The Golden Lions scored nine tries as they cruised to a comprehensive 60-12 win over the Boland Cavaliers at Ellis Park on Friday evening. CRAIG LEWIS reports.
After last weekend’s shock defeat to Griquas, this was the ideal response from the Lions as they bossed proceedings from start to finish.
The result was also testament to the depth that has been created at the Johannesburg-based union, with a completely new-look team seamlessly embracing an attractive brand of rugby that continues to reap rewards.
Boland would have expected the Lions to come hard at them in the opening quarter and look to run them off their feet, and that certainly proved to be the case as the hosts kicked off proceedings with real intent.
Selom Gavor scored as early as the fifth minute after some good buildup play, while fellow winger Anthony Volmink soon finished off another try after a beautiful break from fullback Andries Coetzee.
Although Boland were immediately set on the back foot, the visitors did prove effective in repeatedly holding up the Lions runners in the tackle, and it was after earning a scrum from this abrasive defence that lock Joubert Horn was able to go over under the posts.
It only proved to be a brief respite, though, as beautiful handling again created a try for nippy scrumhalf Dillon Smit, while after the half-time hooter had sounded, centre Jacques Nel was put away for the Lions’ bonus-point try.
Although No 8 Wayne Wilschut had managed to dot down for a second Boland try in the 36th minute, the late Lions five-pointer sent the hosts into a commanding 27-12 lead at the break.
Once again, a considerable problem area for Boland in the opening half proved to be their first-time tackling, with 22 missed attempts allowing the Lions to make the most of their attacking opportunities.
It was also clear that Boland were battling to live with the pace of the game, particularly in the highveld conditions, and the Lions duly extended their lead as Victor Sekekete and Gavor both went over to score within the first 15 minutes of the restart.
With the result effectively sealed, the final quarter turned into a somewhat scrappy affair, but Howard Mnisi, JW Bell and Dylan Smith would all add to the Lions' healthy try tally as the half-century mark was brought up before full-time.
Golden Lions – Tries: Selom Gavor (2), Anthony Volmink, Dillon Smit, Jacques Nel, Victor Sekekete, Howard Mnisi, JW Bell, Dylan Smith. Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff (6). Penalty: Boshoff.
Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Joubert Horn, Wayne Wilschut. Conversion: Theuns Kotzé.
Golden Lions – 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Selom Gavor, 13 Jacques Nel, 12 Howard Mnisi (c), 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Victor Sekekete, 6 Steph de Wit, 5 Martin Muller, 4 Ruan Ackermann, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Corné Fourie.
Subs: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Bobby de Wee, 19 Cyle Brink, 20 Ross Cronjé, 21 Koch Marx, 22 JW Bell.
Boland Cavaliers – 15 Adriaan Carelse, 14 Sergio Torrens, 13 Christopher Bosch, 12 Ryan Nel, 11 Danwel Demas, 10 Theuns Kotzé, 9 Gerhard Jordaan, 8 Wayne Wilschut, 7 Shaun McDonald, 6 Shaun Adendorff, 5 Joubert Horn, 4 Hanno Kitshoff, 3 Basil Short, 2 Francois Esterhuizen, 1 Francois Hanekom.
Subs: 16 Clemen Lewis, 17 Enoch Mnyaka, 18 SP Wessels, 19 Ockie van Zyl, 20 Kenan Cronjé, 21 Marnus Hugo, 22 Gerrit van Wyk.
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images