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Pumas devour the Lions’ cubs in one-sided Currie Cup clash

Pumas start playmaker Devon Williams. Picture: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images via BackpagePix

Pumas start playmaker Devon Williams. Picture: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images via BackpagePix

Published Jan 19, 2022


Johannesburg - The Pumas continued their run of dominance against a young Lions side on Wednesday, winning their third match on the trot against the Joburg-based union with an emphatic, bonus point victory in this second round Currie Cup encounter.

Unlike the other franchises participation in the United Rugby Championship – the Bulls, Sharks and Stormers - the Lions have split their squad into two, each participating in one of the concurrent tournaments. It has given this Currie Cup side a distinctly youthful appearance and that characteristic showed at Emirates Airline Park as a lack of experience, gametime and team unity conspired against them.

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The Pumas imposed their will on the Lions from the onset and in most parts of the game, and where the Lions lacked the cutting edge to make good on their opportunities, the visitors had no such concerns.

By the end of the first half, they had controlled the proceedings to such an extent that they enjoyed a comfortable 24-6 lead, ensured through tries from speedster Devon Williams, Daniel Maartens, and Corne Fourie in extra-time, all combined with the unerring boot of Tinus de Beer.

The Pumas played with pace, intent and ambition, while the Lions were curiously sluggish. They lacked any creativity in attack, and were generally poor in their execution. It made the Pumas job of defending all rather elementary, as they easily batted off the one-on-one Lions runners with a staunch defence, while waiting for the inevitable, fundamental error or turnover to come their way.

As such, the Lions had to rely on Vaughen Isaacs and Vaughen Isaacs alone to convert any of their chances, the Baby Bok slotting over three penalties - the only points scored by the hosts. Line-out woes, meanwhile, ensured that even when the Lions were in the strike-zone they failed to make an impact on their territorial possessions.

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The one department where the Lions could take solace in was in their scrums as they enjoyed a measure of supremacy over the Nelspruit-based outfit, but even that diminished as the game continued.

The game might have become somewhat unstructured in the latter stages of the second half, the Pumas' appetite to score tries depriving them of their gameplan, but they still managed to score impressive tries through De Beer, Simon Raw, Michael Claassens and Brandon Valentyn.

This young Lions side is undoubtedly talented, but what this 50-9 thumping showed is that this Currie Cup campaign might very well be a case of men versus boys.

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Sigma Lions (6) 9 - Penalties: Isaacs (3)

Airlink Pumas (24) 50 - Tries: Williams, Maartens, Fourie, De Beer, Raw, Claassens, Valentyn; Conversions: De Beer (6); Penalties: De Beer

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