Lions down Griquas for final spot
MATCH REPORT: The Golden Lions booked a spot in the Currie Cup final with a 34-19 win over the Griquas at Ellis Park on Saturday.
The Lions outscored the Griquas four tries to one.
The result means that Lions will face the Sharks or Cheetahs in the final. Should the Cheetahs win, the Lions will travel to Bloemfontein, but if the Sharks win, the final will be hosted at Ellis Park.
While for the Griquas its concludes an very impressive campaign.
Despite the Lions’ try-fest, it was a match that never caught fire on a warm afternoon as there were too many handling and other errors by both teams.
The Lions were the first team on the board. A break by Shaun Reynolds inside the Griquas’ 22 followed by a questionable offload to Madosh Tambwe, who made sure he bagged the first try of the match.
Reynolds added the conversion for the 7-0 lead.
Minutes later Griquas levelled matters. The side opted for three points however Whitehead’s penalty attempt hit the uprights.
But fortunately for the visitors, Lions failed to collect the rebound and Griquas regained possession in the red zone. The Kimberley side set up multiple phases before a loop pass by Whitehead found late replacement Chris Smith outwide, who powered his way over for the try. Whitehead made sure to add the extras and equal matters.
Griquas’ relief was shortlived as Lions restored their 7-point lead. The centre duo Wandisile Simelane and Duncan Matthews worked their way through the Griquas midfield before Stean Pienaar dived over in the corner for the try. Reynolds proved too good for the conversion, 14-7.
Whitehead narrowed the deficit to just one-point when he kicked two successful penalty kicks.
On the brink of the halftime, Lions’ resistance finally paid off. From a line-out the side set up multiple phases and finally, Hacjivah Dayimani found a gap and went over the chalk. Reynolds added that extra for the 21-13 lead at the break.
The second half was a very low scoring affair, with both teams failing to produced a lethal attack.
The Griquas camped inside the hosts’ five-metre, however, the Lions’ defence was in solid form – keeping the visitors tryless.
Whitehead and Reynolds exchanged four penalty kicks between them and the Lions took a 27-19 lead with 10 minutes left of the clock.
And on the stroke of fulltime, Lions put the final nail in the coffin when Marnus Schoeman powered his way over the line. at the back of the rolling maul.
Reynolds added the extras for the victory.
Man of the match: For the Griquas, George Whitehead was in finde form, while for Golden Lions Shaun Reynolds, Stean Pienaar and Hacjivah Dayimani were some of the standout performers. However, our nod goes to Golden Lions wing Tyrone Green, who was ruthless in defence while his attack also helped his side get over the advantage line.
For Golden Lions:
Tries: Tambwe, Pienaar, Dayimani, Schoeman
Cons: Reynolds 4
Pens: Reynolds 2
Pens: Whitehead 4
Golden Lions: 15 Tyrone Green, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Duncan Matthews, 11 Stean Pienaar, 10 Shaun Reynolds, 9 Ross Cronje (captain), 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Pieter Jansen, 1 Sithembiso Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Len Massyn, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Jan-Louis la Grange, 23 Jamba Ulengo.
Griquas: 15 Anthony Volmink, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Michal Haznar, 12 Chris Smith, 11 Eduan Keyter, 10 George Whitehead (captain), 9 Christiaan Meyer, 8 Zandre Jordaan, 7 Sias Koen, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Victor Sekekete, 4 Ian Groenewald, 3 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 2 AJ le Roux, 1 Khwezi Mona.
Replacements: 16 Wilmar Arnoldi, 17 Nqobisizwe Mxoli, 18 Johan Momsen, 19 Neill Jordaan, 20 Chriswill September, 21 Thinus de Beer, 22 Bjorn Basson, 23 Ruan Kramer.
Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge, Quinton Immelman
TMO: Christie du Preez
Photo credit: @LionsRugbyCo