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.
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.
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.
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!
substitution was made at this stage, Roland Bernard coming on for Cobus
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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)