Lions put 94 points past hapless Sunwolves at Ellis Park

01 July 2017 - 19:32 By LIAM DEL CARME in Johannesburg
Jumpei Ogura of the Sunwolves tackles Jumpei Ogura of the Sunwolves during the Super Rugby match between Emirates Lions and Sunwolves at Emirates Airline Park on July 01, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Jumpei Ogura of the Sunwolves tackles Jumpei Ogura of the Sunwolves during the Super Rugby match between Emirates Lions and Sunwolves at Emirates Airline Park on July 01, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Too much power, too much precision, simply put, too much prowess.

That was the tale of this lopsided match in which the Lions resumed their Super Rugby challenge by thoroughly putting hapless Sunwolves to the sword.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann wanted his side to display the same intensity that helped them set the standard in the Africa conference against the competition's weakest side.

The question the Lions had to answer was whether they could summon that ruthless, relentless intent. They emphatically answered their coach in the affirmative.

Jaco Kriel marvellously led from the front in the absence of Warren Whiteley.

Elton Jantjies' focus and aim remained sharp and when he was withdrawn from action he had banged over six from seven conversions.

Ruan Combrinck was a man who stood accused of only rising to the occasion under august circumstances, but he looked hell bent on leaving a dent on the tourists.

The hunger was evident elsewhere too.

To compound matters, when the Lions' Springbok contingent was withdrawn from the action, the bench too feasted on what was left. Faf de Klerk was electrifying at times as he evaded Sunwolves pursuers.

The co-ordinated energy from the Lions scrum yielded the first points of the match after just six minutes.

The scrum came as a result of a disallowed Courtnall Skosan 'try' moments earlier and once the hosts stole the march on the visitors on that set piece Ross Cronjé sidestepped his way over.

The Lions found similar traction in the next scrum and it was from the ensuing possession Elton Jantjies set Kriel on a remarkable run to the line.

It was the kind of run Robocop would have been proud of for Kriel simply brushed aside challenge of the would be defenders.

Through sheer force of will he saw off the challenge of six defenders en route to the tryline.

The hosts' third try also came from the set piece and this time the Lions marched the Sunwolves pack back at a rate of knots.

When the ball was released the Lions hit to the right before sweeping to the left setting Kwagga Smith on one of his trademark speedy thrusts.

The tourists were no match. Their game is lithe, built around speed and mobility and yet they looked thoroughly spent as the halfway mark approached.

Their game lacks the requisite grunt and it lacks substance too.

In fact, you got the distinct impression from the Sunwolves that as a rugby side they are a simulation, some distance off the real thing.

Scorers

Lions (94)

Tries: Ruan Combrinck (3), Kwagga Smith (2), Jaco Kriel (2), Ross Cronjé, Elton Jantjies, Akker van der Merwe, Courtnall Skosan, Faf de Klerk, Sylvian Mahuza, Ruan Ackermann.

Conversions: Jantjies (6), Combrinck (5), Faf de Klerk.

Sunwolves (7)

Try: Uwe Helu

Conversion: Jumpei Ogura.

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