Lions’ powerful centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg gave a game-winning performance as they beat the Bulls for the first time away in Super Rugby by 56-20 on Saturday to consolidate their position atop the South African conference.
Seven Lions tries at Loftus Versfeld ended the traditional dominance of their neighbours in the derby and marked out the Johannesburg-based team as South Africa’s top contenders this year as the Bulls lost their unbeaten home record.
Janse van Rensburg scored an early try with a mazy run through the home defence to pave the way for a comfortable victory before providing the 26th minute line break that led to a second try as his centre partner Lionel Mapoe went over.
In between, Springbok flyer Jesse Kriel scored straight from the kick off for the Bulls but it was a rare error from an otherwise convincing Lions side.
Continued pressure before the break saw Julian Redelinghuys go over to give the Lions a 25-8 halftime lead.
They extended their advantage 13 minutes into the second period when a quick tap penalty from scrumhalf Faf de Klerk allowed flanker Jaco Kriel to outsprint the Bulls back for the visitors’ fourth try.
Bulls captain Adriaan Strauss powered over at the end of a maul to give the home fans some hope but when Lions fullback Courtnall Skosan went over in the 62nd for a 40-13 lead the contest was effectively over and a bonus point for the visitors secured.
Scrum half De Klerk scored a sixth try for the Lions and Janse van Rensburg rounded off a strong individual showing with another sublime score five minutes from the end.
Deon Stegmann’s consolation try in the last minute made for a total of 10 in the game.