Flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff kicked 25 points to lead the MTN Golden Lions into the Vodacom Cup semifinals courtesy of a 42-25 (half-time 18-16) win over the Sharks XV at Kings Park 2 in Durban on Friday.
Boshoff kicked six penalties, three conversions and a drop goal while the visitors ran in three second-half tries to make sure of their victory.
The Sharks XV, who boasted Springbok loose forwards Willem Alberts and Ryan Kankowski in their pack, replied with a try from wing Sizo Maseko while pivot Fred Zeilinga ended with a personal haul of 20 points courtesy of six penalties and a conversion.
The Golden Lions will play the winner of the quarterfinal between Western Province and Griquas, a result which will be determined on Saturday.
The visitors began the second half holding a slim two-point lead but their forwards gradually took control of the contest and outside centre Deon van Rensburg, who injured himself in the process, grabbed the Golden Lions’ first try seven minutes after the restart.
Zeilinga hit back with a penalty but the visitors essentially secured their victory when the impressive left wing Anthony Volmink split the Sharks XV defence wide open to zip over for a converted try in the 59th minute.
Zeilinga and Boshoff exchanged penalties before the Golden Lions ended the match with a late breakaway try for fullback Chrysander Botha.
The scrappy first half was dominated by the boot with Boshoff and his opposite number Zeilinga monopolising the scoring as the visitors edged into a 15-9 lead thanks to five penalties from Boshoff.
However, the Sharks XV, who had been guilty of a number of handling errors which stymied their attacking ambitions, finally found some fluency and left wing Maseko sniped over for a try between the posts, in the 39th minute, after taking the scoring pass from Zeilinga.
The hosts would have been forgiven for thinking that they would take a half-time lead thanks to Maseko’s try but Boshoff had the final say in the half with a wonderful 35-metre snap drop goal after the hooter had sounded as the Lions went to the break leading 18-16.
Sharks XV – Try: Sizo Maseko; Conversion: Fred Zeilinga, Penalties: Zeilinga (6).
MTN Golden Lions – Tries: Deon van Rensburg, Anthony Volmink, Chrysander Botha; Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff (3); Penalties Boshoff (6); Drop goal: Boshoff.