The MTN Golden Lions won the Vodacom Cup for the fifth time when they beat the Steval Pumas by 42-28 in a highly entertaining final at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday evening.
It was the fifth time the MTN Golden Lions managed to win the Vodacom Cup, but their first final victory since 2004. The Steval Pumas played in their first final at this level, but sadly they could not cap a very consistent season with some silverware.
Both sides scored three tries apiece, but in the end it was the boot of Lions flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff that was the difference. He kicked 27 of his team's points and made sure the Pumas paid dearly for their ill-discipline, especially in the second half.
The Steval Pumas started very well and were ahead by 10-0 early in the match, with Stefan Watermeyer going over in the corner for their first try. Coenie van Wyk later scored a great try from a deft grubber by Carl Bezuidenhout.
But the MTN Golden Lions never gave up. At the break, the visitors were ahead by 23-20, thanks to two first-half tries by Anthony Volmink and Warren Whiteley.
Where the first half was more open, both sides knuckled down in the second stanza, but this played into the hands of the Golden Lions as they forced mistakes from the home team, which Boshoff duly converted into points.
Warwick Tecklenburg's try in the 71st minute put the result beyond any doubt for the visitors, but Jerome Pretorius got the home team's third try before Boshoff ended off a fine display with a great drop-goal in the 79th minute.
Steval Pumas - Tries: Stefan Watermeyer, Coenie van Wyk, Jerome Pretorius. Conversions: Carl Bezuidenhout (2). Penalty goals: Bezuidenhout (3).
MTN Golden Lions - Tries: Anthony Volmink, Warren Whiteley, Warwick Tecklenburg. Conversions: Maritz Boshoff (3). Penalty goals: Boshoff (6). Drop goal: Boshoff.