Kwagga ig­nites the fire as Li­ons snatch a semi-fi­nal berth

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

fully- de­served lead.

Robert du Preez’s men dom­i­nated all as­pects of the early ex­changes. They were es­pe­cially good in de­fence and at the break­downs, win­ning sev­eral turnovers off their hosts.

It didn’t help the home side that Jaco van der Walt missed two fairly easy penal­ties in the first half, leav­ing them with plenty to do after the in­ter­val.

Then again, it could have been a big­ger Sharks lead at half­time had Bosch also not missed two late shots at goal. The Ju­nior Spring­bok star, though, landed a penalty soon after the restart to put the Sharks 13- 0 up.

The Li­ons, fi­nally, found some fire and cap­tain Kwagga Smith scored a stun­ner of a try.

A fur­ther three- pointer, after Sharks flank Fran­cois Kleyn­hans was pinned for a tip- tackle on Van der Walt, left the vis­i­tors just three ahead.

Bosch slot­ted another penalty to en­sure the Sharks went six points clear, but the Li­ons hit back cour­tesy of Howard Mnisi from a quick- tap penalty, and a penalty by An­dries Coet­zee, for the hosts to edge in front for the first time in the con­test.

And, with 10 min­utes to go un­til the fi­nal hooter, the Li­ons took a nine- point lead thanks to a Syl­vian Mahuza touch­down, the speedy re­place­ment fin­ish­ing off after the Li­ons had taken another quick- tap penalty to catch the Sharks de­fence off guard.

The Li­ons wrapped things up in the 77th minute when the vis­i­tors were re­duced to 14 men for the sec­ond time – An­dre Ester­huizen sin- binned for a shoul­der charge on Jac­ques Nel – and Coet­zee helped him­self to three points.

HOW TO CATCH A SHARK: Jaco van der Walt stops Inny Radebe at El­lis Park yes­ter­day.

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