Golden Lions stay unbeaten in Currie Cup

Jaco van der Walt looks to attack for the Lions

The Golden Lions beat Griquas 29-19 to finished their regular Currie Cup season as the only team in the tournament who went unbeaten.

The men from Johannesburg returned a perfect 10 wins from the round robin stage of the historic tournament and will face the Free State Cheetahs in the semifinals next Saturday at their home venue.

Earlier in the day, in Bloemfontein, the Cheetahs qualified for the semis in dramatic fashion as they drew (34-34) with the Sharks.

The Lions are likely to be the fresher of the two sides as coach Johan Ackermann rested several of his top performers for the dead rubber against Griquas at Ellis Park.

And despite making wholesale changes to his matchday 22, his so-called ‘B Team’ showed that there is uniformity in the coaching structures at the Lions.

Centre Jacques Nel scored a brace and in both instances it was largely due to the exemplary play the Lions delivered from broken play.

Griquas’ eighthman Carel Greeff scored the first try of the match and then Lions winger Sampie Mastriet joined the party when he dived over in the 12th minute. Both tries were converted and the sides were level-pegging at seven-all.

Kwagga Smith shrugged off three defenders before barging over the line for the Lions’ second try and Tian Meyer responded for the Griquas minutes later. Again, both conversion attempts were on target, and the sides changed ends at 14-all.

Jaco van der Walt put his side ahead (17-14) with a penalty before Nel made it safe with the first of his two tries, both of which were converted to cap the Lions’ 14-point scoring burst.

His first was from almost 80 metres out while the second was on the final whistle.

If there is one thing Griquas had no shortage of this season it has to be courage as the men from Kimberley again soldiered on valiantly for the full 80-minutes.

Another season trait has been their inefficiency to capitalise when they enjoyed good field position.

For Griquas, substitute Dylon Frylinck scored his team’s lone touchdown which went unconverted (29-19).

Final Score Golden Lions 29 (14) Griquas 19 (14)

Scorers

Golden Lions
Tries: Sampie Mastriet, Kwagga Smith, Jacques Nel (2).
Conversions: Jaco van der Walt (3).
Penalty: Van der Walt.

Griquas
Tries: Tian Meyer, Carel Greeff, Dylon Frylinck
Conversions: Gouws Prinsloo, (2).

Match Official
Referee: AJ Jacobs

Teams

Golden Lions

15 Vainon Willis, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 Jacques Nel, 12 Gerdus van der Walt, 11 Mark Richards, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Ricky Schroeder (c), 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Ruaan Lerm, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Bobby de Wee, 4 MB Lusaseni, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Dylan Smith.

Replacements: 16 Mark Pretorius, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Fabian Booysen, 19 Stephan de Witt, 20 Lohan Jacobs, 21 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 22 Salom Gavor.

Griquas

15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 Sandile Ngcobo, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Ntabeni Dukisa, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Tian Meyer (c), 8 Carel Greeff, 7 Jono Janse van Rensburg, 6 RJ Liebenberg, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Jonathan Adendorf, 3 Stephan Kotze, 2 Sidney Tobias, 1 Danie Minnie.

Replacements: 16 Abraham le Roux, 17 Steph Roberts, 18 Leon Karemaker, 19 Wendal Wehr, 20 Dylon Frylinck, 21 Riaan Viljoen, 22 Jonathan Francke.

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