Two late penalties by Shaun Reynolds and Kobus Engelbrecht in the last five minutes set the Lions Under 21s up with a nail-biting 26-21 victory over the Eastern Province.
The victory helped the Lions qualify for a home semi-final against the Blue Bulls, the only Lions team to do so.
Both the Lions and the EP scored two tries and his was the boot of inside centre Reynolds that made the difference. He scored 13 points and finished top scorer of the round-robin completion on 72.
EP’s Garrick Mattheus, who scored all but five of his side’s points, finished four points adrift of Reynolds.b
Lions Under 19s: Tries: Jarryd Sage, James Venter. Conversions: Shaun Reynolds (2). Penalties: Reynolds (3), Kobus Engelbrecht.
EP: Tries: Matjik Molapo, Garrick Mattheus. Conversion: Mattheus. Penalties: Mattheus (3).
The Under 19 Lion Cubs took their fate into their own hands in Port Elizabeth on Saturday afternoon and scored nine tries en-route to a 59-5 victory over their Eastern Province counterparts to set up a new national record for tries scored in a season in this age group.
The Lions finished the round-robin part of the season off with 73 tries to their credit and won their seventh game on the trot but even this record-breaking effort couldn’t change their position on the log.
The Cubs will now meet their neighbours, the Blue Bulls in their semi-final after the men from over the Jukskei beat log-leaders, Western Province, by 50 points at Newlands on Friday.
Lions winger Madosh Tambwe scored four tries to overtake his team-mate Stean Pienaar as the top try-scorer in the completion. Tambwe has the bragging rights with twelve with Pienaar on eleven.
Jeppe flanker Hacjivah Dyaimani also joined in the try-fest with another brace and he finished this part of the competition on five.
The EP scopred the first try of the match when Jonathan Booysen scored after three minutes but after that it was one-way traffic for the Lions.
Lion Under 19s: Tries: madosh Tambwe (4), Hacjivah Dayimani (2), Jan-Louis le Grange, Krappies van der Berg, Reinhard Nothnagel. Conversions: Jeanluc Cilliers (7).