Lions’ winless misery continues after another Currie Cup cover-up

  • The Lions’ sad Currie Cup season continued on Wednesday with a 49-17 loss to Griquas.
  • The Lions have lost all five games in the tournament and are bottom of the standings.
  • Griquas dominated throughout, scoring seven tries to two.

The Lions’ dismal Currie Cup campaign continued on Wednesday with a 49-17 defeat to Griquas at Tafel Lager Park in Kimberley.

DASHBOARD | Griquas 49-17 Lions

The Johannesburg men have now lost all of their opening five matches in this year’s competition to entrench themselves at the bottom of the seven-team standings, while Griquas have cemented their position in the top four.

Griquas scored seven tries to just two of his visitors, who were outplayed in every department.

On paper, the Lions fielded a strong side led by Springbok Jannie du Plessis and they would have backed each other to bounce back from their disastrous 66-14 loss to the Cheetahs two weeks ago.

They took a 3-0 lead early on thanks to a penalty from James Tedder, but what followed was a first half of almost complete dominance from Griquas.

The Lions couldn’t get out of their own half and saw very little of the ball, but Griquas struggled to find clinical execution when it mattered most.

The hosts’ sustained pressure finally paid off when, in the 17th minute, full-back Rynhardt Jonker broke through the Lions defense before unloading on Munier Hartzenberg who finished the move.

Zander du Plessis converted from wide on the right and Griquas had a 7-3 lead.

It was Griquas who did all the play after that, denying penalties in the hunt for more tries, and when No.7 Hanru Sirjel knocked the ball down with nothing but the try line in front of him, the Lions clung to a thread.

Griquas had his second when scrum-half Johan Mulder burst in from close range to make it 14-3 within 35 minutes, but the Lions had only a glimmer of hope when the second-rower from Griquas Derik Pretorius received a yellow card for a high tackle.

The Lions, just 5 yards out, failed to convert their chance and trailed 14-3 before the break.

It was Griquas, once again, who looked better after the restart and it was No.13 Sango Xamlashe who scored his side’s third goal, while substitute Kudzwai Dube burst in from close range in the 52nd minute to get number four.

Du Plessis had converted all tries, and with a 28-3 lead with less than half an hour to play, Griquas had already almost secured victory with the Lions on the ropes.

The floodgates had fully opened when lock Mzwanele Zito slipped in for his side’s fifth, and by then things were getting messy again for the Lions.

Then, fully against the run of play, the Lions found a try out of nowhere as they won a turnover in their own period and launched a counter.

It was substitute James Molentze who scored, limiting the damage when Tedder converted to make it 35-10 against Griquas, but any Lions joy was short-lived as a massive overlap saw Jonker dive for give Griquas their sixth.

Tedder, meanwhile, had a better display than most in a Lions shirt, and he set up a hugely appealing try with an accurate crossover kick that saw Divan Rossouw collect on the left and point into the corner.

Tedder then converted from wide left and Griquas led 42-17.

There was time for another Griquas try which came through Sirgel, completing a one-sided deal that will do nothing to convince Lions fans that this union is on the right track.

Scorers

Griquas 49 (14)

Essays: Munier Hartzenberg, Johan Mulder, Sango Xamlashe, Kudzwai Dube, Mzwanele Zito, Rynhardt Jonker, Hanru Sirgel

Conversions: Zander du Plessis (5), Ashlon Davids (2)

Lions 17 (3)

Try: James Molentze, Dina Rossouw

Conversion: James Tedder (2)

Penalty: tedder

Charles P. Patton