Lions bite Sharks and still lead Currie Cup

The Lions ensured that they entered the second half of the Currie Cup leading the table as they beat the Sharks 28-19 at Coca-Cola Park on Saturday.

The Golden Lions got off to an early start and took the lead through Elton Jantjies boot and Lionel Mapoe went over for the first try of the match.

The Lions extended their lead and led 19-9 at the half time with all of the Sharks first half points coming from penalties.

The man of the match was Jantjies who kicked eight out of eight of his kicks at goal for a total of 23 points.

The young pivot Jannot only kicked well from hand, he also ran outstanding lines on attack and was no slouch in defence either.

Although the match started at a frantic pace, both sides were guilty of making too many unforced errors with the Sharks coming of worse because of ill-discipline at the tackle area.

That gave Jantjies the opportunity to give his side a 6-0 lead through two quick penalty conversions.

The Sharks were, however, not misled by the scoreboard and were quick to get back inside Lions territory.

The coastal side’s dominance at the scrums earned them their first points though flyhalf Frederic Michalak.

That specific set phase continued to be an area of concern for the Johannesburg squad for most of the match.

The first try came in the 20th minute when centre Lionel Mapoe finished off a passage of play during which Jantjies’s brilliance was the main thing separating the two sides.

The pivot not only delivered a pin point kick-off that ensured his side regained possession, he also cut through the Sharks backline with the greatest of ease.

While trailing 13-3, Michalak converted his second penalty of the night as the Lions again struggled to get their scrums going.

One of the highlights of the first half involved Lions prop Patric Cilliers who made a thumping tackle on the Sharks’ Louis Ludik near the halfway line.

Cilliers, a former Sharks player, was one of the stand-out performers for the Lions on the night.

Jantjies converted his fourth penalty just before the break and this ensured his team enjoyed a 10 point lead with 40 minutes left to play.

After testing the home side’s defence for a prolonged period, the Sharks finally managed to get over the try line in the 60th minute when Stefan Terblanche took advantage of a quick-tap penalty taken by Michalak.

Leading up to that, Springbok Jean Deysel made his presence felt by barging over a few defenders although the Sharks coaching team would have expected more from his bench.

Prior to the important five-pointer, the Lions had extended their lead to 25-9 as Jantjies simply couldn’t put a foot wrong.

A long range penalty conversion by Meyer Bosman brought the men from Durban even closer and with 10 minutes left to play they were well within striking distance as the score was 25-19.

Jantjies had other ideas and nailed seventh and final kick to seal the deal.

Final Score Golden Lions 28 (19) Sharks 19 (9)


Golden Lions
Penalties: Elton Jantjies (7)
Try: Lionel Mapoe
Conversion: Jantjies.

Penalties: Frederic Michalak (3) Meyer Bosman
Try: Stefan Terblanche
Conversion: Michalak.

Attendance : 31509


Golden Lions: Jaco Taute, Deon van Rensburg, Lionel Mapoe, Alwyn Hollenbach, Michael Killian, Elton Jantjies, Michael Bondesio, Warren Whiteley, Derick Minnie, Cobus Grobbelaar (capt.), Franco van der Merwe, Wikus van Heerden, Patric Cilliers, Bandise Maku, JC Janse van Rensburg.

Replacements: Martin Bezuidenhout, Jacobie Adriaanse, Johan Snyman, Michael Rhodes, Jaco Kriel, Doppies La Grange, Burton Francis.

Sharks: Louis Ludik, Sibusiso Sithole, St

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