KSA Shark ©

Lions persist for key bonus point

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :Currie Cup, In the news, Lions, Other SA Teams on 21 Sep 2008 at 09:27

Persistent pressure by the Xerox Lions eventually paid off as they beat the Boland Kavaliers 31-10 in their Absa Currie Cup match in Wellington on Saturday, gaining a potentially crucial bonus point after the final hooter.

SuperRugby reports that the five points moved the Lions up to second on the log, one point ahead of the Blue Bulls, and Eugene Eloff and his men were anxiously awaiting news from Bloemfontein where the Bulls played the Free State Cheetahs later on Saturday.

The Lions, enjoying tremendous service from a completely dominant pack, thoroughly dominated territory and possession and flyhalf Earl Rose impressed as he directed affairs skilfully with slick hands and good kicking.

The Kavaliers, however, made a nuisance of themselves like yappy dogs as they defended for all they were worth and the Lions were forced into a nervous final quarter as they were seeking their fourth try.

But the Gauteng backline is showing such excellent hands and skill in offloading in the tackle that they were a consistent threat throughout and will be for the closing stages of the Currie Cup.

The Lions had their first try in just the second minute as wing Trompie Nontshinga left the Boland defence grasping at thin air as he came in behind a decoy runner and sliced through to the goal-line.

But the visitors only managed to eke out one more try before half time, with the field a quagmire that closely resembled a waterhole after a herd of elephant had spent the morning in it.

The Kavaliers closed the gap to 7-5 midway through the first half as scrumhalf Marnus Hugo reacted quickly to the shrill blast of referee Phillip Bosch’s whistle and took a tap penalty, allowing eighthman David Hendricks, who produced a top-class effort in a losing cause, to charge over the line.

But the Kavaliers conceded points at the other end almost immediately as the Lions’ second try came just two minutes later, Nontshinga ensuring that he straightened the line before passing to fullback Louis Ludik, who passed to wing Michael Killian for the try.

Rose kicked the conversion and a penalty and, 17-5 up at the break, the Lions looked on course in their efforts to secure a home semi-final.

The Kavaliers were the first to score after the break though, as a lapse in concentration by Nontshinga gifted them a 43rd-minute try.

Lions flank Cobus Grobbelaar dropped the ball with the tryline open and Boland wing Deon Scholtz kicked and chased practically the length of the field with only Nontshinga keeping up with him.

But in diving over the line in an effort to ground the ball, Scholtz failed to make contact with the ball.

Nontshinga, instead of dotting the ball down, gave it a feeble prod with his boot and Boland flyhalf Elgar Watts, following up to congratulate Scholtz, somewhat fortuitously applied enough pressure to the ball for a try to count as he touched it.

The Lions recovered from this shock though and, six minutes later, their slick hands and ability to keep the ball alive in contact laid bare the Boland defence, with outside centre Jaco Pretorius finishing well in the left corner.

But Boland defended enthusiastically for the rest of the match and the Lions were starting to get frustrated as the clock ticked into the final quarter and then into just the teens remaining.

The final hooter went and it was now or never for the Lions, who responded by stealing a Boland lineout and spreading the ball wide left. Flank Derick Minnie, who had played with impressive urgency throughout, grabbed the ball at the base of a ruck and was able to force his way over for a crucial try that will be greeted with dismay in Pretoria.

There is no doubt the Lions, beaten finalists last year, are well poised to make another strong challenge on the title this year.

Boland Kavaliers – Tries: David Hendricks, Elgar Watts.

Xerox Lions – Tries: Trompie Nontshinga, Michael Killian, Jaco Pretorius, Derick Minnie. Conversions: Earl Rose (4). Penalty: Rose.


  • Not good for my heart to leave it so late!

  • Comment 1, posted at 21.09.08 13:25:02 by walter van transvaal.co.za Reply
    walter van Lions World
  • @walter van transvaal.co.za (Comment 1) :

    you must have had a heart attack when that hooter blew so early. 😆

  • Comment 2, posted at 21.09.08 13:27:55 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • I was seriously thinking that we hashed it without the bonus try..listening to it on the radio made that much more frustrating..chuffed we got the try eventually as it would have placed added pressure on us if the Lions didn’t secure the full 5 points.

    This coming weekend is a big game and a chance to measure ourselves against the form team of the CC.In truth this match should be a indicator if we have any chance of progressing to the finals and possibly winning the CC this year. Its a long shot with al possible teams in very good form with their Boks back.Ou eventual downfall could be our lack in depth.4 big games in a row could be just to much.

    LIONS !

  • Comment 3, posted at 21.09.08 13:32:03 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply
  • I hate to bring this up on this thread but I think the three confirmed semi-finalists are Sharks, Bulls & Cheetahs.

    The three teams with problems in the last two weeks are Sharks, Lions & WP. Coz they are playing each other where the Bulls and Cheetahs are playing minnows.

    Am busy writing a piece on how I think it will turn out. Will put it up on Monday morning.

  • Comment 4, posted at 21.09.08 13:36:16 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 4) :

    A jolt back to reality..thanks KSA 🙄 😉

    You right though it was always going to come down to whether or not the Lions can get any points against the Sharks or Province.We’re lucky in the sense we have some points in the bag.Could have been worse in that we needed a win to progress.Truth is I would like to see us win atleast one of the 2 matches.

  • Comment 5, posted at 21.09.08 13:44:06 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply
  • @CoffeeShopBok;-) (Comment 5) :

    Sorry 🙂

    There are all these articles and comments about the Cheetahs are out of the semi’s and blah, blah blah.

    Seems everyone has forgotten that they are virtually assured 10 from their next two games and WE have to play each other. 🙁

  • Comment 6, posted at 21.09.08 13:52:49 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @CoffeeShopBok;-) (Comment 5) :

    When all this talk of the semi-finalist started you guys were 9 ahead of Province and you STILL are. I don’t think you could ask for more really.

    You need two points from 2 games to qualify. There is a LOT more pressure on WP and the way thay handled it in the last round of the S14 bodes well for you guys.

  • Comment 7, posted at 21.09.08 13:56:24 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 6) :

    As long as they both beat WP…

  • Comment 8, posted at 21.09.08 14:26:00 by bryce_in_oz Reply
  • @bryce_in_oz (Comment 8) :

    Wp only has one non minnow game coming up so they will only lose one of their games 😉 But that will be enough. 😛

  • Comment 9, posted at 21.09.08 14:56:30 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Earl Rose really has great hands, and his kicking and vision at 10 has really helped the Lions – I have enjoyed watching him this season.

  • Comment 10, posted at 21.09.08 18:18:56 by Big Fish (Norman Jordaan is a LEGEND) Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Norman Jordaan is a LEGEND) (Comment 10) :

    Couldn’t agree more… real twinkle-toes yet quite commanding… but his defence is nowhere at this level, let alone S14 and I doubt it ever will be..

  • Comment 11, posted at 22.09.08 06:57:29 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • @bryce_in_oz (Comment 11) :

    He is consistent in his tackling…he misses most of his tackles!

    Anyway, the guy that manned the hooter in this match must have been thirsty, in both halves he blew the hooter after 38mins…luckily it didn’t cost us the bonus point but it could have…

  • Comment 12, posted at 22.09.08 13:52:15 by walter van transvaal.co.za Reply

    walter van Lions World

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