Lions savage the Southern Kings

A dominant showing by the Emirates Lions ensured that they rounded-off week 14 of Vodacom Super Rugby in pole position after trouncing the Southern Kings 54–10 at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on 28 May.

Despite being a man down for a large part of the game, the Lions were unstoppable as they sunk their teeth deep into the backs of their opponents.

Hooker Robbie Coetzee was red-carded for foul play in the 31st minute, however, the setback did little to negate a marauding Highveld side who dominated the possession and breakdowns to lead 19–3 at the halftime break.

Read: Thulas Nxesi, new Minister of Sport and Recreation, meets with the South African Rugby Union (Saru) to discuss possible Rugby World Cup 2023 bid

It was only after the resumption, however, that the Lions’ season-long hallmark of an all-round team display allowed them to run away with proceedings. Their outstanding play saw Kwagga Smith, who scored a brace, Andries Ferreira, Courtnall Skosan, Malcolm Marx, Jacques van Rooyen, Faf De Klerk and Andries Coetzee sharing in the spoils of the eight-try demolition.

The Joburg-based side, coached by former Springbok player, Johan Ackermann and captained by eighthman Warren Whiteley, continue their impressive run and currently boast 12 wins from 13 games in Africa Conference 2 – 14 points ahead of second placed Cell C Sharks, who overcame the DHL Stormers 22–10 at the Shark Tank in Durban on 27 May.

Ackermann’s troops are currently on a 10-game winning run. Only the Vodacom Bulls have won more games in succession after amassing an impressive 12 wins on the trot in the 2009/10 campaign.

Read: Wits Hockey Club gears up for Hockey World League Semi-Finals 2017

Ackermann announced in April that he planned to leave the rugby union by mutual consent to take up a role with English rugby club Gloucester which plays in the domestic Premiership, the Anglo-Welsh Cup and the European Professional Club Rugby competitions.

This was confirmed by Ackermann at a press conference held in Johannesburg on 3 April. He will leave the Lions following the conclusion of this year’s Super Rugby competition.

Do you think the Lions have what it takes to win the this year’s Vodacom Super Rugby competition and why? Post your comments on our Facebook page.

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