SIMON BORCHARDT reflects on the key moments of the Currie Cup final.
TAUTE’S LONG-RANGE PENALTY
Jaco Taute was knocking over kicks from 60m before the game so it wasn’t a surprise when he stepped up in the fifth minute to nail a 57m penalty that gave the Lions a 6-0 lead.
SHARKS’ LOST LINEOUT
The Sharks took the ball through 15 phases at the end of the first quarter, won a penalty inside the Lions 22 and kicked for the corner to set up a 5m lineout. But Bismarck du Plessis failed to find his jumpers and the hosts were able to relieve the pressure.
LA GRANGE’S BREAK
Doppies la Grange burst through the Sharks’ suspect midfield and sent Michael Killian away for a try that gave the Lions a 19-3 lead after 25 minutes.
With CJ van der Linde having been yellow carded for stupidly dumping Keegan Daniel at a ruck, the Sharks launched an attack against 14 men in the last play of the first half. A try looked inevitable but Warren Whiteley (a blood replacement for Joshua Strauss) made a critical steal for his side.
LIONS KEEP THEIR COOL
The Sharks had scored a controversial try through Willem Alberts when the flanker had clearly knocked on, which cut the Lions’ lead to eight with half an hour remaining. It was vital that the hosts didn’t let the officials’ blunder get to them and they didn’t with Pat Cilliers being driven over for a try six minutes later.
TAUTE RUBS IT IN
Elton Jantjies’ superb boot had given the Lions an unassailable 35-16 lead, but Killian ensured that this would be a real thrashing when he broke through the Sharks defence and passed to Taute, who dived over in the left corner and then savoured the adulation of the crowd.