Lions thrash Bulls
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.