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Rugby | Currie Cup

Lions clinch thriller against Griquas



The Xerox Golden Lions ran in seven tries to clinch a hard fought 48-43 (halftime 33-24) win against the Tafel Lager Griquas in their Currie Cup match at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon.

The warm, sunny weather provided the perfect playing conditions and set the tone for a plethora of tries scored.

The Golden Lions hit the ground running and made good use of their forwards and backs to penetrate deep into the Griquas half.

It took the men from Johannesburg just four minutes to score a try as a dominant rolling maul allowed hooker Pieter Jansen to claim the five pointer.

The opening 20 minutes turned out to be a busy affair as both teams attacked from all over the field with scrumhalf Christiaan Meyer exploiting a gap to score just two minutes later. Flyhalf George Whitehead's successful conversion gave the visitors the lead.

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The Golden Lions continued to press hard on attack and their efforts were paid off as outside centre Jacques Nel ran a perfect line to score after scrumhalf Dillion Smit took a quick tap that caught the Peacock Blues off guard.

The first half most certainly belonged to the diminutive no.9s as Meyer was on hand to collect outside centre Terius Kruger's offload to scamper over the tryline untouched in the 22nd minute.

The Golden Lions hit back immediately with two quick tries courtesy of inside centre Jarryd Sage and wing Aphiwe Dyantyi.

Sage rounded off a perfect counter attack that included the sidestepping of several players while Smit sucked in a few defenders that allowed Dyantyi to be unleashed down the touchline.

The referee finally had enough of the home team's continued dissent which resulted in Whitehead adding a penalty goal in the 33rd minute which he followed up with a superb intercept that saw the pivot run 60m to score an excellent solo try.

The Golden Lions would have the final say of a very entertaining first half when fullback Jaco van der Walt bumped off a few would be tacklers to score in the corner. Flyhalf Shaun Reynolds 43rd minute conversion allowed the Golden Lions to go into the break with a comfortable nine point lead.

The second half proved to be just as entertaining as the first as wing Madosh Tambwe scored two tries within minutes of each other. With his first try he showed the younger generation of players exactly why it is so important to chase kicks as the flyer claimed it back, passed and collected a pass to score while a brillant line allowed him to burst through the defence to score his second.

The visitors hit back with two tries of their own in what was the trend throughout the match. Replacement centre Ederies Arendse was on the receiving end of a few solid phases of attack to score the bonus point try while wing Enver Brandt claimed his third try of the season in the 61st minute.

The teams struggled to match their intensity in the last 20 minutes as they tightened up their defence with several attacking phases ending prematurely because of unforced errors.

The Griquas sniffed victory in the 76th minute as replacement scrumhalf Renier Botha burrowed his way over for a converted try but Reynolds put paid to any of hopes of that happening when he landed a penalty goal on the stroke of fulltime.

Scorers:

Xerox Golden Lions - Tries: Pieter Jansen, Jacques Nel, Jarryd Sage, Aphiwe Dyanti, Jaco van der Walt, Madosh Tambwe (2); Conversions: Shaun Reynolds (5); Penalty: Reynolds.

Tafel Lager Griquas - Tries: Christiaan Meyer (2), George Whitehead, Ederies Arendse, Enver Brandt, Renier Botha; Conversions: Whitehead (5); Penalty: Whitehead.



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