The Lions forwards impressed in the 41-10 win over the Sharks at Newlands on Tuesday.
The first half was error-strewn, as both teams battled to control the ball in contact. As the game wore on, however, it became apparent that the Lions had enjoyed more game time as a unit, and when they put phases together, they were dangerous.
The Sharks scored first through Pat Lambie, a great finish to a solid build up where Willem Alberts was prominent. But the Durban side conceded a penalty soon after, and a subsequent maul from the lineout saw the Lions snatching the lead right before half-time.
Another penalty was kicked to touch early in the second stanza, and after some initial resistance, the Sharks defence relented. Warren Whiteley scored after a deft tap-on put him into space, while a grubber allowed Jaco Taute to extend the Lions lead thereafter.
The Sharks scored a well-worked try of their own, Lwazi Mvovo finishing well to lend the scoreline some respectability. But as the game progressed, so did the Lions. Their forwards looked more organised, and the whole team as a unit played with purpose. This was confirmed when they crashed over from two more forward drives.
Burton Francis was the more dangerous of the two Lions flyhalves, as Andre Pretorius was guilty of crabbing across-field and thus limiting his backline’s space. Francis also kicked well at goal in blustery conditions.
The Sharks were rusty and battled for synergy throughout. A more accurate assessment of where they stand should be done following their next game against the Stormers. They’ll need to sharpen up in the handling department, and their set-pieces also need work.