By Lucky Maree
The way the Lions hung on by their fingertips to a possible spot in the play-offs for the Currie Cup played out like an action movie.
But yesterday at Kings Park in Durban their unlikely dream came to an end when the Sharks beat them by eight points.
For a number of weeks, the Lions have been upsetting the apple cart by winning match after match. The two teams were locked at three converted tries each for most of the match. Not that it mattered, but the Sharks even denied the Lions a bonus point as they lost by eight points and couldn’t manage to score the fourth try. The way the Lions fought until the final whistle was still a joy to watch and a credit to their team in spite of their troubled union. (Their last match of the season against the Griffons is a dead rubber for both teams.)
Over the course of the last three weeks the Pumas have lost their sparkle. Truth be told, the Stonehouse Express has come to a standstill. Their match against the Free State in Mbombela was closer than the scoreboard suggests, but they were never allowed to play that relentless attacking rugby they are so good at. They are still in the hunt for the Currie Cup trophy they won last year, but they had better pick up some steam.
Two weekends, three losses for the Province. We know what happened with the Stormers in the United Rugby Championship, last weekend, but almost unseen the Western Province got slapped around the ears a bit by the Lions the day before the URC final. This last weekend they didn’t do their chances any good when they went down to Griquas in Kimberley. Please coach Dobson, you’ve performed miracles so far. Don’t let your teams drop the ball now.
It was one way traffic at Loftus Versfeld when the Blue Bulls scored ten tries against the Griffons. The solitary match the Griffons have won this season was against the Bulls, so there was a bit of needle to the match, but not really. It says a lot for the fighting spirit of the Griffons that they scored a try (and a penalty try) in the last ten minutes of the match. In fact, it says a lot about them that they come back week after week to get smashed up by their opponents.
Griquas (5 tries) 38-29 (4 tries) Western Province
Blue Bulls (10 tries) 64-31 (4 tries) Griffons
Pumas (2 tries) 14-29 (4 tries) Free State
Sharks (4 tries) 28-21 (3 tries) Lions
Caption: As always, Sanele Nohamba starred for the Lions