Lions set up semifinal clash against the Sharks

Seven tries in the first half and a score of 47-0 at the break against the Boland Cavaliers on Saturday ensured the Golden Lions of third place on the Absa Currie Cup log after the last round of the season.

The Lions’ comprehensive win of 75-0 will see them play the Sharks in Durban next Saturday in the first of the Currie Cup semifinals.

The victory and bonus point that came after only 23 minutes saw the Lions leapfrog the Blue Bulls on the final Currie Cup log.

The first of their 11 tries went to new boy Gert van der Merwe, a prop recruited from the University of Pretoria by Lions coach Eugene Eloff. Van der Merwe was driven over after a line-out for the only try by a Lions forward.

Thereafter it was a free-running game, with the Lions backs handling exceptionally well against a side that was woeful on defence, except for a short period after the break.

But take nothing away from the Lions.
They ran with purpose, supported exceptionally well and let the ball do the work when they had runners on hand.

Earl Rose, not always convincing earlier in the season, distributed well, and also kicked 10 of the 11 conversion attempts. With his early try he contributed 25 of the Lions’ points.

The Lions forwards also did their thing in dominating the possession against a side which has only two wins—against the hapless Valke and the shock against Western Province in the second round—to show for their 14-match efforts.

For the winners, speedster Ryno Benjamin was in devastating form when given the ball, and his three tries were probably the highlights in a first half of great running. Jaco Pretorius showed all the skills of an international Sevens player, and Louis Ludik, once again, was a class act at fullback.

But then, it would be unfair to highlight the performances of only a few players in what was a good, solid and impressive team effort.—Sapa

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