Home Sport Lions pummelled in unhappy trip to Tafel Lager Park

Lions pummelled in unhappy trip to Tafel Lager Park

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Griquas were head and shoulders above the visiting Lions on Wednesday afternoon. Picture: Danie van der Lith

The Griquas stuck to their gameplan as they ran the Lions off the park in their Currie Cup clash on Wednesday afternoon.

Johannesburg — The Griquas stuck to their gameplan, in spite of clear scoring opportunities, to first grind down the Sigma Lions; and then to dominate and demolish the embattled Johannesburg-based side in an impressive victory in a Currie Cup encounter on Wednesday afternoon.

The Lions were under siege for most of the first half, and only a manful defensive effort and the Griquas insistence to punt every penalty into the corners, ensured that the half-time score was limited to 14-3.

Indeed, in a period of 20 minutes between full-back Rynhardt Jonker breaking the line to release Munier Hartzenberg in the 16th minute to finish off a brilliant opportunity; and No 9 Johan Mulder sniping around the ruck to score their second try in the 36th minute, the Griquas could have arguably put the result beyond doubt.

On Mulder, the blond-capped scrumhalf was excellent, a nuisance in general play, a bother on attack and precise with dangerous flat-passes that always seemed to have a charging Griquas player on the end of it.

The Lions conceded 10 penalties in the first half, several of which were kickable for Zander du Plessis, losing the battle of possession 67-33% and territory 56%-44%.

So pinned back were the Lions in the first 40, that they had scant opportunities to put any pressure on their hosts, failing to capitalise on any moments of weakness from the Griquas; through either poor handling, bad game management, or sub-par protection of the ball at the breakdown or in contact.

There was a moment of reprieve towards the end of the half as the visitors finally broke out of their half, but even with a yellow card to lock Derik Pretorius for a dangerous tackle on Rabz Maxwane failed to yield any points. And ss they returned to the field after half-time, the Griquas resumed normal service.

Poor discipline had hounded the Lions in the first half and that continued in the second stanza as well, despite the valiant efforts of captain Jannie du Plessis to lead from the front. By the 53rd minute the encounter could be called as replacement Kudzwai Dube scored the all-important bonus-point try for the hosts.

With that, the Lions’ heads dropped as the Griquas kept ticking over the scoreboard through Mzwanele Zito, Jonker, Man of the Match Hanru Sirgel and the unerring boot of Du Plessis and Ashlon Davids. The Joburgers did have moments of brilliance too late in the match to affect the results.

First, they went coast-to-coast to score their first try of the match in the 62nd minute through the powerful utility-back replacement James Mollentze; and then Divan Rossouw finished off a pin-point crosskick to score their second

There will, however, be a few more positives for Lions coach Mzwakhe Nkosi to work with. He can take solace in a better defensive effort in the first half, and also the performances of James Tedder and Matt More, who were both limited by the deficiencies of their team.

The Griquas, meanwhile, will be pleased as punch as they maintain their Top 4 ambitions and two weeks to prepare for the Sharks in Kimberley.

Scorers

Griquas (14) 49: Try: Hartzenberg, Mulder, Xamlashe, Dube, Zito, Jonker, Sirgel; Conversion: Du Plessis (5), Davids (2); Yellow Card: Pretorius

Sigma Lions (3) 17: Try: Mollentze, Rossouw; Conversions: Tedder (2); Penalty: Tedder

@FreemanZAR

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