Lions thrash Bulls

CityPress - - Sport - DAN RETIEF dan.retief@city­press.co.za

The yel­low hue of the su­per­moon that bathed Joburg’s El­lis Park in shim­mer­ing light last night aptly shone for the Golden Lions as they made a con­fi­dent start to their Absa Cur­rie Cup sea­son.

Up against their neigh­bours from across the Jukskei, the Lions played in the navy-blue-and-white colours of the old Dig­gers club, the strip of Transvaal when they first en­tered the com­pe­ti­tion, to mark the union’s 125th an­niver­sary. They con­firmed pre­tour­na­ment pre­dic­tions that they should be among the favourites to lift the tro­phy.

To un­der­score their dom­i­nance, the Lions scored their fourth try just be­fore full time to claim a bonus point.

The Lions struck early on as they demon­strated their abil­ity to switch from de­fence to at­tack as a dropped ball af­ter a high kick was quickly swung wide and cen­tre Stokkies Hanekom ran and jinked in­side strongly to carry it over the try line.

With Mar­nitz Boshoff con­tin­u­ing to strike the ball as smoothly as he had in Su­per Rugby, the Lions ben­e­fited from the Bulls’ mis­takes and the fly half un­der­lined his value by also snap­ping over a drop goal.

The Bulls had their chances but poor op­tion-tak­ing and con­tin­ued awk­ward­ness when try­ing to move the ball cost them dearly just be­fore the break, when an at­tempted skip pass by Jac­ques-Louis Pot­gi­eter with his line ly­ing too flat was picked off by Ruan Com­brinck. The winger needed no fur­ther in­vi­ta­tion to race away to the far end of the field.

Boshoff’s con­ver­sion boosted the Lions to a com­mand­ing 20-point lead at the break.

The Bulls made the start they needed in the sec­ond half with a fine try by Sampie Mas­triet. But the Lions were not to be de­nied and were soon back in stride.

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