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Sport24.co.za | Lions crowned Currie Cup champions



Johannesburg
– The Golden Lions were crowned 2015 Currie Cup champions after defeating
Western Province 32-24 (half-time 22-10) in the final at Ellis Park on Saturday.

The
home side claimed the prize in emphatic style, winning all 12 of their matches
becoming the first side since the 1990s to go unbeaten in a season.

It was
the Lions’ 11th Currie Cup title in their history.

After
15 minutes of sustained pressure and missed opportunities, the Lions finally opened
the scoring with No 8 Warren Whiteley being put into a gap for a try.

Lions
centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg made the initial break but the off-load to
Kwagga Smith was knocked down by an opposition player before they managed to
get the ball under control, with Whitley running into a gap to score.

After
missing his first two penalty attempts, flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff finally found
his target by converting the try.

The
first half of the encounter seemed to be a battle between the two flyhalves to
see who can make the most mistakes.

Western
Province pivot Robert du Preez was slightly ahead with the youngster kicking a
penalty over the dead-ball line, while he also missed with a penalty
conversion.

The
home side got over the whitewash on the quarter mark, with Ross Cronje the
better of the halfbacks, finishing a move which was started by their two busy
locks.

The
second-row combination of Lourens Erasmus and Franco Mostert were immense with
their carries and were crucial in sparking the try.

Erasmus
made the break and later in the move he sent a floating skip pass to Andries
Coetzee before Cronje received the ball for the try.

Four
minutes later WP got into promising position when they were awarded a penalty
which Du Preez pushed over the dead-ball line.

Nearly
a half-an-hour had gone by before the Capetonians finally got onto the
scoresheet with Du Preez slotting a penalty.

Six
minutes from the half-time break, Janse van Rensburg showed his strength as he
bashed two defenders out of the way in the in midfield with Cronje scoring his
brace.

Boshoff
missed the conversion but returned their lead to 19 points with a penalty goal
before visitors got the breakthrough.

Du
Preez finally got the rub of the green as he took on the line from a lineout
beating his opposition en route to the tryline and converting his own
five-pointer.

Shortly
after the break, Janse van Rensburg again bullied his way over the line,
sending one of his own players who got into the firing line to the ground to
score with Boshoff converting to return the status quo.

WP
pocket-rocket Cheslin Kolbe demonstrated why he is one of their danger men as
he stepped his way over the advantage line.

Not
to be out-done by his smaller team-mate, Nizaam Carr took the ball up swerving
through tackles to touch down.

Just
short of the third-quarter mark Boshoff landed a long-range penalty kick to
extend his side’s advantage by three points.

However,
WP started to make inroads and on the 62nd minute mark, flank Sikhumbuzo Notshe
scored from the back of a rolling maul which emanated from a lineout with Kurt
Coleman converting to make it an eight-point game.

With
no time left on the clock, WP replacement lock Chris van Zyl earned a yellow
card for charging into a ruck with a penalty being overturned.

It allowed
the Lions to close out the game and take the title.

Scorers:

Golden Lions:

Tries: Warren Whiteley, Ross Cronje (2), Rohan Janse van Rensburg

Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff (3)

Penalties: Boshoff (2)

Western Province:

Tries: Robert du Preez, Nizaam Carr, Sikhumbuzo Notshe

Conversions: Robert du Preez (2), Kurt Coleman

Penalty: Du Preez

Teams:

Golden Lions:

15. Andries Coetzee, 14. Courtnall Skosan, 13. Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 12. Howard Mnisi, 11. Anthony Volmink, 10. Marnitz Boshoff, 9. Ross Cronje, 8. Warren Whiteley, 7. Kwagga Smith, 6. Jaco Kriel (captain), 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Lourens Erasmus, 3. Julian Redelinghuys, 2. Robbie Coetzee, 1. Jacques van Rooyen

Substitutes: 16. Malcolm Marx, 17. Ruan Dreyer, 18. Fabian Booysen, 19. Stephan de Witt, 20. Jaco van der Walt, 21. Stokkies Hanekom, 22. Sampie Mastriet

Western Province:

15. Cheslin Kolbe, 14. Dillyn Leyds, 13. Johnny Kotze, 12. Juan de Jongh (captain), 11. Seabelo Senatla, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Nizaam Carr, 7. Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6. Rynhardt Elstadt, 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Jean Kleyn, 3. Wilco Louw, 2. Bongi Mbonambi, 1. Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16. Michael Willemse, 17. Oli Kebble, 18. Chris van Zyl, 19. Jurie van Vuuren, 20. Jano Vermaak, 21. Kurt Coleman, 22. Huw Jones



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