‘Easy like Sunday Morning’ for the Lions as they wipe the floor with the Kings

Kwagga Smith of the Lions scores a try during the Super Rugby match between Emirates Lions and Southern Kings
Picture: Sydney Seshibedi / Gallo Images

At some stage during the Lions’ 54-10 comprehensive trashing of the Kings‚ the Ellis Park Stadium DJ got creative and blasted Lionel Ritchie’s Easy like Sunday Morning on the venue’s speakers.

The song couldn’t have been a more apt description as the game‚ unusually played on a Sunday afternoon‚ as it was a stroll in the park for the Lions.

A 14-men Lions side scored eight tries‚ including a brace from Kwagga Smith‚ while Elton Jantjies made five successful conversions and continued to make a strong case for a starting berth in the Springboks team to play a three-match series against France next month.

It was a convincing win for the home side as they played attacking rugby under the leadership of new Springbok captain Warren Whiteley.

As a result of this win‚ the Lions have registered their tenth Super Rugby win on the trot.

They remain on course to breaking the 12-match South African winning streak the once mighty Bulls achieved in the 2009 and 2010 campaigns.

The Lions remain top of the South African Group with 56 points from twelve wins out of 13 matches and carry the favourites tag.

For the Kings‚ who looked impressive a few weeks ago‚ it is back to the drawing board and hopefully coach Deon Davids and his charges will take positives from this mauling against one of the best teams in the competition.

The Kings started on the back foot as they lost Irne Herbst to a yellow card early in the game and they never recovered.

Persistent pressure by the Lions saw Andries Ferreira score the first try of the match with Jantjies failing to convert.

Nine minutes later‚ Lions increased their lead through a try by left wing Courtnall Skosan.

Jantjies converted as the Lions began to take a grip on proceedings.

Just before the hour mark‚ the Kings finally got on the score-sheet when Pieter-Steyn de Wet scored from a penalty after the Lions were penalised for not releasing the player on the ground.

The Kings had to play the remaining nine minutes with a man down after referee Jaco Peyper showed a yellow card to Chris Cloete for charging into a dead ruck.

For the Lions it was far worse as they lost Robbie Coetzee for the rest of the match as he we was shown red for connecting his knee with Cloete’s head after the latter charged into the ruck.

The Lions went to the break on a high and with a lead of 19-3 after Smith ran down the field where he avoided a tackle along the way to score with the half time bell already gone.

Two minutes into the second half‚ Malcolm Marx scored the Lions’ fourth try after they launched a powerful driving maul inside the Kings 22m area and Jantjies found the middle of the poles from the resultant conversion.

The Lions scored two tries in quick succession through Jacques van Rooyen and Smith. Jantjies converted both.

The Kings finally scored their first try of the match through Luzuko Vulindlu and it was converted by De Wet.

But their joy was shortlived as Faf de Klerk and Andries Coetzee scored converted tries late in the match tries to complete the rout.

Tries: Ferreira‚ Skosan‚ Smith (2)‚ Marx‚ Van Rooyen‚ De Klerk‚ A Coetzee
Conversions: Jantjies (5)‚ A Coetzee (2)

Try: Vulindlu
Conversion: De Wet
Penalty: De Wet
Red Card: R Coetzee (Lions) – TMG Digital/TMG Sport

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