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Lions 35 (18) vs Valke 23 (8)

Lions get their first win in 2008 Currie Cup

Game Valke fail to get points from match

The Lions finally scored their first win of the 2008 Currie Cup season, beating the Valke 35-23 at Ellis Park on Friday, scoring 4 tries to 3 and securing five log points in the match. Louis Strydom certainly made a difference at Flyhalf, and Rose had his best match for the Lions in the Currie Cup and was also named man of the match for his three tries.

The Lions had a dream start in just the second minute of the game, they had a line-out just outside the Valke 22, and the ball went to the back, where it was slapped to the Lions side, but not controlled, and the Valke player that burst through the line-out knocked the ball on, where Franco van der Merwe picked it up and ran in a 35 meter try untouched. Rose converted to put the Lions in an early 7-0 lead.

In the 9th minute the Valke were awarded a penalty on the Lions 22 after sustained attacking play, and the Lions were lucky to just concede the three points to a Jacques Schutte penalty.

The Lions had a great chance in the 14th minute when they had a line-out five meters out after a penalty for a spear tackle by Ernie Kruger on Earl Rose, but even though Franco caught the ball nicely it was knocked on when he came down after the jump.

Just three minutes later the Lions did score, this after the ball came down the backline to the left where Dewald Senekal got the ball on about the Valke 22 with 3 or 4 Lions to his left, he put his head down and ran for the try-line, looking like he might go all the way, but as he was tackled just short, he passed the ball to his left where Earl Rose caught it and dived over in the corner to score. He hit the right upright with the conversion attempt, but the Lions now leading 12-3.

The next score by the Lions was in the 30th minute, the Valke penalised for playing the ball on the ground just outside their 22, and Earl Rose made no mistake with the kick, making the score 15-3 for the Lions.

Then, just before halftime, a comedy of errors for the Lions, they were pinned in their 22, the ball came to them from a scrum, went to Rose who tried to clear with a kick but it was charged down and caught by Hanno Coetzee meters from the try-line, he passed left but behind Dewald Pretorius on the wing who had to turn and pick up the ball, but then he managed to beat of a few tackles and still score in the left corner. The conversion was missed, and the Lions lead cut to 15-8.

The Valke had another great chance to score before the break, it came from an intercept by Rouan Cloete on his own try-line as the Lions were heading to score, and then he ran down the right hand touchline to about the Lions 22 where he ran out of steam and passed to his left, where luckily Earl Rose managed to tackle the receiver and the move broke down. It was cover defense from Ludik from the right wing that forced the pass from Cloete.

The Lions had the last say in the first half with a penalty by Rose from the Valke 10 meter line, this after a transgression by the Valke in a ruck. The halftime score was 18-8 for the Lions.

The Lions started the second half well with attacking play and pinning the Valke in their own 22, and eventually were rewarded with a penalty inside the Valke 22 after a very ugly high tackle by Dewald Pretorius on Walter Venter. Unfortunately Rose missed the kick to the left.

9 minutes into the 2nd half Muller and Vermaak replaced Sephaka and Jonck.

3 Minutes later the Valke shocked the Lions with a try, the ball was turned over on the Lions 10 meter line from what looked like a Valke player that was offside, they hit right and had numbers and Cloete ran in the try, converted by Len Olivier, to make the score 18-15 for the Lions. Killian was now on for Venter, who looked like he picked up a slight leg injury.

In the 19th minute of the second half the Valke were awarded a penalty about ten meters outside the Lions 22, but on the left 5 meter line, this after a early tackle by Jano Vermaak. Olivier kicked the rather difficult penalty to make it 18-18. Wepener was now on for Reynecke and Heinke for Janse van Rensburg.

24 minutes into the 2nd half the Lions got a penalty on the Valke 22 right in front after the Valke defense was caught offside, and Rose added the 3 points with the penalty to put the Lions in front 21-18.

Then some magic from the Lions, Ludik stole a ball at the breakdown after a tackle on a Valke player just outside the Valke 22, the ball came out quickly to the Lions backline, Earl Rose realised that there was no defender at Fullback and chipped the ball over the line defense, Gordon regathered and in the tackle offloaded to Rose, who scored just left of the poles. He converted his own try, and the score now 28-18 for the Lions.

32 minutes into the 2nd half the Valke showed that they haven't given up yet, they established a huge overlap on the right on the halfway line, and came close to scoring but a ruck was formed about 5 meters from the Lions try-line, the ball came out and went right, where Emile Verster used his bulk to power over for the try. Olivier missed the conversion but the score now 28-23 for the Lions.

Three minutes later Rose scored his third, the Valke were pinned in their 22 with the Lions putting the pressure on, the ball went down the backline to the left, were Rose was tackled but stillsomehow managed to score in the corner. He also added the difficult conversion from the touchline to put the Lions further in the lead, 35-23.

Wheeler replaced Koch at this stage to make his debut for the Lions.

And finally Noble was on for Strydom, who had a good match for the Lions in his return game after the in jury in the Super 14.

The Lions scored their last try after the hooter, the ball was won from a line-out on the Valke 10 meter line, went down the backline to the left, where Ludik received a flat pass from Rose at speed and he sliced through the defense to score a great try, perhaps the best of the night, although when the TMO had a look at it, it was ruled a forward pass and the try dissalowed, so the final score 35-23 for the Lions and Rose rightfully named man of the match, this was his best match yet for the lions in the Currie Cup.

The scorers:

For the Lions:
 Franco van der Merwe, Earl Rose(3)    
Cons: Earl Rose(3)              
Earl Rose(3)          

For the Valke:
 Dewald Pretorius, Rouan Cloete, Emile Verster                   
Cons: Len Olivier          
Pens: Jacques Schutte, Len Olivier             

Yellow card: None
Red card: None 

Lions: 15 Earl Rose, 14 Louis Ludik, 13 Jaco van Schalkwyk, 12 Walter Venter, 11 Heini Gordon, 10 Louis Strydom, 9 Chris Jonck, 8 Wilhelm Koch, 7 Franco van der Merwe, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar(c), 5 Anton van Zyl, 4 Dewald Senekal, 3 Lawrence Sephaka, 2 Ethienne Reynecke, 1 JC Janse van rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Gert Muller, 18 Heinke van der Merwe, 19 Justin Wheeler, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Michael Killian, 22 Dusty Noble.

Valke: 15 Jacques Schutte, 14 Ernie Kruger, 13 Rouan Cloete, 12 Hanno Coetzee(c), 11 Luvo Sogidashe, 10 True Blue Smit, 9 Gerrie Odendaal, 8 Sean Plaatjies, 7 Emile Verster, 6 Uwe Sauer, 5 Marius Coetzer, 4 Wouter Moore, 3 Nico Pretorius, 2 Ryno Barnes, 1 Gavin Whittingham.  
Replacements: 16 Frik Venter, 17 Rassie van Vuuren, 18 Reggie Perkins, 19 Warren Perkins, 20 Morne Adams, 21 Len Olivier, 22 Dewald Pretorius.

Referee: Phillip Bosch 
Touch judges: Jaco Peyper and Peet Badenhorst
TV Match Official:
  Michael Cupido

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