Lions remain on top after Cheetahs win

2011-08-15 00:00

THE Lions were given a nasty fright, but just held out to beat the Free State Cheetahs 17-10 at Ellis Park and stay ahead of the Sharks on the Currie Cup log.

This was the only Currie Cup game played on Saturday and it was a tough, bruising affair.

The Sharks, following their important 21-19 win over Western Province in the rain in Cape Town on Friday night, are four points behind the unbeaten Lions on the log after five rounds.

The Cheetahs trailed 17-3 with 15 minutes remaining, but finished strongly with a late try bringing them back into touch and it needed a TMO decision on the final whistle as prop Coenie Oosthuizen drove for the line to deny them a possible draw.

The difference, in the end, was the performance of the opposing flyhalves with the Lions’ Elton Jantjies in impressive form in general play and in kicking at goal while Sias Ebersohn had a rare off day with the boot for the Cheetahs.

Sharks coach John Plumtree returned to Durban from Cape Town relieved at the win and happy with the character shown by his players on defence and the kicking of Frederic Michalak who scored all 21 of the Shark’s points.

Plumtree said, “The weather was shocking, but we played to the conditions particularly well in the first half.

“I was proud of the boys and our defence was excellent.”

Plumtree said the Sharks were able to place Province under huge pressure at the tackle and at the set piece and this had been a key factor.

The Sharks coach added that Eugene van Staden had struggled when switched from tighthead to loosehead, and conceded two late penalties.

Plumtree said, “We’ll have to look at that in the future.

“But it was a real arm-wrestle in the conditions, a battle for territory and kicking points and we were fortunate to come out on top.”

Plumtree added that there had been no serious injury worries and the Sharks now play the Leopards in Durban on Friday night.

Saturday’s score and scorers:

Lions 17 (8): Try: Michael Killian. Penalties: Jantjies (4). Cheetahs 10 (3): Try: Tewis de Bruyn. Conversion: Riaan Smit. Penalty: Sias Ebersohn.

Friday night’s results (home team first):

WP 19 Sharks 21

Griquas 32 Leopards 18

Pumas 12 Blue Bulls 16.

This weekend’s fixtures (home team first):

Friday: WP vs Lions 7.10 pm

Sharks vs Leopards 7.10 pm

Blue Bulls vs Griquas 7.10 pm

Saturday: Free State vs Pumas 3 pm.

Teams P W D L PD BPts Pts

Lions 5 5 0 0 75 2 22

Sharks 5 4 0 1 10 2 18

Griquas 5 3 1 1 4 3 17

WP 5 2 1 2 58 4 14

FS 5 2 0 3 15 4 12

Bulls 5 2 0 3 -49 0 8

Pumas 5 0 0 5 -28 5 5

Leopards 5 1 0 4 -85 1 5


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