Meshack Khotha

Meshack Khotha

LIONS coach Hans Coetzee has hailed his young players for their courageous display when they walloped tail-enders Leopards 40-19 in an Absa Currie Cup match in Rustenburg.

The win on Saturday saw the Lions jump from fourth to second on the log, with 10 points from three games, while the Leopards were dealt a third loss on the trot.

After a poor start the win has given the Doornfontein side more confidence ahead of their fourth-round match against log leaders Griquas at Ellis Park Stadium on Friday night.

"I'm happy with the players, I'm happy with their general performance," said a thrilled Coetzee. "They showed composure and were able to surmount the challenges.

"We gave a lot of youngsters an opportunity to prove themselves and they did that with distinction after mixing beautifully with experienced teammates.

"Scoreline aside, it was a tough match, especially in the last 10 to 15 minutes when we enjoyed a slender 23-19 lead.

"We only managed to get the upper hand after Earl Rose and captain Willem Alberts scored a try apiece."

Walter Venter (2) and Hans van Dyk were the other try scorers for the Lions. Jovan Bowles scored the Leopards's only try.

In another game on the day, Kimberley's Griquas made it three wins in a row, downing a disjointed Boland Cavaliers 80-7. On Friday, the Sharks beat the Bulls 19-13 in Durban while Western Province beat the Cheetahs 19-13 in Bloemfontein.