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Lions 32 Valke 19

Lions get their first win in Currie Cup

Valke stayed in the game until conceding the last try...

The Lions recorded their first win of the Currie Cup season on Friday night, scoring their fourth try just before the end of the game to earn the bonus point as well. The Valke stayed in the game through the boot of Louis Strydom, who kicked 4 penalties and a conversion for 14 points in the game.

Louis Ludik started the game in front of a smallish home crowd. Piet Krause fielded the kickoff but then dropped the ball, and the Lions quickly pounced on the loose ball, playing it left, but a good chance was thrown away with Wylie Human knocking on with acres of space in the Valke 22 meter area.

The Valke then had a chance with attacking play in our 22, but determined defense kept them out, but eventually our forwards conceded a penalty that Louis Strydom easily kicked for the Valke to take a 3-0 lead.

For the next five minutes we were pinned in our own 22, until Ludik found a great touchfinder of over 60 meters. From the line-out the Valke turned the ball over, and the Lions sent it down the line to the left, where Jaco Pretorius got the ball on the Valke 22, he sold a dummy and found space in front of him and he was able to run in an easy try. Harris converted for a 7-3 lead for the Lions.

15 minutes into the game the Lions were gifted a try when Wylie Human managed to charge down a kick from Strydom, the ball rolled into the goal area and Wylie managed to fall on it to score. Harris hit the uprights with the conversion attempt, but the Lions were leading 12-3.

For the next ten minutes most of the play was in the middle section of the field, and then the Valke had a great chance with their scrumhalf breaking down the blind side, chipping the ball over the last Lions defender, but Vermaak covered well, taking the ball over the line 5 meters from the Lions tryline. The Valke then set up a forward drive from the line-out, and Ryan Strudwick managed to fall over for the try, converted by Strydom, but the Lions still leading 12-10. It must be said that the referee clearly made a mistake here, as the forward drive broke away from any Lions defenders, and then ran into Jody Rose, so it looked like it should have been penalised for obstruction.

The Lions then ran the ball up from every corner of the field, playing high risk rugby, and eventually it forced the Valke to transgress at a ruck close to their 10 meter line, and Mark Harris kicked the penalty to make the lead 15-10 for the Lions.

Then 3 minutes from the break the Lions played the ball in the ruck, and Louis Strydom kicked the penalty to reduce the Lions lead to 15-13.

The best try up to this stage came with the Lions attacking inside the Valke 22, Jody Rose threw a short pass to Louis Ludik, joining the line from Fullback, who managed to beat the defender on the inside and dive over in the left corner for a try. Harris converted the try from the sideline to put the Lions in a 22-13 lead at half time.

The Lions started a bit shaky in the 2nd half, with Vermaak juggling the kickoff from Strydom, but luckily he held on and found Rose, who managed to clear the ball.

Then it was to and fro for about ten minutes with the Lions playing some attractive and entertaining rugby, a little bit unstructured and high-risk for my taste!

Our first substitution was made at this stage, Roland Bernard coming on for Cobus Grobbelaar.

Shortly after this the Lions conceded another penalty at a ruck just inside their half, and Louis Strydom kicked his 3rd penalty of the game, the Lions lead still 22-16.

The Valke made it slightly easier for us by conceding a penalty on their 22 in the middle of the field, which Harris kicked over to make the Lions lead 25-16, with 23 minutes left in the game. Gert Muller replaced Bertus Smit at this stage, and shortly afterwards Schalk van der Merwe came on for Jean Deysel, and then Jaco van Schalkwyk for Jaco Pretorius.

22 minutes into the 2nd half the referee awarded another kickable penalty to the Valke, the Lions handling in the ruck, and Strydom kicked his 4th penalty, the Lions lead 25-19. 

Earl Rose then replaced younger brother Jody at Flyhalf.

With only 5 minutes left it was still anybody's game, the Lions leading by just six points.

The Lions then scored their bonus point try, a brilliant break by Jaco van Schalkwyk from the halfway line, and then feeding a long pass to Ludik on his left, who just had to run over the try-line. Harris converted to put the Lions in the lead with 32-19, which was also the final score     

The scorers:

For the Lions:
Tries:
Jaco Pretorius, Wylie Human, Louis Ludik (2)  
Cons:
Mark Harris 3 
Pens:
Mark Harris 2   

For the Valke:
Tries:
Ryan Strudwick    
Cons: Louis Strydom 1
Pens: Louis Strydom 4  

Yellow card: none
Red card: none 

Teams:
 
Lions: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Wylie Human, 13 Jaco Pretorius, 12 Wayne Julies, 11 Mark Harris, 10 Jody Rose, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Ernst Joubert(Capt), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Gerhard Mostert, 4 Willem Stoltz, 3 Bertus Smit, 2 Ethienne Reyneke, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Andre van Niekerk, 17 Gert Muller, 18 Schalk van der Merwe, 19 Roland Bernard, 20 Rory Kockett, 21 Earl Rose, 22 Jaco van Schalkwyk.

Valke: 15. Riaan Viljoen, 14. Brendan April, 13. Sam Willard, 12. Hanno Coetzee, 11. Mpho Matsaung, 10. Louis Strydom, 9. Sarel Pretorius, 8. Michael Vermaak, 7. Bosman Grobler, 6. Piet Krause(Capt), 5. Nico Luus, 4. Ryan Strudwick, 3. Piet Grobler, 2. Zane Killian, 1. Gavin Whittingham.
Replacements: 16. Herkie Jansen van Vuuren, 17. Philip Lemmer, 18. Dewald Senekal, 19. Dries van Schalkwyk, 20. Morne Adams, 21. Sean Plaatjies, 22. Dean Okkers


Referee: Phillip Bosch (Eastern Province)
Touch judges: Christie du Preez (Eastern Province) & Andries Selemela (Leopards) 
TV Match Official: Shaun Veldsman (Boland)

 
 
 
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