Border get their Craven Week campaign off to the worst possible start

17 July 2017 - 18:41 By Khanyiso Tshwaku
Yanga Hlalu of the Golden Lions tackled by Siphamandla Matsinya of Border during the match betyween the Golden Lions and Border on day 1 of the 2017 U/18 Coca-Cola Craven Week at St Stithians College on July 17, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Yanga Hlalu of the Golden Lions tackled by Siphamandla Matsinya of Border during the match betyween the Golden Lions and Border on day 1 of the 2017 U/18 Coca-Cola Craven Week at St Stithians College on July 17, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Border got their Craven Week campaign off to the worst possible start as the Golden Lions put them to the sword with the thorough 44-8 hammering at St Stithians College in Randburg.

Border held their own in the first half when they trailed 13-8 at the break but the Lions drilled in 31 unanswered second half points as inside centre Yanga Hlalu scored a hattrick.

After an enterprising start‚ Border were worn down by a relentless and well drilled opposition who thrived in Johannesburg's first Craven Week in 11 years.

With Western Province and Free State also scoring convincing wins‚ the top unions have set up an enticing Wednesday while Border may have to make do with one of the weaker unions.

Border started strongly through lock Stephan Niewenhuizen's fourth minute try.

From a snappy Hlumelo Ndudula pass‚ the lock dummied past his first man before powerfully straightening the line.

Border had the weaker pack but their tempo allowed them to keep the Lions at bay.

While Tinus Combrinck replied for the hosts in the 19th minute‚ Border were unfortunate to have David Coetzer's try disallowed for an inconclusive grounding.

Wing Siphamandla Matsinya had cut the defence with a superb angled run at pace and Border's support runners were on hand to provide clean and quick ball.

Coetzer's normally reliable goalkicking let him down having missed the conversion and the resultant penalty.

There was also the sound Lions defence that kept the visitors at bay.

The Lions though had a slick set of backs and Yanga Hlalu was on hand to score just before half-time after right wing David Cary seared down the right hand said.

However‚ Leon Mpeku's forward pass to Cary‚ which was picked up on the replays‚ wasn't picked by the match officials.

It gave the Lions the required momentum to get off to a fast second half start through Cary‚ who beat Jason Raubenheimer on his outside to score the Lions' third try.

Hlalu ended the game as a contest in the 45th minute when he scored his second try after the Lions backs again made serious headway on the flanks.

The Lions forwards had by now taken hold of the game and asked questions their Border counterparts couldn't quite answer.

The difference though was in the back division where Leon and Kennedy Mpeku with Hlalu and Cary in tandem created merry mayhem.

Hlalu's third in the 56th minute was a case of the inside centre capitalising on a Mark Snyman tackle on Coetzer‚ who coughed up the ball on the halfway line.

Kennedy snared his try when he got around Dashaan Mitchely and Raubenheimer to dot down in the corner.

Lock Stephan le Roux administered the last rites with a pushover try that signified the Lions forward dominance that allowed their backs to prosper.

Scorers:

Golden Lions

Tries: Tinus Combrinck‚ Yanga Hlalu (3)‚ David Cary‚ Kennedy Mpeku‚ Stephan le Roux

Conversions: Mpeku (2)‚ Tyler Hayward (2)

Penalty: Mpeku

Border:

Try: Stephan Niewenhuizen‚

Penalty: Jason Raubenheimer

- TimesLIVE

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