Lions devour Cheetahs
The Lions scored two tries in each half to secure a 40-17 bonus-point Super Rugby win over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Tries from Jaco Kriel, Lionel Mapoe, Courtnall Skosan and Francois de Klerk, plus 20 points from the boot of Elton Jantjies saw the Lions cruise to a one-sided victory at Free State Stadium .
A miserable afternoon for the Cheetahs was made slightly more tolerable by Boom Prinsloo's second-half brace of tries as the hosts salvaged some pride in front of their own fans.
Fly-half Francois Brummer kicked the Cheetahs into the lead with a sixth-minute penalty but opposite number Jantjies levelled the scores three minutes later with a penalty of his own before repeating the trick in the 15th minute as the Lions took a 6-3 lead.
A driving maul allowed blindside Kriel to cross for the first try of the game in the 26th minute, which Jantjies converted, and the Lions were 16-3 ahead five minutes before half-time when he slotted his third penalty of the match.
Brilliant interplay by Lions pair De Klerk and Mapoe allowed the latter to touch down shortly before the half-time siren and Jantjies made no mistake from the tee to extend his side's lead to 23-3.
The Lions maintained their intensity in the second half and wing Skosan showed the Cheetahs defenders a clean pair of heels as he dotted down in the left-hand corner and Jantjies added the extras for a 30-3 advantage.
Lions full-back Andries Coetzee was then sent to the sin-bin for a dangerous tackle on Rayno Benjamin and the Cheetahs made their numerical advantage count as openside Prinsloo scored the first of his two tries.
Replacement number 10 Coenie Van Wyk added the conversion but the Lions secured a bonus point when De Klerk scored their fourth try with 15 minutes to play and Jantjies piled further misery on the Cheetahs with his fourth and final penalty of the match moments later.
There was enough time for Prinsloo to score a second try to cap off an impressive individual performance but it made no difference to the result, and the Lions' fifth victory in seven matches saw them erase the pain of last weekend's defeat to the Brumbies.