‘Man-of-the-Match’ Kwagga Smith scored a hat-trick of tries as
the Golden Lions opened their 2015 Currie Cup account with an impressive 51-14
victory over the EP Kings in Nelson Mandela Bay on Saturday.
In an exhilarating start to proceedings, the Lions scored from the kick-off
after they decided to run the ball from well inside their own 22m area.
The man who finished the impressive passage of running rugby was flank Smith
who dotted down under the posts, making the conversion a formality for the very
accurate Marnitz Boshoff.
Less than five minutes later, Courtnall Skosan would help his team double their
score after he weaved his way past four defenders after the visitors launched
another attack inside the home side’s 22.
The third try came at an equally rapid pace and it was again a case of the
Lions showing their love to counter attack from deep options.
Howard Mnisi dived over for the third five-pointer to put his team in front
21-0 after just 15 minutes’ play.
The Lions needed only 16-minutes to pick up their first four-try bonus point
of the season after Smith dived over following a line-break by Ross Cronje who
was stopped metres short of the try-line.
Quite understandably, Eastern Province outfit looked shell-shocked, yet somehow
they managed to gather composure until calm was restored after wing Sylvian
Mahuza put his team on the board following a well-taken interception.
The Lions would eventually lose some momentum and structure in their play but
still enjoyed a healthy 31-7 lead at the break.
A far more focused Kings outfit made an appearance in the second-half and they
managed to close the gap after prop Simon Kerrod scored following a rare period
Boshoff, however, kept the scoreboard ticking over and eventually space opened
up for Smith to get his hat-trick.
At that stage, the Kings were down to 14-men after prop Schalk Ferreira was
pinged for repeated scrum infringements.
The icing on top was a late try by wing Anthony Volmink who rounded off in
the far corner not that the angle of the kick bothered Boshoff who delivered
a flawless kicking display.
Final Score EP Kings 14 (7) Golden Lions 50 (31)
Tries: Sylvain Mahuza, Simon Kerrod.
Conversions: Scott Van Breda (2)
Tries: Jaco Kriel, Courtnall Skosan, Howard Mnisi, Kwagga Smith (3), Anthony
Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff (6).
Penalties: Boshoff (3)