The Lions restored some pride in their Currie Cup campaign as they prevailed in a 12-try shootout against Griquas in Kimberley on Friday.
It was not a game either side’s defensive coaches will want to remember as nearly 100 points were scored in a 45-42 win. However, it did make for scintillating viewing for those sat on the couch.
The Lions have been caught in a stagnant Currie Cup season and needed to find some spark to kick their season into gear ahead of the United Rugby Championship. Against Griquas in Kimberley, they may well just have found the spark to light the fuse.
The visitors completely controlled the first half of the encounter. Tries from Andre Warner, Carlu Sadie and two from Duncan Matthews blew Griquas out of the water in the first 40 minutes.
The home side could not live with the tempo or the intensity of the Lions and even though they managed to register on the scoresheet through winger Enver Brandt, they still went into half-time trailing by three converted tries (7-28).
Having been caught off the pace in the first half, Griquas returned in the second determined to reverse their fortunes. They made a good start as Nqoba Mxoli powered over the line in the 47th minute, George Whitehead adding the extras.
Momentum swung one way and then the other as Griquas scored two further tries through Raegan Orange and Hanru Sirgel with the Lions retorting through Jordan Hendrickse and Ruhan Straeuli.
Flanker Sibusiso Sangweni of the Lions was yellow-carded with only five minutes to go and it seemed at that stage that the Lions had done enough in the first half to have secured the victory.
Griquas came storming back and with the one-man advantage registered another two tries through Ederies Arendse and Eduan Keyter.
The final surge from Griquas came just too late however and the Lions, despite losing the second half convincingly, had done just enough to cling on for the win.