A dominant showing by the Emirates Lions ensured that they rounded-off week 14 of Vodacom Super Rugby in pole position after trouncing the Southern Kings 54–10 at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on 28 May.
Despite being a man down for a large part of the game, the Lions were unstoppable as they sunk their teeth deep into the backs of their opponents.
Hooker Robbie Coetzee was red-carded for foul play in the 31st minute, however, the setback did little to negate a marauding Highveld side who dominated the possession and breakdowns to lead 19–3 at the halftime break.
It was only after the resumption, however, that the Lions’ season-long hallmark of an all-round team display allowed them to run away with proceedings. Their outstanding play saw Kwagga Smith, who scored a brace, Andries Ferreira, Courtnall Skosan, Malcolm Marx, Jacques van Rooyen, Faf De Klerk and Andries Coetzee sharing in the spoils of the eight-try demolition.
The Joburg-based side, coached by former Springbok player, Johan Ackermann and captained by eighthman Warren Whiteley, continue their impressive run and currently boast 12 wins from 13 games in Africa Conference 2 – 14 points ahead of second placed Cell C Sharks, who overcame the DHL Stormers 22–10 at the Shark Tank in Durban on 27 May.
Ackermann’s troops are currently on a 10-game winning run. Only the Vodacom Bulls have won more games in succession after amassing an impressive 12 wins on the trot in the 2009/10 campaign.
Ackermann announced in April that he planned to leave the rugby union by mutual consent to take up a role with English rugby club Gloucester which plays in the domestic Premiership, the Anglo-Welsh Cup and the European Professional Club Rugby competitions.
This was confirmed by Ackermann at a press conference held in Johannesburg on 3 April. He will leave the Lions following the conclusion of this year’s Super Rugby competition.