TSHWANE — The Golden Lions continued their march on the Absa Currie Cup this season with a tough and uncompromising 36-27 victory over the Vodacom Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.
John Mitchell’s side arrived at Loftus knowing well they would have to be at their best to stop a Bulls side desperate for victory, propped up with a half dozen Boks and looking for redemption.
What they delivered was the most telling announcement that they are ready to challenge for the Currie Cup rugby crown while the rest of the world’s attention is likely to be in New Zealand. This was as tough as Currie Cup rugby gets, although the Bulls will be massively frustrated with their own inability to adapt to referee Jaco Peyper’s rulings at the breakdown.
If they search for the reason they lost the game, it was there for all to see as they conceded penalty after penalty and then to add insult to injury, had lock Flip van der Merwe red-carded for repeated infringements after an earlier resting period in the sin bin.
Teams normally aim for 10 penalties or fewer in a game, but the Bulls had 18, plus 20 minutes with 14 men which sunk any chance they had of winning the game. The fact they were still in the game throughout shows the heart of the team, who are unfortunately lacking in the finishing touches as well.
But to point to the penalties would do an injustice to the Lions, who forced these through putting the Bulls under pressure for large periods of the game.