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Player ratings: Real pride

The Johannesburg side lost out narrowly in the final at Newlands last year, but they put that right with an impressive performance at Ellis Park on Saturday.

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The home side made a fast start to gain an early advantage, and never gave up the lead although they had to absorb some real pressure from Western Province who fought hard until the end.

They won the final playing the rugby that got them there, running the ball and scoring four tries in an entertaining spectacle which was a fitting end to an impressive campaign.

We rate the Golden Lions players: 

15 Andries Coetzee

Showed his class every time he got the ball, proved an elusive runner and stayed on his feet in contact while his positional play and defence was also solid.

8/10

14 Courtnall Skosan

Did not have many opportunities to pin his ears back and was closely marked when he did get the ball, but worked hard on defence.

6/10

13 Rohan Janse van Rensburg

Stepped up in a big way, causing all sorts of problems for Province in midfield and showing that the coach's decision to back him was the right one.

8/10

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12 Howard Mnisi

Made some trademark big hits and ran hard and straight when he saw the ball, lost control of the ball with the trylne seemingly at his mercy.

7/10

11 Anthony Volmink

An impressive all-round performance from the wing who was good under the high ball, quick with ball-in-hand and also showed the value of his booming left boot.

8/10

10 Marnitz Boshoff

Showed some early nerves by missing some early kicks and was not really able to impose himself on the game.Player ratings: Real pride

5/10

9 Ross Cronje

He scored two tries but apart from that he ran the show for the Lions with smart kicking and quality service, linking the forwards and backline well.

9/10

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8 Warren Whiteley

Got the first try of the game and got through his usual mountain of tackles, also very good in the line-outs and was able to steal some Province ball.

8/10

7 Albertus Smith

Showed great strength in the tackle, making metres every time he carried the ball, also ran some great lines in a hard-working display.

7/10

6 Jaco Kriel

The captain led from the front and although he was not the star of the show he put in a big shift and was clear in his decision-making.

7/10

5 Franco Mostert

Big game from the lock who ran the line-out well, put in some big tackles and got his side over the advantage line consistently.

8/10

4 Lourens Erasmus

One of the finds of the season, he was good in the line-outs and in open play where he showed some real pace.

7/10

3 Julian Redelinghuys

Not his best scrummaging performance, got through plenty of work on defence but not his best game.

5/10

2 Robbie Coetzee

Got around the park well and was solid in the set-pieces before he was taken off early in the second half.

6/10

1 Jacques van Rooyen

Carried the ball well and made his tackles but was a bit shaky in the scrums.

6/10

Replacements: 

16 Malcolm Marx (On for Coetzee, 47 mins)

Very powerful performance, he certainly made a noticable impact when he joined the fray.

8/10

17 Ruan Dreyer (On for Van Rooyen, 54 mins)

Solid at scrum-time and made his fair share of tackles as well.

7/10

18 Fabian Booysen (On for Erasmus, 69 mins)

Did not do much wrong and provided some urgency in defence late-on.

6/10

19 Stephan de Witt (On for Smith, 70 mins)

Worked hard despite getting limited opportunities to impose himself.

6/10

20 Jaco van der Walt 

Not used.

21 Nicolaas Hanekom (On for Janse van Rensburg, 70 mins)

Slotted in well as the Lions shut the game down in the final stages.

6/10

22 Sampie Mastriet

Not used.

By Michael de Vries

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