The Xerox Golden Lions XV ran in five tries to two as they eased to a solid 38-17 (half-time 24-10) win over the Vodacom Blue Bulls in their provincial tournament match in front of a massive crowd of 16000 loyal Lions supporters at the Alberton Rugby Club on Saturday. The Golden Lions were full value for their win as they won their second match on the trot while the Bulls slipped to their second loss in three matches. Lions’ flyhalf Shaun Reynolds ended with 11 points courtesy of four conversions and a penalty while the tries were shared around with five different men scoring for the hosts.
The Lions made all the early running as they eased to a 10-0 lead after eight minutes thanks to a try from left wing Anthony Volmink and a conversion and penalty from Reynolds before Bulls’ pivot Joshua Stander narrowed the deficit to seven points with an eighth minute penalty. The home team extended their lead when inside centre Jacques Nel crashed over for a converted try in the 25th minute but the Bulls kept themselves in the contest thanks to a 34th-minute try from industrious flanker Tapiwa Tsomondo.
However, the Lions ended the half the stronger of the two teams as loosehead prop Arnout Malherbe barrelled his way over in the two minutes before the half-time break for a converted try. The second half was more of the same as the Lions picked up tries from outside centre Stokkies Hanekom and eighthman Ruaan Lerm, with the Bulls only able to reply with a try from hooker Corniel Els as they were held out by some impressive defence from the Lions who were reduced to 14 men in the 67th minute after scrumhalf Ricky Schroeder was yellow-carded.
Xerox Golden Lions – Tries: Anthony Volmink, Arnout Malherbe, Jacques Nel, Ruaan Lerm, Stokkies Hanekom; Conversions: Shaun Reynolds (4), Ashlon Davids; Penalty: Reynolds.
Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Corniel Els, Tapiwa Tsomondo; Conversion: Joshua Stander; Penalty: Stander.