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Xerox Golden Lions 10 10 48
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Tame end to another Vodacom Cup campaign


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Vodacom Cup on 6 May 2014 at 09:25
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

The North section underlined a major imbalance in this year’s Vodacom Cup, with all four teams from that division comfortably winning their quarter-final clashes against South section opposition over the weekend. While wins to the Pumas, Griquas and even the Blue Bulls were hardly unexpected, it was the fourth-placed Lions’ embarrassment of North section leaders the Cell C Sharks XV that raised eyebrows the most.

For the second year running, the Sharks’ unloved stepchild lost a home knock-out game against the Lions after romping to a top-of-log finish. In an untelevised game played out on unfashionable KP2 (the quarter-final clash not deemed more important than carrying out maintenance on the main field’s pitch) Monde Hadebe’s men faltered to a 20-27 defeat as another campaign that had started with such promise fizzled out like a damp match the moment any real pressure was applied.

The writing was perhaps on the wall. This side had shown great fighting spirit earlier in the season, with come-from-behind victories against Border and the Free State XV away from home hinting at a vein of strong character running through the team. As successively more of the senior players confirmed departures from the Union, though, the standard of play seemed to deteriorate and there was just as little passion on display when the lowly EP Kings humbled them at Kings Park a week before.

Jaco van Tonder, shifted to flyhalf from fullback as a late change to the side, got the hosts on the scoreboard first via a penalty, but this was soon cancelled out by a man whom he would know very well from junior days, Lions pivot Willie du Plessis. The Sharks XV crossed for the opening try, via number 8 Johan Meyer and van Tonder added five further points through the conversion and a second penalty to hand his side a 10-point cushion as the break loomed. Content, it would seem, to sit on this narrowest of leads, the Sharks XV had no answer as the Lions scored 24 unanswered points over the next 25 minutes, including three tries.

At 13-27 down with 20 minutes to play, the match was over as a contest, despite Jongi Nokwe’s late try which added a little respectability to the scoreline.

Scores:
Cell C Sharks XV (20): Tries Johan Meyer, Jongi Nokwe. Conversions Jaco van Tonder, Duncan Campbell. Penalties van Tonder (2).
Golden Lions (27): Tries Stokkies Hanekom, Vainon Willis, Stephan de Witt. Conversions Willie du Plessis (3). Penalties du Plessis (2).



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