The Xerox Golden Lions did enough to hold off the Vodacom Blue Bulls as they won the Jukskei derby 36-33 (halftime 26-14) in their Currie Cup match at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday evening.
The visitors started on a rampage as they stampeded their way through the Golden Lions’ wall of defenders at will, with the home team having no choice but to scramble in defence.
The Blue Bulls’ attacking intent paid dividends in the seventh minute when lock Ruben van Heerden took advantage of a gaping hole to score.
A yellow card to flank Jannes Kirsten for repeated team infringements took the wind out of the visitors’ sails and they were quickly punished as hooker Robbie Coetzee burrowed over for a try off the back of a lineout drive in the 20th minute.
The Golden Lions had to contend with a yellow card of their own a minute later as lock Andries Ferreira was given his marching orders for a dangerous tackle.
Much like the Golden Lions moments earlier, the Blue Bulls setup a lineout from the penalty which allowed No 8 Jano Venter to flop over the whitewash. Flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff converted to extend the lead to seven points.
Centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg bagged a brace as the Springbok slowly returns to the form that brought earned him time with the green and gold.
Janse van Rensburg’s first effort saw the youngster receive a superb pass from inside centre Harold Voster, which allowed him to run straight through for a try. His second try was again set up by Voster as Janse van Rensburg caught a cheeky kick to score. Fullback Jaco van der Walt was on hand to convert both.
The Golden Lions made good use of their attacking form as they scored their bonus point try courtesy of prop Jacques van Rooyen, who scored from a dominant maul. Van der Walt’s missed conversion brought the curtain down on the first half with the home team leading 26-14.
The Blue Bulls took their halftime talk to heart as they came out firing when the match resumed.
Quick hands saw replacement utility back Johnny Kotze score a converted try in the corner in the 46th minute.
The match lulled off a bit as both teams ran hard at each other but neither could break the defence down.
The Blue Bulls retook the lead in the 66th minute as fullback Warrick Gelant ran a magnificent line to score in the right-hand corner.
The lead would exchange hands moments later as Van der Walt landed a penalty goal which was followed up by a try to replacement wing Aphiwe Dyantyi who collected a deft box kick to dot down.
The Blue Bulls pulled back a try of their own as replacement hooker Johan Grobbelaar ran a good support line to score with five minutes left on the clock.
The visitors tried hard to win the match but their final movement was ended by a knock-on which allowed the Golden Lions to kick the ball into touch to win 36-33.
Xerox Golden Lions
Tries: Robbie Coetzee, Rohan Janse van Rensburg (2), Jacques van Rooyen, Aphiwe Dyantyi
Cons: Jaco van der Walt (4)
Pens: Van der Walt.
Vodacom Blue Bulls
Tries: Ruben van Heerden, Jano Venter, Johnny Kotze, Warrick Gelant, Johan Grobbelaar
Cons: Marnitz Boshoff (4)