The Golden Lions were able to break their losing streak when they won against the Pumas on Saturday at home 29-28.
It seems that the norm in the Currie Cup this year is to have all the ability to attack but do not really care about defence. The Lions defensive structures have put them into trouble plenty of times in this years Currie Cup and against the Pumas it was no different.
The won the game because the outscore the Pumas with five tries to four and earned much needed log points as they have been slipping away the last couple of weeks.
The Lions are still at the bottom of the log but the win will give their young players the confidence to take on the second part of the season.
The home side made a terrific start and opened the scoring in the first minute courtesy of a Ryan Kankowski try after Ashlon Davids laid the groundwork with a telling break in the build-up.
Davids failed to convert but it did not take long for the visitors to respond – Stefan Ungerer barging over after taking a tap penalty deep inside the Lions’ 22.
Kobus Marais added the extras but the Lions regained the lead when Ruan Dreyer got over the whitewash after bursting through a tackle from Jerome Pretorius close to the Pumas’ try-line.
The topsy turvy nature of this encounter continued and in the 17th minute the Pumas did well to wheel a Lions scrum and win possession. Ungerer gathered the loose ball and offloaded to Lambert Groenewald who powered his way over the try-line.
The Lions did not take that lying down and on the half-hour mark Marco Jansen van Vuuren got over for their third try after the ball went through several pairs of hands in the build-up.
Davids slotted his first conversion and seven minutes later, he delivered a pin-point cross-field kick which Madosh Tambwe gathered before diving over for the Lions’ bonus-point try.
That gave the Lions a 22-14 lead at the interval and shortly after the restart things went pear-shaped for the visitors when Pretorius received a yellow card for a high tackle on Manual Rass.
But despite their numerical disadvantage, the Pumas narrowed the gap in the 54th minute when Groenwald crossed for his seond try after gathering a well-timed pass from Ungerer.
The Lions responded shortly afterwards when Rohan Janse van Rensburg broke past a couple of defenders before scoring his side’s fifth try.
To their credit, the Pumas did not surrender and after a fantastic kick from Ungerer, the ball bounced nicely for Pretorius who got a pass out to Ruwellyn Isbell and he had an easy run-in under the posts in the 67th minute.
The Pumas suffered another setback in the 73rd minute when Hugo Kloppers was sent to the sin bin for a cynical foul on defence and although the final 10 minutes was a tense affair, the Lions held on for their narrow win.
For Golden Lions:
Tries: Kankowski, Dreyer, Jansen van Vuren, Tambwe, Janse van Rensburg
Cons: Davids 2
Tries: Ungerer, Groenewald 2, Isbell
Cons: Marais 4