Golden Lions beat Griquas in lightning affected Currie Cup clash
JOHANNESBURG – The Golden Lions played some rugby for 15 minutes, and for the first 30 minutes of their first Carling Currie Cup encounter in Kimberley against the Griquas, seemingly only made up the numbers.
No matter – they still managed to claim a victory, despite the Griquas commanding the scoreboard in the first half. The Lions had no answers to the questions the Griquas posed, especially in the first half-hour. It did not help that their search for truth was hampered by an inability to hold onto the ball, limiting their mistakes, and using the majority of the first half's possession.
The three weeks without competitive rugby showed, as handling errors and poor defensive work conspired against the Lions, but equally saw the Griquas take a proper 17-3 lead by the 30th minute.
Tries by Griquas hooker Hendrick Luus, constructed by a maul, wing Eduan Keyter and full-back James Verity-Amm winded the Lions on a blustery day in Kimberley.
Nevertheless, this Lions team is arguably too good to suffer such ignominy, and in the last 10 minutes of the first stanza, the Joburgers began to flex their muscle, picking up the pace, while holding on to the ball with improved conviction.
Perennial try scorer Courtnall Skosan dived over the tryline twice in that period – the first try somewhat scrappy in its build-up, but nevertheless clinical in its finish, while the second – in the fifth minute after the forty – was built on the sustained pressure, and the fast hands of captain Elton Jantjies, that the Lions were now enjoying.
And that momentum was sustained as the second half kicked off, the Lions camping in the 22 of the Griquas. It resulted in a penalty try as the Lions scrummed their way into a 20-17 lead.
And that is how it ended – the match called off due to lightning in the 47th minute. In that 15 minutes, however, the Lions showed their BMT and character, claiming an important victory.
Griquas (17) 17
Try: Luus, Keyter, Verity-Amm; Conversion: De Beer
Golden Lions (13) 20
Try: Skosan (2), Penalty Try; Penalty: Jantjies
Match stopped due to lightning.