Golden Lions squeak past Valke
Mark Salter
March 15, 2014
The Golden Lions, for the second week a in a row, edged ahead late in the game for a 23-22 win over tough Valke team at Ellis Park on Saturday .

Last week they beat the Leopards XV 18-16 with the last kick of the game, while on Saturday it took a late try to overcome their neighbours after trailing 5-10 at halftime.

The Valke came out of the blocks at pace, and while their execution was suspect, the pressure they applied had the Lions back-pedalling frantically.

Just five minutes into the game, they opened up the defence, from which left wing Kyle Hendricks took a great offload from No 8 Juan Pretorius and stepped through three despairing tackles to score under the posts.

The conversion by Cecil Dumond, followed by a penalty five minutes later, had the Valke 10-0 up after 10 minutes.

It took some time before the Lions came to realise they needed to keep it tight to drive onwards, led by the immense efforts of young Malcom Marx.

They were, at least, adventurous, opting for a lineout when given a penalty in front of the posts. That was lost when the maul broke up and they were penalised.

Solid defence snuffed out their few opportunities, until two minutes before the break when Guy Cronje snapped out a skip pass which found Willie du Plessis unmarked. His own conversion went wide.

The second half descended into a trial and error, although the Valke wing Hendricks had a superb break which was stopped by an equally impressive tackle by flyhalf Guy Cronje.

The two sides exchanged penalties until the Valke made a terrible mess of a lineout on their own line and allowed Lions No 8 Ruaan Lerm to fall over the line.

The boot of Angus Cleophas kept Valke ahead, but they were on the back foot, and with five minute to go, Anthony Volmink went over, benefiting from quick hands by Willie du Plessis. The Lions went ahead for the first time when Cronje added the extras.


GOLDEN LIONS – Tries: Willie du Plessis, Ruaan Lerm, Anthony Volmink. Conversion: Guy Cronje. Penalties: Du Plessis (2).

VALKE – Try: Kyle Hendricks. Conversion: Cecil Dumond. Penalties: Dumond (2), Cleophas (3).

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