Lions edge Sharks after late Kriel try
Golden Lions went three points clear at the Currie Cup summit after a late Jaco Kriel try saw them defeat The Sharks 28-22 at Ellis Park on Saturday.
The early stages saw little dominance for either outfit, with fly-half Elton Jantjies and centre Meyer Bosman trading penalty kicks before the visitors broke the deadlock shortly after the half-hour.
Odwa Ndungane crossed for the game's first try on 33 minutes after a break from Lwazi Mvovo and a charge down the centre of the field by captain Keegan Daniel. Bosman's conversion attempt, which deflected off both posts, was unsuccessful but the Sharks had an 11-6 lead in their pocket.
John Plumtree's charges moved further clear after the first-half hooter had sounded when scrum-half Cobus Reinach snatched the ball from the back of a 20-metre scrum and went over. Bosman again missed from the tee as the Sharks jogged to the sheds 16-6 up.
Jantjies, who scored all the Lions' points in the first hour, kept the hosts in the game with three more penalties as they narrowed the gap to just one point with 30 minutes left.
Bosman added six more points off the tee for the Sharks as they kept their noses in front, and Jantjies sent over one more as the Lions managed to stay in touch in Johannesburg.
The hosts eventually snatched the lead with eleven minutes left when Andries Coetzee broke after a fine chip kick and offloaded to Ruan Combrinck who dived over on the left.
Sharks captain Daniel had argued that replacement flanker Kriel had knocked the ball on before the try was scored, but the match officials awarded the Lions five critical points.
Three minutes later Kriel scored a breathtaking second Lions try as he raced away from close to the halfway line for a six-point advantage, which they held until full-time.