Big win for Golden Lions

The Golden Lions opened their Currie Cup account with a comprehensive 68-26 victory over the Pumas in Johannesburg, running in ten tries.

Lourens Erasmus, Jaco van der Walt, Anthony Volmink (2), Cyle Brink, Sylvian Mahuza, Akker van der Merwe, Howard Mnisi, Koch Marx and Marnitz Boshoff all crossed the whitewash for the home side on Saturday, with Van der Walt sending over six conversions to Boshoff's three.

In reply the Pumas carded tries through Marlou van Niekerk, Khwezi Mona, Justin van Staden and Devon Williams but in truth were brushed aside by the Currie Cup holders, who look every bit like challengers again this year.

Like their recent Super Rugby campaign, the men from Johannesburg played the game at a frenetic pace which seemed to surprise the Pumas who battled to keep up with their hosts.

The Lions scored their opening try as early as the eighth second when Erasmus pounced on a Pumas error from the kick off. The visitors failed to gather Jaco van der Walt's kick and Erasmus gathered the loose ball before outpacing the Pumas chasers to dot down.

The try was a momentous one as it broke the record for the fastest try scored in the history of the Currie Cup.

The champions continued to dominate as the half progressed and despite having two players sent to the sin bin – Van der Merwe and Jacques van Rooyen – for foul play, were soon leading 21-0 after Van der Walt and Volmink crossed for tries.

Volmink's effort was a special one as he beat seven defenders, after setting off on a mazy run from close to his 22-metre line, before dotting down under the posts.

The Pumas opened their tally in the 25th minute when Van Niekerk glided through a gap in the hosts' defence before crossing for a deserved try. 

The Lions soon had their fourth try when Brink dived over from close quarters on the hour-mark but the Pumas didn't surrender and struck back when Mona scored their second try, from a line-out drive, in the 33rd minute.

That didn't deter the Lions though and just before half-time Mahuza crossed for their fifth try, after Mnisi and Van der Merwe did well in the build-up, and the home side had their tails up with the score at 35-14 at the interval.

The second half was little different as the Lions added five further tries with Van der Merwe, Mnisi, Marx, Boshoff and Volmink all crossing the whiteash.

Volmink's second five-pointer was similar to his first as he showed great pace and superb footwork on his way over the tryline in the 78th minute.

To their credit, the Pumas didn't surrender and they were rewarded with a bonus point, shortly before full-time, when Williams stepped past a couple of defenders before scoring their fourth try.

The scorers:

For Golden Lions:
Tries: Erasmus, Van der Walt, Volmink 2, Brink, Mahuza, Van der Merwe, Mnisi, Marx, Boshoff
Cons: Van der Walt 6, Boshoff 3

For Pumas:
Tries: Van Niekerk, Mona, Van Staden
Cons: Brummer 3

Golden Lions: 15 Sylvian Mahuza, 14 Koch Marx, 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Howard Mnisi (c), 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Ross Cronjé (c), 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Steph de Wit, 5 Lourens Erasmus, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Jacques v Rooyen, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Corné Fourie
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Justin Ackerman, 18 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 19 Victor Sekekete, 20 Dillon Smit, 21 Marnitz Boshoff, 22 Jacques Nel

Pumas: 15 Justin van Staden, 14 Jean-Paul Lewis, 13 Hennie Skorbinski, 12 Marlou van Niekerk, 11 Marcello Sampson, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Reynier van Rooyen, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Nardus van der Walt, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Hugo Kloppers (c), 4 Wiehan Hay, 3 Louis Albertse, 2 Francois du Toit, 1 Kwezi Mona
Replacements: 16 Herne Frank, 17 De-Jay Terblanche, 18 Jannie Stander, 19 Carel Greef, 20 Emile Temperman, 21 Deon Helberg, 22 Devon Williams

Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant referees: Sindile Ngcese, Vusi Msibi
TMO: Johan Greeff