The Golden Lions produced a stunning second-half display to down Western Province 30-28 in a Currie Cup thriller at Newlands on Saturday night.
The Lions wiped out a 21-13 half-time deficit to record their second win in the competition. They moved ahead of Province into third place in the standings, and find themselves one point behind second-placed Griquas and current leaders the Free State Cheetahs.
The home side looked like they were going to cruise to victory after a dominant first half. Scarra Ntubeni and Paul de Wet scored in the opening quarter to give the home side a commanding 14-0 lead.
The Lions crossed the line in the 26th minute courtesy of Ruben Schoeman with flyhalf Shaun Reynolds adding the extras. Province hooker Ntubeni, though, would score another maul try to take the score to 21-10. Lions pivot Reynolds kicked a penalty before the break to keep his side in with a chance.
Pieter Jansen hit back for the Lions five minutes after half time, but Springbok Dillyn Leyds scored Province’s bonus-point try six minutes later in an all-action encounter.
It was the Lions, though, who laughed last as Reynolds slotted two penalties in the second half, before fullback Tyrone Green crossed the line to give the guests the lead for the first time in the match.
WP flyhalf Josh Stander had a late penalty to win the match for his team, but hit the upright as Lions survived for a come-from-behind victory.
Western Province – Tries: Scarra Ntubeni (2), Paul de Wet, Dillyn Leyds. Conversions: Josh Stander (4).
Golden Lions – Tries: Ruben Schoeman, Pieter Jansen, Tyrone Green. Conversions: Shaun Reynolds (3). Penalties: Reynolds (3).
Western Province – 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 SP Marais, 10 Josh Stander, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 JD Schickerling, 6 Ernst van Rhyn, 5 Chris van Zyl (c), 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Corne Fourie.
Subs: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 David Meihuizen, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Edwill van der Merwe, 23 Sergeal Petersen.
Golden Lions – 15 Tyrone Green, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Jan-Louis la Grange, 11 Stean Pienaar; 10 Shaun Reynolds, 9 Ross Cronjé (c), 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Johannes Jonker, 2 Pieter Jansen, 1 Sti Sithole.
Subs: 16 PJ Botha, 17 Leo Kruger, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 James Venter, 21 Len Massyn, 22 Dillon Smit, 23 Manuel Rass.
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images