Currie Cup

Hougaard to miss Blue Bulls v Griquas in Currie Cup

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The Golden Lions remained unbeaten after five matches in Currie Cup by beating the EP Kings 37-21 at Ellis Park on Saturday.

The victory moves the Golden Lions to the top of the Currie Cup standings on 25 points which is one point ahead of the Blue Bulls on 24 points.

While outstanding in the first-half, the Lions struggled to show the same accuracy in the second 40 as the Kings tried valiantly to catch-up to their opponents who often enjoyed the rub of the green, given the match official ‘s interpretation of the laws.

The Kings would have wondered just how long the night was going to be after referee Stuart Berry controversially awarded a penalty-try in the fifth minute of the match after the men from Port Elizabeth had collapsed an attacking rolling maul.

Flank Kwagga Smith scored his team ‘s second try of the evening in the 11th minute before Stokkies Hanekom dotted down the third less than five minutes later when he charged down a kick before racing through.

At 19-0 the visitors finally gained some momentum and started asking questions of the Lions who looked flustered in defence.

Poor work at line-out time by their hosts further encouraged the Kings and on their first visit to the Lions ‘ 22m area Siyanda Grey finished in the corner to get his team on the board in the 15th minute.

The Kings always knew the Lions would be solid up front and that is exactly where they looked to target the men from Johannesburg. Their rolling mauls proved to be almost unstoppable for Johan Ackermann ‘s charges.

After a period of sustained pressure, the Kings scored their second try from a rolling maul with Paul Schoeman emerging as the try-scorer.

Flyhalf Karlo Aspeling made no mistake with the conversion from out wide and with 25-minutes played the Lions ‘ 19-point lead was reduced to just five.

Against the run of play flank Steph de Wit scored once more for the home side before the break (in the 30th minute) before Van der Walt slotted a penalty just before halftime to ensure his men enjoyed a healthy 10-point lead.

The Kings drew first blood in the second-half when Schoeman again emerged with the ball in hand from a rolling maul in the 55th-minute (27-21).

It took a great defensive effort from the Lions in the 60th minute to keep the visitors out after they had another attacking line-out five metres from their try-line.

Schoeman was very close to scoring a hat-trick, but the Lions pack stood firm and managed to stop the drive, before clearing their lines.

Aspeling did exceptionally well to ensure his team played in the right areas, but eventually the Lions copied the Kings by keeping the ball with their forwards and utilizing the driving maul.

Replacement flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff would eventually take a great deal of pressure off his team when he knocked-over a penalty in the 70th minute to restore the 10-point lead his men had enjoyed for most of the match.

Wing Ruan Combrinck scored his team ‘s only five-pointer of the second half just seconds before the final whistle. Boshoff slotted the conversion.

The Kings will be concerned about the availability of fullback Hansie Graaf who received a red card for foul play.

Final Score Golden Lions 37 (27) EP Kings 21 (14)

Scorers

Golden Lions
Tries – Penalty try, Smith, Hanekom, De Wit, Combrinck
Pen – Van der Walt, Boshoff
Con – Van der Walt 2, Boshoff
Drop –

EP Kings
Tries – Schoeman 2, Grey
Pen –
Con – Aspeling 3
Yellow Card – Bredenkamp, Graaff

Match Officials
Referee:
Stuart Berry
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs, Ricus van der Hoven
Television match official: JJ Wagner

Teams

Golden Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Howard Mnisi (c), 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Lohan Jacobs, 8 Fabian Booysen, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Stephan de Wit, 5 Martin Muller, 4 MB Lusaseni, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.

Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Lourens Erasmus, 19 Jano Venter, 20 Ricky Schroeder, 21 Marnitz Boshoff, 22 Jacques Nel.

EP Kings

15 Hansie Graaff, 14 Siyanda Grey, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Tim Whitehead (c), 11 Sylvian Mahuza, 10 Karlo Aspeling, 9 Dwayne Kelly, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Thembelani Bholi, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Tazz Fuzani, 3 Simon Kerrod, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.

Replacements: 16 Michael van Vuuren, 17 Basil Short, 18 Cornell Hess, 19 Eital Bredenkamp, 20 Enrico Acker, 21 Elgar Watts, 22 JP du Plessis.

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