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Rugby

Lions pile on pressure for spot in the semis

15 October 2017 - 00:00 By LIAM DEL CARME

The Golden Lions were as full of intent as they were of imprecision as they secured a Currie Cup semifinal spot against Western Province at Newlands next weekend.
In the other semifinal, the leading Sharks will host the Blue Bulls in Durban.
For the first 70 minutes of this match, the Lions made heavy weather of subduing the gallant visitors. A try-fest was expected here but neither side could fully assert themselves on the other's defence in the first hour.The Cheetahs had the perfect alibi. They hardly saw oval object of desire but the Lions, despite their over-familiarity with the ball, frittered away positions of promise.
To be fair, they had four tryline breaches overruled by either the referee or the TV match official.
On the whole, however, the hosts weren't as clinical as they can be and allowed the Cheetahs to remain competitive in a match that should have been killed off as a contest before the break.It was only when wing Courtnall Skosan raced into the clear with 10 minutes to go that they put the matter to rest.
The hosts had the lions' share of possession and territory in the first half.
Ox Nche made quite an impact
They let the Cheetahs off the leash far too often when they were hot on the attack and in one glaring example, a stray pass found the grateful hands of perennially speeding Cheetah Makazole Mapimpi.
The converted try also brought the Cheetahs, despite finding themselves on the back foot for the bulk of the half, within three points of the hosts. Eventually, however, the Lions' dominance was rewarded. They were not short of endeavour through the wonderfully intuitive Harold Vorster, the positional awareness of Ross Cronje and the wrecking ball exploits of Cyle Brink...

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