Merciless Lions set the tone for Craven Week
THE Golden Lions laid down the marker on the opening day of the Coca-Cola Craven Week at St Stithians College by beating Border 44-8 yesterday.
They scored seven tries, five of them in the second half, to run out comfortable winners after the Eastern Cape side restricted them to a 13-8 half time lead.
Border were unable to add to their score after the break while the Lions backs got into gear and ran them ragged in the end. Centre Yanga Hlalu notched up a hat-trick of tries and looked unstoppable at times. Fullback Kennedy Mpeku was also full of running for the hosts and was rewarded with a try.
The other Lions try-scorers were Tinus Combrink, David Cary, and Stefan Le Roux. Mpeku kicked a penalty and a conversion, with Luke Rossouw and Muzi Manyike also adding conversions.
Free State were also impressive as they ran in 12 tries in demolishing Boland 81-26 to showthere is nothing wrong with their traditional running game following their disappointing showing last year. Winger Henk Cilliers dotted down four times for them. Ruhan Greyling got two tries and Herman Agenberg, Marcel Theunissen, Ross Braude, Christopher Schreuder, Jencon Van Heyniging, Henk Cilliers and Teboho Rampai one each. Schreuder added a penalty and nine conversions.
In theother big games, Western Province showed that they have every intention of extending their two year-long unbeaten record when they beat a plucky Pumas side 36-10, after leading 19-3 at the break.
Christian Rossouw, Janko Swanepoel, Vian Fourie, Gerado Jaars, Dewald Kellerman and Muller Du Plessis scored the WP tries while Darren Hoffman converted three of them.
The Lions played most of their reserves in the game and one fancies they will get better as the week progresses.
Just who they will be pitted against in their second outing tomorrow will be interesting.
Logic says they should play Western Province, but that would mean the two sides regarded by most as the best at the week will not meet in the prestigious final fixture on Monday.
At the Coca-Cola under-18 Academy Week, running concurrently with the Craven Week, there were big wins for EP Country and the Sharks. Eastern Province drew with Griquas and Western Province beat neighbours Boland.