Lions back to winning ways
Daniel Gallan
August 26, 2016

The Xerox Golden Lions returned to winning ways in the Currie Cup Premier Division with a resounding 60-12 victory over the hapless Boland Cavaliers at the Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg.

The Lions assistant coach Swys de Bruin promised before the game that his side would play an expansive running game with entertainment a priory, and the delivered in bucket loads running in nine tries to two.

The Lions played like a team with a point to prove after their shock 30-24 loss to the Griquas last week. With eleven changes to the starting 15, Johan Ackermann set his team up to not only win, but win big.

The Lions’ scrum was brutal, winning multiple penalties and setting the perfect platform for their dynamic backs to carve up the visitors' defence.

Early on, it was clear that the Cavaliers were going to utilise a rush defence to counter their hosts, but intelligent kicking by Marnitz Boshoff at flyhalf and the brilliant Dillon Smit at scrumhalf put a stop to that.

Truthfully, the Cavaliers were never in the game as wave after wave of Lions attacks burst through would be tacklers with consummate ease that by the end, the scoreline was more than appropriate.

Howard Mnisi, captaining the side, pulled the string from midfield, scoring a try of his own. His generalship both on and off the ball encouraged his charges to attack the line at speed and they duly responded.

Two tries from the former UJ flyer Selom Gavor (his first two in Currie Cup rugby) will please the backline staff the most as the Lions prove how blessed they are with depth.

The Cavaliers do not boast the same wealth in numbers and were always going to struggle with nine players out through injury. Medical maladies are part and parcel of the game but the smaller unions do hurt more than the big boys.

Special mention must go to Ruan Ackermann. Not only did the coach’s son score a try of his own, secure solid lineout ball, bust trough tackles and smash his opponents on a regular basis, he did it all after making a positional switch.

Last week at number 8, this week at number 4, this young man is showing us all what a modern and versatile forward looks like.

The Cavaliers should not feel too disheartened. The Lions will maul much better teams than them this season. As for the Lions, they have sent a very clear message to the rest of the competition.


Xerox Golden Lions Lions: Tries (9): Selom Gavor; Anthony Volmink; Dillon Smit; Jacques Nel; Victor Sekekete; Howard Mnisi ; JW Bell; Dylon Smith. Ruan Ackermann. Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff (6) Penalties: Marnitz Boshoff (1)

Cavaliers: Tries (2): Joubert Horn; Wayne Wilschut. Conversions: Theuns Kotze (1)

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