The Lions were crowned the unofficial champions of Craven Week when they beat Eastern Province 38-15 in Bloemfontein. Simon Borchardt reports.
The Lions scored four tries to two and lead 20-7 at half-time after dominating the first 40 minutes.
A brief second half fightback from EP reduced the gap to 23-15 with half an hour to go, but the Lions soon regained control and scored another two tries to run out comfortable winners.
With eight players from SA’s top ranked school, Monument, in their side, the Lions were always going to be too good for an EP team whose forwards struggled against the physical Lions pack.
Lions captain Johan van Deventer had an absolute blinder in the No 7 jersey and he must consider himself extremely unlucky not to have made the SA Schools side. He was well supported in the loose by fellow Momument pupil Johan van Rensburg, the scorer of the Lions first try.
In the backs, No 15 Byron Godfrey was dangerous when he joined the line, while Justin St Jerry once again dictated play from flyhalf. Right wing Ghaliel Markus scored two tries, although he did put a foot into touch before scoring his first. Hercules Venter, the top try scorer in schools rugby this season, looked good when given possession, while scrumhalf Christiaan van den Berg had another successful day with the boot, slotting seven out of his eight kicks at goal.
For EP, Marlon Lewis shone at scrumhalf, while Albert Trystman gave a good display at inside centre.
Lions – Tries: Johan van Rensburg, Ghaliel Markus (2), Johan van Deventer. Conversions: Christiaan van den Berg (3). Penalties: Van den Berg (2)
EP – Tries: Stephen de Villiers, Vincent Gwavu. Conversion: Shaun Davis. Penalty: Davis.
Limpopo 66 Border Country 0,
Namibia 41 Zimbabwe 14
Griffons 28 Boland 14
Border 20 Falcons 5
Leopards 26 Free State 25
Pumas 23 Griquas 7
KwaZulu-Natal 16 Western Province 13
SWD 21 Blue Bulls 19
Golden Lions 38 Eastern Province 15.