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Lions beat WP at Ellis Park in first win of their Currie Cup season

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The Lions bet Western Province at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday evening to earn their first win of the Currie Campaign.

Tiaan Swanepoel scored 18 points as the Lions beat Western Province at Ellis Park on Saturday to secure their first win of the Currie Cup season
FILE – Tiaan Swanepoel scored 18 points as the Lions beat Western Province at Ellis Park on Saturday to secure their first win of the Currie Cup season. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Cape Town — The Lions secured their first Currie Cup win of the season and ended a 10 match losing streak by earning a 33-10 victory over Western Province at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Going into the game, both sides had nothing to play for but pride given their respective shambolic Currie Cup campaigns.

The Lions and Province – in the seventh and sixth position on the log, respectively going into the game – produced a thrilling encounter nonetheless, but it wouldn’t have proved more than consolation for the Johannesburg side, while the Capetonians have much to work on after yet another disappointment.

For the Lions, the result will produce much relief after their United Rugby Championship emerged as the only South African team to fail to failed to make the play off, while the Bulls, Sharks and Stormers all did.

But the Lions, having spoken about how they want to “carry their momentum into this game” this week following the United Rugby Championship side’s 21-11 win over the Dragons a fortnight ago, made good on their word as they slayed the Cape side.

Throughout their Currie Cup campaign, one of the biggest flaws by WP was their inability to function as a unit.

They have no shortage of X-factor players and have also had the needed experience at times, but the side just failed to function as a unit.

The hosts got on the scoresheet first and it wasn’t long before they scored their second try through Stean Pienaar after a proper counter-attacking spell by flyhalf Tiaan Swanepoel, who gathered a Province kick before sending it to his winger to finish things off.

The Lions deservedly led 17-3 after the opening quarter, but Western Province refused to go to bed and had the upper hand for most of the first half. Bar flyhalf Tim Swiel’s penalty conversion, however, the visiting side didn’t have much to show for their efforts in the first 40.

Aagainst the run of play, the Lions scored again when Swanepoel knocked over a late first half penalty to ensure a 20-3 lead at the break.

Nama Xaba was ever inspirational as he ran in a try for his team but, while they had their opportunities, they just couldn’t convert their possession and territory into points.

The Lions achieved their goal of closing this game out with two penalties and a converted try to seal the deal.

Scorers

Lions 33 — Tries: Morne Brandon, Stean Pienaar, Quan Horn, Tiaan Swanepoel, Conversions: Tiaan Swanepoel (2), Penalties: Tiaan Swanepoel (3)

Western Province 10 — Try: Nama Xaba, Conversion: Tim Swiel, Penalty: Tim Swiel

@WynonaLouw

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