Lions building momentum for Kings play off

The Golden Lions continued their preparations for the Super Rugby relegation/promotion play offs by beating a Blue Bulls team 12-50 in a friendly match at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.

The Lions will play a series of two matches against the Southern Kings (last placed SA team) starting later this month which will decide who plays in next year’s Super Rugby tournament.

The Johannesburg-based side fired on all cylinders in the first half scoring four unanswered tries for a 0-31 lead going into break.

They continually asked questions of the Bulls’ defence with some clever backline moves, but it was the forwards who cause the most damage.

Lions captain JC Janse van Rensburg proved once again why he is so highly-rated during scrum time and gave Marcell van der Merwe a baptism of fire in his debut for the men in blue.

The Bulls were outplayed in the scrums, with the Lions using their domination in this area to great effect.

Stokkies Hanekom found their way over the tryline for the Lions, two minutes into the match. Flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff converted the try for a 0-7 lead.

The Lions continued to grind their way over the advantage line and, seven minutes later, set up a try for prop Julian Redelinghuys.

Boshoff converted and added three more points through a penalty conversion.

On the half-hour mark, Hendrik Roodt crossed the whitewash for his side’s third try with Boshoff converting to extend their lead to 24 points.

With five minutes left in the first half, Deon van Rensburg scored from a an intercept to finish off with a long range sprint.

Boshoff added the two points to give the Lions a 0-31lead going into the break.

Despite the Bulls showing some improvements in defence, the Lions scored three more tries in the second period with flanker Derick Minnie scoring the first try after the break.

Anthony Volmink got into the action 13 minutes later, through some fleet-footed running as he toyed with the defence. He went outside and then cut to the inside to score under the posts, with Boshoff converting.

The Bulls’ eventual first try came courtesy of Jacques du Plessis, with Tony Jantjies converting the five-pointer.

Guy Cronje dotted down, for the Lions’ seventh try, in the left-hand corner which Lionel Cronje converted to bring up the team’s half-century.

The hosts had the final say when Ruan Snyman found a gap to score two minutes from time with Jantjies’ effort going wide.

Final Score Blue Bulls 12 (0) Golden Lions 50 (31)


Blue Bulls
Tries: Jacques du Plessis, Ruan Snyman
Conversion: Tony Jantjies.

Golden Lions
Tries: Stokkies Hanekom, Julian Redelinghuys, Hendrik Roodt, Deon van Rensburg, Derick Minnie, Anthony Volmink, Guy Cronje
Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff (5), Lionel Cronje
Penalty: Boshoff.

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