Lions power past Pumas

The Golden Lions secured a second successive bonus-point win in the Currie Cup as they overcame a passionate Pumas side 44-27, CRAIG LEWIS reports.

Ill discipline cost the Pumas dearly as two penalty tries went the way of the Lions, who certainly didn’t have it all their own way for much of the encounter at Ellis Park.

Although the Lions had to live off scraps, they will happily take the five log points, having kicked off their campaign with a comprehensive win over the EP Kings last weekend.

Pumas flyhalf JC Roos missed two early penalties, and was made to pay when opposite number Marnitz Boshoff slotted an impressive long-range drop goal in the eighth minute.

Perhaps the inaccuracy from Roos in front of the poles influenced the Pumas’ decision to kick for the corner rather than the posts midway through the first half, and they were rewarded when flank Marnus Schoeman scored from the back of the driving lineout.

Roos redeemed himself with a touchline conversion to hand the visitors a 7-3 lead, although Boshoff cut that deficit to one point with a penalty soon after.

Centre Harold Vorster scored an impressive solo try in the 25th minute, while the Lions were then awarded a penalty try after a scrum infringement from the Pumas, enabling the hosts to open up a 20-10 lead before half-time.

The Pumas struck back straight after the restart with a try to winger Bernado Botha, but that was almost immediately cancelled out when his opposite number Courtnall Skosan returned the favour.

Roos slotted a 48th-minute penalty to make it a seven-point ball game, and Pumas captain Stefan Watermeyer then finished off his team’s third try.

Although the converted try saw the scores levelled at 27-27, it all changed in an instant as the Lions were awarded a second penalty try when a deliberate knock-down from Roos prevented a certain try. It allowed the Lions to bank their bonus point and re-establish a 10-point lead just before the hour mark, while Roos was shown a yellow card.

The result was sewn up when Lions replacement Stokkies Hanekom scored in the 71st minute, while Boshoff slotted an eighth kick out of eight to extend the lead to 44-27.

Although the Lions were reduced to 13 men late in the game when two yellow cards were dished out, the Pumas were unable to add to their score.

Golden Lions – Tries: Harold Vorster, penalty try (2), Courtnall Skosan, Stokkies Hanekom. Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff (5). Penalties: Boshoff (2). Drop goal: Boshoff
Pumas – Tries: Marnus Schoeman, Bernado Botha, Stefan Watermeyer. Conversions: JC Roos (3). Penalties: Roos (2)

Golden Lions – 15 Ruan Combrinck, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 Harold Vorster, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Jaco Kriel (c), 5 Martin Muller, 4 Franco Mostert, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Subs: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 MB Lusaseni, 19 Steph de Wit, 20 Lohan Jacobs, 21 Stokkies Hanekom, 22 Jaco van der Walt.

Pumas – 15 JW Bell, 14 Bernado Botha, 13 Jerome Pretorius, 12 Stefan Watermeyer (c), 11 Rosco Spekman, 10 JC Roos, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Lambert Groenewald, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marius Coetzer, 4 Giant Mtyanda, 3 De-Jay Terblanché, 2 Frank Herne, 1 Khwezi Mona.
Subs: 16 Francois du Toit, 17 Corné Fourie, 18 Jason-Colin Fraser, 19 Jaco Bouwer, 20 Reynier van Rooyen, 21 Justin van Staden, 22 Hoffmann Maritz.

Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

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