Lions thump disjointed Sharks

2011-02-02 00:00

THE Lions took delight in upsetting the Sharks for the second time in the day as they thumped the Currie Cup champions 41-10 in the Triangular Series rugby match at Newlands last night.

Just hours after the Lions had confirmed the signing of former Sharks flyhalf Butch James, the Johannesburg-based franchise romped to a decisive six-tries-to-two win over John Plumtree’s fancied outfit. Five of the Lions’ tries were scored in the second half as the Sharks tamely surrendered possession and momentum.

The Lions led 10-5 after an un­tidy first half, but their forwards took charge after the break and upstaged the disjointed Sharks pack in front of a small crowd of 3 000 and in breezy conditions.

The evening started well enough for the Sharks as flank Willem Alberts was prominent in the build-up for a try by flyhalf Pat Lambie. But flyhalf Andre Pretorius kicked a penalty against his former team-mates and then the Lions went into half-time with a 10-5 lead when a forward drive produced a try for Derick Minnie.

Former Sharks loose forward Warren Whitely and fullback Jaco Taute, after a kick into space, extended the Lions’ lead with tries after the break before Sharks wing Lwazi Mvovo rounded off for an excellent try.

But the cohesive Lions pack, benefiting from last Friday’s outing against the Stormers, became progressively stronger and lock Franco van der Merwe was driven over for their fourth try.

Two late tries by replacements Caylib Oosthuizen and Michael Killian completed an emphatic 31-point win and an embarrassing night for the Sharks.

While Butch James was the talking point of the day, it was Burton Francis who made his point for the Lions in the evening. Taking over from Pretorius at flyhalf, Francis looked far more comfortable in the pivot role while he also kicked well at goal in converting four of his team’s six tries.

It was a disappointing first outing for the Sharks and their coaches who were convinced the players were ready and better prepared than they were for the corresponding pre-season tourny last year.

The Sharks now face the Stormers at the same venue on Saturday evening and Plumtree will be looking for a radical improvement, particularly from the forwards, in their last outing before they start their Super Rugby campaign against the Cheetahs at King’s Park on February 19.

Scorers:

Lions 41 (10) Tries: Derick Minnie, Warren Whiteley, Jaco Taute, Franco van der Merwe, Caylib Oosthuizen, Michael Killian. Conversions: Burton Francis (4). Penalty: Andre Pretorius

Sharks 10 (5) Tries: Pat Lambie, Lwazi Mvovo.

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