Golden Lions roar loudest in Coca-Cola Craven Week opener

The Golden Lions got the 42nd Coca-Cola Craven Week off to a rousing start in Bloemfontein yesterday when they shocked the local crowd by beating the host province, Free State 26-10 in the main game of the opening day yesterday.

The Lions came into the game as underdogs, but they produced a committed display, putting their opponents under pressure at the set pieces and tackling ferociously.

The tactic paid off, no more so than in the lineouts where Lions locks, Giant Nkosi and Marnus van Huyssten were outstanding, they won all their balls and poached a number of Free State throw-ins as well.

The Lions loose forwards were in great form and their flyhalf, Justin St Jerry and fullback, Byron Godfrey, were in control at the back.  Johan van Deventer, Jacobus Pienaar and Giant Nkosi scored tries for the Lions, with Christian van den Berg adding three penalties and a conversion.

For Free State Pierre du Toit and Josephus Oosthuizen scored tries.  The Border Country Districts team built on the good performance of the union’s under-13 side at the Under-13 Coca-Cola Craven Week in Potchefstroom last week by winning their opening game at this event. They tackled manfully and used what chances came their way to post a 19-17 win over the visitors from Zimbabwe.

In the second game of the day the Falcons will consider themselves unlucky to go down 22-17 to Griquas. The young Red Devils dominated the forward exchanges and they created plenty of chances, but a combination of handling errors and a sound Griquas defence prevented them from scoring at a time when they were constantly on attack.

The other game of the opening day was a bit of a mismatch. The Leopards ran in six tries to overwhelm a strangely subdued Boland side.


Border Country Districts 19 – Zimbabwe 17,

Griqualand West 22 – Falcons 17,

Leopards 46 – Boland 6,

Golden Lions 26 – Free State 10

The Powerade Man of the Match awards for the first day went to:

Border Country Districts v Zimbabwe – Nico Martens (Border CD),

Griqualand West v Falcons – Theuns Kotze (Griquas),

Leopards v Boland – Johannes Jackson

(Leopards), Free State v Golden Lions –  Johan van Deventer (Golden Lions).

Tuesday’s fixtures

1030am Namibia v Limpopo,

11-50am Griffons v Border,

1.10pm Pumas v SWD,

2.30pm Blue Bulls v KwaZulu-Natal,

4pm Investec Western Province v E Province.

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