Lions stay in the hunt

The Lions kept themselves in with a chance of sneaking into the Absa Currie Cup semi-finals with a hard-fought 32-17 win over the Valke on Friday night.

The win was the Lions fifth in-a-row, after previous victories over the Pumas, Blue Bulls, Sharks and Cheetahs in recent weeks.

The Lions scored five tries to earn a bonus point and match the Blue Bulls five-point haul. It means the Lions still trail the Bulls by four points, but have a great chance to pull level or even go ahead when they play Griquas at Ellis Park next weekend.

At the same time, the Bulls travel to Durban to play the Sharks and defeat could prove disastrous to their chances of making the play-offs. The Lions have a far easier run in to the semis compared to their neighbours.

It was not a completely dominant performance and after leading 17-0 at one stage, they saw the Valke claw back to 17-10 at the break. The Lions though stuck to their guns and managed to outlast a determined Valke outfit in the second half.

Two minutes after the break, centre Jaco Pretorius scored a brilliant solo try two, dancing past four tacklers in almost no space at all before scoring.

In the end the Lions did exactly what was required of them registering their sixth win of the competition, while the Valke remain in 7th position on the log with just two wins.

Scorers:
Valke: Tries: Mpho Matsaung, Jacques Nieuwenhuis. Conversions: Louis Strydom 2. Penalty: Strydom.

Lions: Tries: Louis Ludik, Wikus van Heerden, Wayne Julies, Jaco Pretorius, Ricky Januarie. Conversions: Earl Rose 2. Penalty: Rose.

By Andrew Hollely