‘Great’ Lions maul Kings

Try blitz floors EP as they suffer their seventh consecutive Currie Cup defeat EP Kings head coach Barend Pieterse described the Golden Lions as a “great” team after they mauled his side 71-7 in a Currie Cup Premier Division clash that turned into a total mismatch.

Pieterse was forced to watch his hastily assembled team leak 11 sparkling tries as they slumped to their seventh consecutive Currie Cup defeat at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. The Kings did manage to keep the Lions caged until the 17th minute when powerful loose forward Ruan Ackermann crashed over for the visitors’ first try. But it was a try blitz either side of half time that saw the Lions score 19 points in a matter of minutes that floored the Kings. “Obviously after getting beaten by a score like that we were plainly beaten by a team that is really, really good,” Pieterse said. “It did not help that we slipped off too many one-on-one tackles. I do not think there was anything wrong with the system because when we stayed in the system we made good leg tackles. “But when the game got a little bit open we missed tackles and that was our downfall at the end of the day.” The Kings struggled in the scrums and that forced Pieterse to make a tactical switch in the 28th minute when he brought on prop Vukile Sofisa to replace Pieter Stemmet. “The reason we brought Stemmet off was because he was on a warning and the next one would have been a card. When Sofisa came on he did well. “After 37 minutes the score was 19-7, but within a few minutes the Lions scored 19 points. It was not because of anything special, but the Lions are a great team.” The Kings have a final chance to gain a much-needed victory when they face the Pumas at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday. “We are looking forward to the Pumas game, though it is a bit difficult to think about that game after what happened against the Lions.

“From the start of the season we wanted to be competitive against the Pumas and they are also in a situation where they will be targeting for us for a win as well . “It will be a good battle on the day, but we can’t go into the game with the same defensive effort if we want to beat the Pumas,” Pieterse said. After slumping to defeat in their previous match against the Free State Cheetahs, the Lions arrived in Port Elizabeth with their claws sharpened and hungry for points. After a slow start to the season, the Lions try-scoring machine kicked into overdrive against the bottom-of-the-table Kings. With a bottleneck developing at the top of the log for playoff berths, the Lions knew that only a bonus point win would be good enough to keep them in the race. At half time the Lions had already galloped into a 26-7 lead and the Kings must have already been fearing the worst in what has been a tough season for the men in red and black hoops. After putting up stiff resistance, the Kings were knocked back by quick tries by Koch Marx and skipper Kwagga Smith as the Lions took a firm grip on the game just before the half-time break. The Lions started the second half the same way as they ended the first with flyer Anthony Volmink going over for his team’s fifth try in the 41st minute. There was more pain for the Kings in the 45th minute when Jacques Nel pounced to score his team’s sixth try against a home team who were being run ragged. Ahead of the clash, Barend Pieterse warned his team that unless they fronted up physically against the Lions they would end up second best by a big margin. Golden Lions 71: Tries: Ruan Ackermann, Howard Mnisi (2), Koch Marx, Kwagga Smith (3), Anthony Volmink, Jacques Nel (2), Sylvian Mahuza. Conversions: Jaco van der Walt (5). Andries Coetzee (3). EP Kings 7: Try: Sampie Mastriet. Conversion: Pieter-Steyn De Wet.

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