Lions smash Leopards in Currie Cup

The Lions seized the advantage in the last quarter of their Currie Cup match against the Platinum Leopards on Saturday to run out 40-19 winners.


The visitors scored three second half tries after Leopards inside centre Japie Nel was red carded for allegedly groping an opponent’s private parts, with his side down by two points at 18-16.


It was one-way traffic with the Leopards one man down and captain Willem Alberts, hooker Cherry Bomb van Dyk and Earl Rose sealed a victory to make the scoreline easier than it actually was when the sides competed in even numbers.


Clayton Durand opened the scoring with a drop goal through the centre of the posts after five or six phases but his former Lions Under 20 and Pukke team-mate Walter Venter scored soon afterwards when Jean Tiedt botched up a Earl Rose up and under.


The two sides sparred for the next 20 minutes before Leopards left winger Jovan Bowles found a Lions pass in his bread-basket and he raced away 60 meters to score unchallenged for the home side to take a 10-5 lead.


Bowles soon found himself in the sin-bin when Jano Vermaak sniped when they were rewarded a penalty.


Vermaak slipped and Bowles went in high. Earl Rose was successful with his first kick from slap-bang in front.


Outside centre Rouan Cloete seemed destined to run in unchallenged minutes later but slipped yards short of the goal-line and the Leopards scrambled to survive another close call.


Venter scored his second minutes before the break to give the Lions back their lead after a swooping move which started in their own ’25 when Dusty Noble marked the ball and played to his left, where the Lions had more players.


Durand pulled the Lions halftime lead of 15-10 back to two points with a precision kick from 40 metres out and kicked another penalty from close to the touch-line to put the Leopards ahead eight minutes after the restart.


The Lions had to introduce Herkie Kruger to get them back in the lead with his goal-kicking after Deon van Rensburg was judged to hold on.


Big Japie Nel was red-carded for groping an opponent with the Leopards on attack and Lions hooker Hans van Dyk scored at the bottom of a maul which looked suspiciously like a truck-and-trailer.


With ten minutes to go Clayton Durand slotted his second drop-goal of the match from 40 meters out the close the gap to four points.


Lions captain Willem Alberts bulldozed his way over to score the bonus point try and settle matters for the visitors who sailed into an eleven point lead.


Earl Rose mesmerized the Leopards defence in the dying minutes to score under the posts and seal an eventual lop-sided victory.


Final Score Leopards 19 Lions 40


Scorers:


Leopards:
Try: Jovan Bowles.
Conversion: Clayton Durand.
Penalty: Durand.
Drop Goals: Durand (2).


Lions:
Try: Walter Venter (2), Hans van Dyk, Willem Alberts.
Conversions: Earl Rose, Herkie Kruger.
Penalties: Rose, Herkie Kruger (2).

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