted try in the 48th minute meant that the visitors had to score twice to draw level.

Villain of the match: Although no cards were issued WP's replacement hooker Deon Fourie can count himself lucky that he did not receive his marching orders after he landed a few blows when a scrum broke up in the dying moments of the match.

The scorers:

For Golden Lions:
Tries: Taute, Killian
Cons: Jantjies 2
Pens: Jantjies 5

For Western Province:
Try: De Jongh
Pens: Catrakilis 5

Golden Lions: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Doppies la Grange, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Joshua Strauss (c), 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Wikus van Heerden, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 CJ van der Linde.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 Warren Whiteley, 19 Cobus Grobbelaar/Jaco Kriel, 20 Butch James, 21 Dylan Des Fountain, 22 James Kamana.

Western Province: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 JJ Engelbrecht, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nick Koster, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Schalk Burger (c), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 JC Kritzinger
Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 Tertius Daniller, 19 Pieter Louw, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Juan de Jongh, 22 Conrad Jantjes.

Referee: Jaco Peyper