Steyn's hat-trick helps Lions see off Griffons
MATCH REPORT: Lions recorded their first Currie Cup win of the season, beating the Griffons 41-26 at Ellis Park on Friday.
Both teams were desperate for a result, with both teams heading into the fixture winless.
The Griffons looked well on their way to securing a rare win with their 23-12 lead at the break in Johannesburg.
*To recap all the action CLICK HERE!!!
However, a hat-trick of tries by Nico Steyn in the last quarter steered the Lions to a bonus point victory.
It was a horrendous start for the Lions, after 20 minutes of play the team found themselves down to 14 men and trailing 7-13.
In contrast, it was an incredible start for Griffons. The side dominated the possession and territory.
A wonderful offload from Duane Pretorius sent Marquit September into the gap for the first try of the match.
Jaywinn Juries added the conversion and a penalty for a 10-0 lead with less than 10 minutes on the clock.
It took the hosts 13 minutes to break their duck. From the five-metre attacking line-out, captain Jaco Visagie fell short of the try line before Sibusiso Sangweni powered over the line for the try. Vaughn Isaacs’ conversion narrowed the deficit to three points.
Trailing 7-10 the Lions went down to 14 men after Tiaan Swanepoel was handed a yellow card for a deliberate knockdown.
Juries handed the visitors a 13-7 lead with a successful penalty. The Griffons had loads of momentum and from the back of a very well-worked-out driving maul, Dandre Delport crossed the line and handed his team their second try, 20-7.
Discipline was a big problem for the Lions team, they were handed their second yellow card when Raynard Roetz was sent to the bin for a high tackle.
Juries’ boot handed Griffons a healthy 23-7 lead.
Just short of the halftime break, the Lions crawled their way back as a flat pass by Swanepoel in the midfield saw the Lions recycle really quickly before Steyn Pienaar barged over the line.
Knowing they have to produce a massive second half, the Lions came out guns blazing.
They had a five-metre line-out inside the Griffons’ half, however, an obstruction halted all their efforts. And instead, it was the visitors who picked up points courtesy of a fourth Juries penalty, 26-12 after 46 minutes.
That would prove to be the last points for the Griffons as their lead soon evaporated.
The visitors were handed two yellow cards and with 13 men faced an uphill battle as the Lions immediately punished them with a Nico Steyn try.
Isaacs added the extras to take the Lions within seven points.
Soon the Lions levelled matters to 26-all as Steyn scored his second converted try.
With a little over 10 minuted on the clock, the scrumhalf soon had his hat trick, before Reinhard Roetz stretched over the line for the final nail in the Griffons’ coffin.
Swanepoel had the last say, as his successful penalty added took his team over the 40-point mark.
Man of the match: Griffons’ fullback Domenic Smit deserves a mention for his tactical kicks. Marquit September had the game of his life. The Griffons’ centre scored his team’s first try and was incredible with the ball in hand. He also had a crucial turnover. However, our nod goes to Lions scrumhalf Nico Steyn for his three tries during yeh fixture.
Tries: Sangweni, Pienaar, Steyn 3, Roetz
Cons: Isaacs 4
Tries: September, Delport
Cons: Juries 2
Pens: Juries 4
Yellow cards: Tiaan Swanepoel (Lions, 15 – deliberate knock-down); Raynard Roetz (Lions, 27 – dangerous high tackle), Duan Pretorius (Griffons, 54 – deliberate offside), Mitch Carstens (Griffons, 55 – deliberate offside)
Lions: 15 Tiaan Swanepoel, 14 Boldwin Isaacs, 13 Steyn Pienaar, 12 Tyler Bocks, 11 Ilugna Mukendi, 10 Vaughan Isaacs, 9 Nico Steyn, 8 Jarod Cairns, 7 Ruhan Straeuli, 6 Sibusiso Sangweni, 5 Darrien-Lane Landsberg, 4 Raynard Roetz, 3 Ruan Smith, 2 Jaco Visagie (captain), 1 Sithembiso Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Michael Van Vuuren, 17 Morgan Naude, 18 Kabous Bezuidenhout, 19 PJ Steenkamp, 20 Pieter Janse Van Vuren, 21 Renzo Du Plessis, 22 Kelly Mpeku, 23 Jurich Claasens
Griffons: 15 Domenic Smit, 14 Randall Fielies, 13 Carel-Jan Coetzee, 12 Marquit September, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Duan Pretorius, 9 Jaywinn Juries, 8 Sokuphumla Xakalashe, 7 Jean Pretorius, 6 Mitchell Carstens, 5 Michael Benadie, 4 Jaco Willemse, 3 Doctor Booysen, 2 Dandre Delport, 1 Stephan de Jager
Replacements: 16 Hendrik van Schoor, 17 Xolani Jacobs, 18 Neo Mohapi, 19 Wikus Nieuwenhuis, 20 Curtly Thomas, 21 Richman Gora, 22 Robbie Petzer, 23 Keanu Vers, 24 Buhle Nojekwa, 25 Thomas Ongera, 26 Duren Hoffman
Referee: Morne Ferreira
Assistant Referees: Local
TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen