Jantjies boosts troubled Currie Cup champs Lions
Elton Jantjies kicked a late penalty to give Currie Cup title holders Golden Lions a 26-23 win over Western Province Saturday and a happy end to another depressing week.
Regular match-winner Jantjies bagged 21 points from seven penalties and his only place-kick miss was the conversion of a Joshua Strauss try while rival fly-half Demetri Catrakilis claimed 13 points for the visitors from Cape Town.
A judge this week ordered the financially troubled Johannesburg-based rugby franchise to pay junior Super 15 partners Pumas and Leopards $655,000 (525,000 euro) in outstanding fees.
This blow came a week after the Lions were axed from the 2013 southern hemisphere provincial championship to make way for Southern Kings -- a demotion that could cost the perennial battlers $6 million (4,795 million euro).
But the financial woes and relegation were temporarily forgotten at sparsely populated Ellis Park as the Lions won for the second time in three Currie Cup outings this season.
As a see-saw struggle on a cool, late winter evening unfolded, Province built an early 10-point lead only for the Lions to turn round 11-10 ahead courtesy of a Jantjies penalty two minutes before the break.
Lions stayed in front until late in the second half when a third tap penalty in quick succession ended culminated in replacement prop Brock Harris storming over and Catrakilis converted to level the scores.
Province had possession when the full-time hooter sounded only to concede a scrum and a penalty, from which Jantjies succeeded with a medium-range kick in front of the posts on 85 minutes.
Lions lead the Sharks and the Free State Cheetahs on points difference with the Blue Bulls just a point behind after defeating the Sharks 42-31 at Loftus Versfeld with fly-half Louis Fouche contributing 27 points for the victors.
Cheetahs fly-half Johan Goosen returned after a three-month shoulder injury absence and helped the Bloemfontein outfit secure a bonus-point 29-16 triumph away to neighbours Griquas.
Goosen, leading points scorer in the Super 15 until being sidelined, turned 20 this year but is already considered a major challenger to Springbok incumbent Morne Steyn.
Date published : 25 Aug 201221:17:03