The Golden Lions scored nine tries in their 62-41 hammering of Griquas in Johannesburg on Friday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
New coach Ivan van Rooyen will be pleased that his side came away with maximum log points after a rather subdued first-half performance by the Lions’ standards.
Griquas led 20-19 at half-time despite the Lions enjoying 70% of possession. In the end, though, the Lions’ star quality came through in the second half to ensure the new coaching regime’s term starts off on a winning note.
Courtnall Skosan scored a hat-trick for the Lions, Shaun Reynolds converted eight of his 10 kicks at goal, hooker Corné Fourie made several linebreaks and competed excellently at the breakdown. But it was Man of the Match Hacjivah Dayimani who stole the show with his brace.
The visitors suffered an early setback when centre Christopher Bosch was forced off due to injury, and yet Griquas refused to be pushovers as they matched the Lions blow-for-blow. A horrible mix-up at a set lineout move by the Lions led to the ball squirting loose and bouncing kindly for André Swarts, who scuttled away to give his side a 10-7 advantage after 15 minutes.
Springbok duo Ross Cronjé and Skosan went over in quick succession for the Lions, but their poor kick-off receipts proved costly as Griquas added 10 points to their tally to regain the lead.
Griquas were reduced to 14 players when Wendal Wehr saw yellow for a cynical infringement. However, the Lions turned down the three points on offer in favour of the lineout, but in their desperation to get over the line, the ball carrier was isolated and conceded a penalty to end the half.
The Lions simply overpowered Griquas after the resumption. Nine of the game’s 14 tries came in the second half, with the Lions going over six times.
With Wehr still serving his 10 minutes in the sin bin, the Lions cashed in with tries by Sylvian Mahuza, Len Massyn and Skosan.
In a weirdly frenetic last 15 minutes, both teams added three more tries, but the Lions were so far ahead that Griquas’ efforts only served to add respectability to the scoreboard.
Golden Lions – Tries: Hacjivah Dayimani (2), Ross Cronjé, Courtnall Skosan (3), Sylvian Mahuza, Len Massyn, Wandisile Simelane. Conversions: Shaun Reynolds (7). Penalty: Reynolds.
Griquas – Tries: André Swarts, Khwezi Mkhafu, Wilmar Arnoldi, Kyle Steyn, AJ Coertzen. Conversions: George Whitehead (5). Penalties: Whitehead (2).
Golden Lions – 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Jan-Louis la Grange, 12 Manni Rass, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Shaun Reynolds, 9 Ross Cronjé, 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 HP van Schoor, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 JP Steenkamp, 19 Vincent Tshituka, 20 Dillon Smit, 21 Tyrone Green, 22 Wandisile Simelane.
Griquas – 15 Eric Zana, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Kyle Steyn (c), 12 Christopher Bosch, 11 AJ Coertzen , 10 George Whitehead, 9 Christiaan Meyer, 8 Conway Pretorius, 7 Sias Koen, 6 Wendal Wehr, 5 Pieter van Vuren, 4 Sintu Manjezi, 3 Nicolaas Oosthuizen, 2 Khwezi Mkhafu, 1 Devon Martinus.
Subs: 16 Wilmar Arnoldi, 17 Ruan Kramer, 18 Wandile Putuma, 19 Eital Bredenkamp, 20 Izak Burger, 21 Jonathan Janse van Rensburg, 22 Andre Swarts.
Photo: Gordon Arons/Gallo Images