Hacjivah Dayimani scored a brace as the Golden Lions claimed a 38-35 bonus-point win over the Blue Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday. JON CARDINELLI reports.
The game at Loftus Versfeld witnessed a fierce breakdown contest, an ordinary defensive showing by both teams, and some fine finishing. Ultimately, the Lions showed the necessary composure at the death to emerge with the victory.
The Lions fought hard to stay in the contest. Every time the Bulls scored, the visitors responded at the other end of the park.
The Bulls struck a telling blow right before half-time. Ruan Steenkamp powered over the line for his second score of the evening, and the hosts went to the shed with a 28-21 lead.
Steenkamp claimed his third try in the 51st minute when he wrestled his way out of a tackle and planted the ball on the line. Three minutes later, however, the flanker was shown a yellow card for a cynical offence at the maul.
For 10 minutes, the 14-man Bulls side fought hard to keep the Lions out. Just as the yellow-card sanction was about the expire, Dayimani rounded the defence to score. The conversion by Shaun Reynolds saw the Lions trailing by four points with 15 minutes left in the game.
Dayimani broke the line to score his second of the game and propel his team into the lead. The Bulls were left to chase the game in the final nine minutes.
The Lions proceeded to hold their nerve in the dying moments. They won a scrum penalty on their own line in the 75th minute, and then repelled wave after wave of the Bulls’ attack.
Fittingly, it was Dayimani who won the penalty at the breakdown that effectively sealed the result for the visitors.
Blue Bulls – Tries: André Warner, Ruan Steenkamp (3), Johnny Kotze. Conversions: Manie Libbok (5).
Golden Lions – Tries: Shaun Reynolds, James Venter, Dillon Smit, Hacjivah Dayimani (2). Conversions: Reynolds (5). Penalty: Reynolds.
Blue Bulls – 15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Jade Stighling, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 JT Jackson, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 André Warner, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (c), 7 Jano Venter, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Hendré Stassen, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Matthys Basson.
Subs: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Conrad van Vuuren, 18 Ruan Nortje, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Ivan van Zyl, 21 Tinus de Beer, 22 Duncan Matthews.
Golden Lions – 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Shaun Reynolds, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Len Massyn, 6 James Venter, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Rhyno Herbst, 3 Johannes Jonker, 2 Corné Fourie, 1 Sti Sithole.
Subs: 16 Pieter Jansen, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Vincent Tshituka, 21 Madosh Tambwe, 22 Wandisile Simelane.
Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix