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Lions ravage young Bulls again

Sat, 21 Sep 2013 16:57
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Five tries to four
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The second time this season the Golden Lions scored a convincing bonus-point win over the Blue Bulls.

Their 35-26 victory at Ellis Park, Johannesburg, on Saturday saw the Lions move into third place on the standings.

The Bulls, willing as they were, had no answer to the hard-running Lions' expansive game.

From the outset the Lions showed their willingness to run from inside their 22 - repeatedly asking questions of the Bulls' defence.

However, their execution often let them down and the Lions also conceded a number of penalties that robbed them of momentum.

While there was plenty of entertainment value in their expansive approach, it also presented the Bulls with opportunities.

The Bulls showed plenty of desire, twice holding the Lions scoreless while being a man down and eventually getting a four-try bonus point with some expansive play in the final 10 minutes.

However, the Lions had probably taken their foot off the gas after the game was won.

The Bulls' discipline - or lack of it at times - also cost them dearly. They were forced to make so many tackles that they went well beyond just pushing the envelope, as they got increasingly desperate - twice being reduced to 14 men.

The Lions made a big statement in the first scrum, winning a penalty by destroying the Bulls' set piece. Marnitz Boshoff just hooked his kick at goal past the upright, but the message was delivered.

And the reward came within minutes - the Lions taking the ball through the hands after a neat little chip by Boshoff and a turnover, with Andries Coetzee over in the right corner. Jantjies, who took the conversion attempt was also wide of the mark - but he Lions were on the board.

Jantjies slotted a penalty, after the Bulls went offside, and the home team held an 8-0 lead.

Younger brother Tony Jantjies had a chance to get the Bulls on the board in the 11th minute, but his kick at goal drifted wide.

And the Lions' running game again found the Bulls' defence wanting - a poor clearance kick by Clayton Blommetjies allowing the Lions to counter, Boshoff starting the move and Jaco Kriel finishing it off, with some sublime handling to go with it. Jantjies' conversion attempt hit the upright - 13-0 in as many minutes.

In the 18th minute Clayton Blommetjies was yellow carded for tripping an opponent, but the Bulls did not concede any points while he was off the field.

Soon after Blommetjies returned Rudi Paige sniped around a ruck and found a huge hole in the Lions' defence. The try by Paige and conversion by Tony Jantjies made it 7-13 just on the half-hour mark.

However, the Bulls were soon down to 14 men again, when Tony Jantjies was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul - killing the ball a metre out.

Again the Bulls held out the Lions while being a man down - going into the half-time break still just six points down, 7-13.

The Lions got their second half off to the perfect start - prop Ruan Dreyer barging over after the Lions opted to tap a penalty close to the line. Elton Jantjies made it 20-7 after 45 minute, by slotting the conversion.

While the Lions continued to dominate the territory, the Bulls showed they too can play a ball-in-hand game - Springbok Bjorn Basson stepping past a few tacklers to go over for the second try. Tony Jantjies made it a six-point (14-20) game.

However, the Lions hit back quickly, and effectively - prop Jacques van Rooyen going over from close range, after Ross Cronje had made a scything break. Elton Jantjies was wide of the mark with his conversion attempt - 25-14.

And soon afterwards Marnitz Boshoff came on a great angle to score the fifth try, Elton Jantjies making it 32-14 with the conversion.

Boshoff added a long-range penalty with just under 10 minutes remaining - 35-14.

The Bulls, although out of the contest, kept plugging away and with seven minutes left on the clock their Bok flyer, Basson, showed his blistering pace to put Francois Venter into space and over. Tony Jantjies couldn't add the extras, but at 19-35 there was hope of a couple of bonus points.

Basson got the first of those bonus points with his second try (26-35), but the Lions held them out and the Bulls left with a solitary consolation point.

The Lions left with a full-house of five points and moved up to third on the standings.

Man of the match: Tony Jantjies became increasingly effective in taking the ball up to the line, once even running over elder brother Elton. You can look at the work of Springbok lock Franco van der Merwe, the energy of captain Derick Minnie, Jaco Kriel was as industrious as ever and prop Ruan Dreyer had some barnstorming runs. However, our award goes to Lions fullback Marnitz Boshoff, who again showed how much he matured and has grown since he left the Bulls as an unwanted player. He looks just as good at fullback as he does at flyhalf and adds that extra attacking option from the back.

The scorers:

For the Golden Lions:
Tries:
Coetzee, Kriel, Dreyer, Van Rooyen, Boshoff
Cons: E Jantjies 2
Pens: E Jantjies, Boshoff

For the Blue Bulls:
Tries:
Paige, Basson 2, Venter
Cons: T Jantjies 3

Yellow cards: Clayton Blommetjies (Blue Bulls, 18 - foul play, tripping an opponent), Tony Jantjies (Blue Bulls, 32 - professional foul, killing the ball)

Teams:

Golden Lions: 15 Marnitz Boshoff, 14 Andries Coetzee, 13 Deon Helberg, 12 Dylan Des Fountain, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Derick Minnie (captain), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 CJ van der Linde.
Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Chris van Zyl, 19 Lambert Groenewald, 20 Guy Cronje, 21 Lionel Cronje, 22 Ruhan Nel.

Blue Bulls: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Ulrich Beyers, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Rudi Paige, 8 Jono Ross (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Morné Mellett.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Jacques Engelbrecht, 20 Lohan Jacobs, 21 William Small-Smith, 22 Jurgen Visser.

Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant Referees: Ben Crouse, Cobus Wessels
TMO: Willie Roos

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