The Golden Lions cemented their position at the top of the Currie Cup standings with an impressive 28-19 win over the second-placed Sharks on Saturday.
In a game that produced just one try to each team, but played at a high pace and with tremendous intensity, the Lions showed why they are favourites at the halfway stage of the season to take South Africa's premier domestic title.
The Lions took a 10-point (19-9) lead into the break and it proved decisive, as the Sharks never managed to close the gap - despite chasing hard in the second half.
It was the unerring boot of the Lions' Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies - who kicked seven penalties and a conversion for 23 points - that proved the difference.
Despite an equally impressive goal-kicking performance form the Sharks' French pivot, Frederic Michalak, who kicked three penalties and a conversion, the Lions showed the better discipline and made the Sharks pay for their erroneous ways.
For the Lions:
Pens: Jantjies 7
For the Sharks:
Pens: Michalak 3
Lions: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Josh Strauss (captain), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Wikus van Heerden, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 Johan Snyman, 19 Michael Rhodes, 20 Warren Whiteley, 21 Doppies La Grange, 22 Burton Francis.
Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Sibusiso Sithole, 13 Stefan Terblanche, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Keegan Daniel (captain), 5 Ross Skeate, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Eugene van Staden, 18 Jan Andre Marais, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Jacques Botes, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Adrian Jacobs.
Referee: Jaco Peyper
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