Lions crush limp Cheetahs

Date published: October 11 2014

The Golden Lions secured second spot in the Currie Cup table with a merciless 47-7 thrashing of the Free State Cheetahs at Ellis Park.

The Golden Lions secured second spot in the Currie Cup table with a merciless 47-7 thrashing of the Free State Cheetahs at Ellis Park.

It was all too easy for the Lions, sporting a blue kit to celebrate their 125th anniversary.

Scrum dominance and a lack of execution from the visiting side all conspired to give the Lions their seventh win of the campaign.

Jaco Kriel has backed up an excellent Super Rugby campaign by topping the try scoring charts in the Currie Cup, so it was no surprise to see him cross for the game’s first try only five minutes in.

The Lions maul has been a consistently effective weapon and so it proved again, laying the platform for Kriel to dot down for his eighth try of the season.

The Golden Lions secured second spot in the Currie Cup table with a merciless 47-7 thrashing of the Free State Cheetahs at Ellis Park.

Possessing a highly-talented loose forward trio, Derick Minnie was the next to find the try line as he turned Clayton Blommetjies inside out with a sidestep – Boshoff convertin both efforts for a 14-0 lead after ten minutes.

Denied a first score of their own after being held up over the line, matters worsened for the Cheetahs when Springbok flanker Tebo Mohoje was sin-binned for killing the ball to allow Boshoff to stretch the lead.

Scrum penalties under the Lions posts were hugely demoralising for the Cheetahs, who remained scoreless after half an hour.

Ruan Combrinck rubbed salt in the wound with a cruel dummy and sidestep around Blommetjies for try number three.

Boshoff, having kicked sublimely, couldn’t add the conversion or a penalty attempt before the interval, but the Lions were cruising at 22-0.

Sustained pressure and phases from the Cheetahs after the interval initially went unrewarded.

Desperate for a morale boost Sarel Pretorius delivered, attached to the back of the maul for the visitors’ first points and his 40th in the Currie Cup.

If anyone was going to spark the Cheetahs into life it would be Pretorius, but he was caught up in the tackle by Willie Britz and the resulting breakdown penalty set the Lions up in the corner for a driving maul – Warwick Tecklenburg dotting down for the bonus try.

Handling errors continued to undo the Cheetahs attacks when pressuring the Lions 22, just lacking the composure to round things off.

Boshoff’s second penalty brought up the 30 points, adding a third penalty soon after as the Cheetahs’ scrum woes continued.

Howard Mnisi ran in try number five after Courtnall Skosan’s beautiful pass over the top, Boshoff’s conversion making the score 40-7.

Armand Van Der Merwe poured on further humiliation with his close-range score to round things off, the Cheetahs earlier dedication at the start of the second half disappearing completely.

As for the Lions, they will wait for the visit of the Sharks in next week’s semi-final full of confidence.

The scorers:

For Lions:
Tries: Kriel, Minnie, Combrinck, Tecklenburg
Cons: Boshoff 2
Pens: Boshoff 2

For Cheetahs:
Try: Pretorius
Con: Du Plessis
Yellow Card: Mohoje

Golden Lions: 15 Jaco van der Walt, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Willie Britz, 20 Warwick Tecklenburg, 21 Mark Richards.

Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 AJ Coertzen, 13 JP du Plessis, 12 Joubert Engelbrecht, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Willie du Plessis, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Lappies Labuschagne, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld (c), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen
Replacements: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 George Marich, 18 Henco Venter, 19 Neil Claassen, 20 Shaun Venter, 21 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 22 Maputha Dolo.

Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant Referees: Ben Crouse, Francois de Bruin
TMO: Johan Greeff