Lions put Pumas to the sword

Date published: August 14 2015

The Golden Lions continued with their fine start to the Currie Cup season when they claimed a 44-27 win over the Pumas in Johannesburg on Friday.

In an entertaining match, played at a frenetic pace, the Lions outscored their visitors by five tries to three although it wasn't always plain sailing as the visitors were competitive until the end.

Lions fly-half Marnitz Boshoff delivered a flawless display from the kicking tee, contributing 19 points via five conversions, two penalties and a drop goal.

Although the Pumas never gave up trying, the Lions stepped up a gear after the break, and three tries during that period proved enough to clinch victory.

The Pumas made most of the early attacking but the Lions took the lead when Boshoff landed a drop goal, against the run of play, from 30 metres out in the ninth minute.

The visitors struck back 10 minutes later when Marnus Schoeman scored the opening try from the back of a driving maul close to the Lions' tryline.

JC Roos added the extras, but Boshoff replied with a penalty soon afterwards, after Giant Mtyanda was penalised for infringing at a ruck.

The home side then regained the lead thanks to a try from Harold Vorster who, after gathering the ball just outside the visitors' 22, sold Rosco Spekman a dummy and shrugged off two tackles before scoring.

After Roos added a penalty, the Lions were awarded their first penalty try when Khwezi Mona was identified as the culprit, for the second successive time, at a collapsed scrum on the Pumas' five metre line.

That meant the hosts led 20-10 at half-time but the Pumas were first to score after the break when Bernardo Botha rounded off in the corner after JW Bell laid the groundwork with a fine break in the build-up.

The Lions replied with a try from Courtnall Skosan, after poor defence from the visitors, but the Pumas drew level at 27-27 after Roos landed a penalty and Jason-Colin Fraser scored their third try after barging over from close quarters.

The visitors were then reduced to 14 men when Roos deliberately slapped down a Lions pass on the edge of his 22. Roos' indiscretion earned himself a yellow card as well as a second penalty try for the Lions and this seemed to knock the wind out of the Pumas' sails.

Stokkies Hanekom then crossed over for the home side's fifth try and by the time Ruan Combrinck and Kwagga Smith were yellow carded, for cynical play on defence, the Lions had done enough to secure victory.

The scorers:

For Golden Lions:
Tries: Vorster, Penalty try 2, Skosan, Hanekom
Cons: Boshoff 5
Pens: Boshoff 2
Drop goal: Boshoff
Yellow cards: Combrinck, Smith

For Pumas:
Tries: Schoeman, Botha, Fraser
Cons: Roos 3
Pen: Roos 2
Yellow card: Roos

Golden Lions: 15 Ruan Combrinck, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Harold Vorster, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Sampie Mastriet/Anthony Volmink, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Jaco Kriel (c), 5 Martin Muller, 4 Franco Mostert, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 MB Lusaseni, 19 Steph de Wit, 20 Lohan Jacobs, 21 Stokkies Hanekom, 22 Jaco van der Walt.

Pumas: 15 JW Bell, 14 Bernado Botha, 13 Jerome Pretorius, 12 Stefan Watermeyer (captain), 11 Rosco Spekman, 10 JC Roos, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Lambert Groenewald, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marius Coetzer, 4 Giant Mtyanda, 3 De-Jay Terblanché, 2 Frank Herne, 1 Khwezi Mona.
Replacements: 16 Francois du Toit, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Jason-Colin Fraser, 19 Jaco Bouwer, 20 Reynier van Rooyen, 21 Justin van Staden, 22 Hoffmann Maritz

Referee: Stuart Berry