Lions move into second with comprehensive win
CURRIE CUP MATCH REPORT: The Lions made a massive statement with a comprehensive 27-12 win over the Sharks in a Round Four encounter at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Outscoring the visitors by two tries to nil, the Lions moved past the Sharks into second place on the standings.
The win was based on two aspects of the game.
The Lions’ defence was well organised, with only the occasional hint of a crack in the wall.
In the scrums the Sharks were constantly under pressure, conceding several penalties, while the line-outs were more of an even contest.
Those scrum penalties came back to haunt the visitors in the end.
* As it happened. To recap all the drama, CLICK HERE!
In the opening minutes, Elton Jantjies opened the Lions’ account with a penalty, before a couple of scrum penalties brought them to within metres of the Sharks’ line.
A fractured maul, a few phases and quick hands saw Courtnall Skosan go over in the left corner. Jantjies’ conversion attempt drifted agonisingly wide – 8-0, after 14 minutes.
The Sharks’ first real scoring opportunity was a penalty sot by Curwin Bosch, from just on 60 metres out, bouncing over the crossbar off the uptight – 3-8.
Bosch kept the Sharks in the game with another 60-metre effort, closing the gap to just two points, 6-8, after 22 minutes.
A few minutes later the Sharks conceded a line-out penalty and from 40 metres out Tiaan Swanepoel stretched the lead to five points again – 11-6.
Just on 35 minutes the Sharks were penalised at a tackle and Jantjies, from virtually in front, added the three points – 14-6.
That’s how it stayed till half-time.
Early in the second half, the Lions were penalised right in front of their own uprights, with Bosch closing the gap to five points again – 9-14.
The Lions now enjoyed a period of territorial domination and the pressure eventually told when the Sharks conceded an offside penalty in the 57th minute. Swanepoel, from 40 metres out, added three moire points – 17-9.
Another couple of offside penalties against the Sharks allowed Jantjies a shot at goal in the 63rd minute. He stretched his team’s lead to 11 points – 20-9.
The Sharks managed to enjoy a period of possession and eventually won a penalty near the Lions’ 10-metre line – with Bosch narrowing the gap to 12-20 with a crucial three points.
With just under 10 minutes remaining Wandisile Simelane opened the Sharks defence like a can of sardines and sent Swanepoel over for the home team’s second try. The conversion made it 27-12.
That’s how it ended.
Man of the match: Curwin Bosch managing the game very well and his penalties kept the Sharks ion the game till well into the second half. Sibusiso Nkosi produced a great defensive game – shutting down the Lions’ attempts to get the ball wide and chasing restarts very well. Wandisile Simelane created the moment of magic that sealed the win for the Lions. Jaco Visagie, despite some disciplinary lapses, made a valuable contribution. Wilhelm Van Der Sluys also worked hard on defence. Our award goes to veteran Lions lock Willem Alberts – who made some string carries, did his work in the set pieces and was particularly brutal on defence.
For the Lions
Tries: Skosan, Swanepoel
Pens: Jantjies 3, Swanepoel 2
For the Sharks
Pens: Bosch 4
Lions: 15 Tiaan Swanepoel, 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 André Warner, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Dylan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Roelof Smit, 21 Morné van den Berg, 22 Burger Odendaal, 23 Jamba Ulengo.
Sharks: 15 Manie Libbok, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Dylan Richardson, 5 Aston Fortuin, 4 Juan van der Mescht, 3 Michael Kumbirai, 2 Kerron van Vuren, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Fezokuhle Mbatha, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John Hubert-Meyer, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 James Venter, 21 Phendulani Buthelezi, 22 Jaden Hendrikse, 23 Jeremy Ward.
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Cwengile Jadezweni, Aimee Barrett-Theron
TMO: Stuart Berry