Golden Lions knock Blues Bulls out
To many this match was a knock-out, winner going to the final. The Golden Lions won it 41-14.
If that were the case that this was a knock-out, the Blue Bulls were knocked out in the first half and eventually it was the blows that they themselves landed on themselves that helped to put them down - bad handling and rotten discipline.
During two stages in the match they were down to 13 men. Both locks sat together in the sin bin for acts of foul play and near the end the fullback and the hooker ended up there.
Their handling regularly let them down while the Golden Lions' handling was exemplary. It was as if the skills of their senior team were permeating the whole union. Unlike their opponents, the Golden Lions' passes were in front and at waist height. The Golden Lions also had greater zest and direction in their play. The Blue Bulls were at their liveliest when they were down to 13 players.
The Blue Bulls kicked off and came close to scoring at the start of the match. They won a Golden Lions line-out and went wide left. Rhyno Pieterse broke through for a long run at the line. He ignored team-mates on either side of him, Hluma Zondani on his left and Schalk Erasmus on his right, and was tackled at the line by Chuiner van Rooyen and lost the ball forward. That was in the first minute.
Having prevented a try, Van Rooyen then scored one. From a scrum well inside their half, the Golden Lions went dashing up the field with a variety of attack till PJ Jacobs, put into a gap by Wandisile Simelane, broke and gave to Kennedy Mpheku who passed inside to Van Rooyen who scored. The play was so different from that of the Blue Bulls and far more profitable.
Outside centre and captain, Simelane, converted as he did all five Golden Lions tries. In fact he scored 26 points in the match, a brilliant performance by the Jeppe boy. 7-0 after 4 minutes.
The Blue Bulls could gave scored when they charged on the attack and the Golden Lions were penalised. Ruan de Swardt was lining up to kick the easy penalty when the TMO, a remarkably busy man in this match, advised the referee of foul play - driving at the neck of an opponent at a ruck, sharp shoulder first - and so the penalty was reversed. But the Blue Bulls won a Golden Lions line-out and attacked again and outside centre Marnus Potgieter managed to get over right in the right corner as Simelane tried to tackle him into touch. From touch De Swart converted. 7-all after 17 minutes.
The Blue Bulls were twice penalised at tackles and Simelane goaled on each occasion. 13-7 after 29 minutes.
The Golden Lions won a line-out on their left and went wide right where wing Tatenda Mujawo sped from within his half down the right, too quick for the cover till he was hemmed inside the Blue Bulls 22. He passed inside to Simelane, a low pass which Simelane footed on with great skill and as Emilio Adonis dived at the ball, Simelane toed it out of his reach and scored. 20-7, the half-time score. The Golden Lions were running downhill to victory.
The Golden Lions attacked on the left and then went wide right. Unusually the pass to the right was a poor one that bounced, but Mark Snyman got it and gave inside to Simelane who dodged two defenders to score. 27-7 after 38 minutes.
At this stage the Blue Bulls lost a lock to the sin bin for an air tackle. A minute later they lost the other lock to a headbutt.
The Golden Lions launched a sharp attack and Tiaan Scholtz was over but declared held up. That gave the Golden Lions a five-metre scrum's at which the Blue Bulls were penalised. The Golden Lions tapped, the Blue Bulls were again penalised and the Golden Lions opted for a scrum. The scrumhalf gave the ball to the flyhalf, Tinus Combrinck to Tyrone Green, and Green ran past two defenders to score. 34-7 after 44 minutes.
The Blue Bulls tried attacking but let the ball nestle behind a tackle/ruck. Prop Nathan McBeth picked it up and gave it to Snyman who raced away to score. 41-7 after 49 minutes.
Strangely the Golden Lions did not score again.
De Swardt kicked a penalty a long way into touch, almost five metres from the Golden Lions line. The Blue Bulls went wide right where Simelane saved a certain try by tackling Emilio Adonis into touch. The Blue Bulls stayed attacking and Luke Fortuin was close and then fullback Abner van Reenen, one of four from Paarl in the Pretoria side, scored a try that De Swardt converted. 41-14 with 16 minutes to play but the final score.
With five minutes to play two Blue Bulls players were sent to the sin bin for a gross tip tackle.
The Blue Bulls players left on the field became more intense, lock PJ Steenkamp had a strong run and then Carl Wijburg, not long on the field, lost the ball on the line.
The Lions Rugby Union would be most pleased if these boys played the final match and their seniors did likewise in Super Rugby and even the Currie Cup.
For Golden Lions:
Tries: Chuiner van Rooyen, Mark Snyman, Tyrone Green, Wandisile Simelane 2
Cons: Wandisile Simelane 5
Pens: Wandisile Simelane 2
For Blue Bulls:
Tries: Marnus Potgieter, Abner van Reenen
Cons: Ruan de Swardt 2
Blue Bulls: 15 Abner van Reenen, 14 Emilio Adonis, 13 Marnus Potgieter, 12 Louis van der Schyff, 11 Hluma Zondani, 10 Ruan de Swardt, 9 Shaun Williams, 8 Luke Fortuin, 7 Ryno Pieterse, 6 Regardt du Plessis, 5 Henk Pretorius, 4 Peter-John Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Schalk Erasmus (captain), 1 Jacobus Eloff
Replacements: 16 Carl Wijburg, 17 Wernich Barnard, 18 Arno van Wyk, 19 Phillip Krause, 20 Asipesona Nonyukela, 21 Calderon Levens, 22 Lincoln Daniels, 23 Austin Davids
Golden Lions: 15 Chuiner van Rooyen, 14 Tatenda Mujawo, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Kalvin Mills, 11 Kennedy Mpeku, 10 Tyrone Green, 9 Tinus Combrinck, 8 PJ Jacobs, 7 Tiaan Scholtz, 6 Mark Snyman, 5 Cristen van Niekerk, 4 Christopher Havenga, 3 Keagan Glade, 2 Nolo Naka, 1 Nathan McBeth
Replacements: 16 Pieter Botha, 17 Mpilo Mabuza, 18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 19 Darrien-Lane Landsberg, 20 Enrico Liut, 21 MJ Pelser, 22 David Cary, 23 Maxwill van Louw
Referee: Vusi Msibi
Assistant referees: Ruhan Meiring, Egon Seconds
TMO: Joey Klaaste-Salmans