The Lions moved to the top of the Currie Cup log with a resounding 47-14 victory over the Free State Cheetahs at an almost empty Ellis Park on Saturday.
After storming to a 33-0 halftime lead, the hosts looked as if they went to sleep in the second as the Cheetahs finally got their hands on the ball after they spent 40 minutes essentially tackling.
Eventually the Lions scored seven tries, their two late tries giving substance to the Lions’ dreary second half.
Who was the star in this match?
So commanding was the team performance – especially in the opening half – that it’s almost unfair to single out players but Lions flyhalf Shaun Reynolds produced a fine performance, scoring two of the Lions five first half tries and scoring 18 points. The 23-year-old looks a versatile playmaker with his big boot being complemented by a great sidestep.
Key moments and themes
- The Lions started like a house on fire, playing at a high tempo while starving the Cheetahs from ball. They still had to wait until the seventh minute before speedy fullback Sylvian Mahuza could touch down for their first score.
- It was almost fitting that Lions captain Marvin Orie crashed over for his team’s fourth try and the bonus point effort in the 28th minute. He was at the heart of the platform the forwards laid the backs and deserved his score as the Cheetahs tried in vain to stop the relentless waves of attack.
- The only downside to a dominant performance was the suspected ankle injury the flying right wing Madosh Tambwe picked up just before halftime. He had to leave the field on a medical car and was replaced by the exciting former SA U20 star Wandi Simelane.
Golden Lions – Tries: Sylvian Mahuza (2), Shaun Reynolds (2), Marvin Orie, Howard Mnisi, Hacjivah Dayimani. Conversions: Reynolds (6).
Free State Cheetahs – Tries: Louis Fouche, Rudy Paige. Conversions: Fouche (2).