Lions make a statement against Southern Kings

The Lions issued a statement to SARugby on Tuesday by hammering the Southern Kings 88-0 in a pre-season Super Rugby warm up match in George.

SARugby has stated that the Southern Kings will be included in Super Rugby from 2013.

However as expanding the tournament appears to have been ruled out the Kings inclusion will most likely be at the expense of the Lions or the Cheetahs.

The Lions have struggled throughout the last decade of Super Rugby but this scoreline clearly shows that the Southern Kings are a long way from Super Rugby level.

The Southern Kings were playing without some of their better players as they were saving them for their match against the Sharks later this week but this also indicates that they lack the depth to compete at Super Rugby level.

The team played was a mix of Border, South Western Districts players and Southern Kings players.

Elton Jantjies orchestrated the Lions backline and crossed for two tries and kicked nine conversions for a personal tally of 28 points.

The Kings are in the process of assessing their potential Super Rugby contenders and this latest match will have given the team management further feedback to consider.

In posting such an impressive performance, admittedly against opposition not at the same level, the Lions sent out a strong message that they intend to follow up their Currie Cup triumph last year.

It will obviously be a different playing field when the competition starts next week, but the Lions looked full of confidence last night and played with superb cohesion.

This was illustrated early in the game when three of their first four tries came from driving mauls after lineouts on the five-metre line.

The Kings simply could not stop the Lions’ teamwork on the drive, resulting in two tries by Derick Minnie, another by Cobus Grobbelaar, as well as a penalty try.

As the Lions forwards effectively recycled the ball, scrumhalf Michael Bondesio provided an accurate and lively service for Jantjies, who showed crisp distribution to have the Kings constantly on the defence.

The home side never gave up trying, but no team can keep plugging the gaps and the 40-0 score at halftime was a clear signal of who was in control.

Skipper Gareth Krause and No 8 Michael Vermaak were always in the thick of things and wing Vuyo Mboto had one or two chances down the right flank, but the Kings’ execution often lacked the necessary accuracy due to the greater pressure they were under.

It did not help matters early in the second half when the constant bombardment by the Lions saw the Kings commit too many infringements for referee Marius Jonker’s liking and two yellow cards in quick succession reduced them to 13 men at one stage.

The Lions made the most of this, running in three tries in four minutes to ensure there would be no easy way out for the home side.

In the end, the Lions crossed for 13 tries, plus the penalty try, while Jantjies landed nine of his 13 attempts at goal.

The Southern Kings now face their final match of the pre-season friendlies when they come up against the Sharks at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday evening.

Final Score Southern Kings 0 (0) Lions 88 (33)


Tries: Derick Minnie 2, Deon van Rensburg 2, James Kamana 2, Elton Jantjies 2, Cobus Grobbelaar, Hendrik Roodt, Patric Cilliers, Callie Visagie 2, Penalty try
Con : Elton Jantjies 9

Southern Kings

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