The Lions scored eight tries on their way to a comfortable 56-24 victory over Mont de Marsan at Ellis Park on Saturday.
The visitors played hard until the final whistle, and notched four tries of their own in an entertaining match, but they could not match the Lions who cruised to victory in the end.
The home side started the game in dominant fashion, scoring two early tries to stun the French side and take a 14-0 lead.
Speedy wing Anthony Volminck made a good break before the ball was sent to big lock Hendrik Roodt who brushed off a few defenders to go over for the opening try.
The Lions were clearly keen to play with width and a break from scrumhalf Michael Bondesio put them on the front foot once more before Derrick Minnie picked it up and cruised over for their second try.
Stade Montois refused to lie down and fought back well with two tries of their own to level it up at 14-14.
They moved into the Lions 22 where they set up an attacking line-out and mauled it close before giving it to big inside centre Daniele Baleinadogo on the switch who barged over under the poles.
The French side stormed back into Lions 22 and after a few powerful scrums Baptiste Chedal crossed the tryline, but the try was disallowed because of a forward pass.
However, they were not done there and an attacking line-out and good run from Zimum Lucu saw Baleinadogo go over for his second try after running a great line.
The Lions responded by putting together an extended period of pressure, after a few line-outs in the corner Bondesio got over from a quick tap. No sooner had the conversion gone over before Roodt made a break straight up the middle.
He found centre JP du Plessis in support, and then followed up well to get over for his second try to give the Lions the 28-14 lead they took into half-time.
The Lions kept the pressure on after the break and the visitors suffered another blow when replacement Vasssili Bost was shown a yellow card for a deliberate infringement.
The home side scored a couple of quick tries through flank Warwick Tecklenburg and Ruhan Nel, but the visitors refused to lie down and managed to cross the tryline for the third time when right wing Jean-Marc Mazzonetto went over in the corner.
Two late opportunistic tries from Andries Coetzee and Guy Cronje saw the Lions go beyond the half-century, but the visitors would have the final say when Martin Jagr crossed for their fourth try after the hooter.
For the Lions:
Tries: Roodt 2, Minnie, Bondesio, Tecklenburg, Nel, Coetzee, G. Cronje
Cons: Boshoff 6, L. Cronje 2
For Mont de Marsan:
Tries: Baleinadogo 2, Mazzonotto, Jagr
Cons: Arrayet 2
Yellow card: Bost (Deliberate infringement, 49 mins)
Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Nicolaas Hanekom, 12 JP du Plessis, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Derek Minnie, 7 JJ Breet, 6 Warwick Tecklenburg, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg (captain).
Replacements- from: Francois du Toit, Jacques van Rooyen, Gavin Annandale, Jaco Kriel, Guy Cronje, Lionel Cronje, Alwyn Hollenbach, Ruhan Nel, Deon Helberg, Julian Redelinghuys, Willie Britz.
Mont-de-Marsan: 15 Yoan Durquet, 14 Jean-Marc Mazzonetto, 13 Baptiste Chedal, 12 Daniele Baleinadogo, 11 Zimum Lucu, 10 Benat Arrayet, 9 Arnaud Pic, 8 Alexandre Ricaud, 7 Lodie Britz, 6 Julien Tastet, 5 Bêrend Botha, 4 Scott Murray, 3 Sebastien Ormaechea, 2 Piet Grobler, 1 Alexandre Menini.
Replacements - from: Julien Janaudy, Pierre Correia, Vickus Liebenberg, Yann Brethous, Julien Cabannes, Thibault Duvallet, Martin Jagr, Mathieu Giudicelli, Vasssili Bost, Jean-Baptiste Dubie.
Referee: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa), Sieg van Staden (South Africa)
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee (South Africa)
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