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The Lions were too strong for the Kings in their Super Rugby clash at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday as they ran out 45-10 winners.
Johan Ackermann’s side ran in seven tries on the day in a victory that extends their advantage over the Sharks in Africa One to six points.
Warren Whiteley, Courtnall Skosan, Armand van der Merwe (2), Ruan Combrinck (2) and Rohan Janse van Rensburg scored the Lions’ tries as their strong campaign continues, with their style earning them plenty of admirers.
It wasn’t a procession from the outset though as it took the Lions 21 minutes to break the deadlock, with number eight Whiteley galloping down the left touchline before Elton Jantjies kicked the conversion. That effort had followed close calls for Combrinck and Howard Mnisi.
The Kings would have been buoyed by the opening half hour and when wing Luzuko Vulindlu finished off well to make it 5-7, the predicted whitewash wasn’t playing out for the Lions. Such is the confidence in their group that they remained calm and shifted through the gears.
Skosan would get the ball rolling again six minutes before the break on the left side and after Kings flank Thembelani Bholi was yellow carded for offside, Van der Merwe then powered over from close range. That score from the hooker meant it was a 21-5 cushion at half-time.
The Lions demonstrated their class immediately after the interval as the impressive Combrinck showed power and pace to make it 28-5 before Van der Merwe was over again on 44 minutes, this time via a rolling maul. Jantjies couldn’t add that extras but the lead was growing.
Once again though the Kings showed their pride and were rewarded for their efforts when flanker Chris Cloete crashed over on 55 minutes. But that was always going to be a blip in the Lions march to victory, and normal service was resumed soon after when Whiteley set up Combrinck to make it 38-10.
Ackermann then wisely utilised his replacements bench as one eye shifted to next week’s fixture with the Hurricanes. Unsurprisingly those changes didn’t stop their scoring as one more try was added by the Lions through replacement centre Van Rensburg after a well-timed pass from Jantjies, as the visitors wrapped up their sixth win of 2016.
Tries: Vulindlu, Cloete
Yellow Card: Bholi
Tries: Whiteley, Skosan, Van der Merwe 2, Combrinck 2, Van Rensburg
Cons: Jantjies 5