The Lions beat WP 30-22 in an exciting league match played on Saturday at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg, after the sides were locked at 17-all at the halfway stage of this absorbing encounter.

The young Joburg outfit scored three converted tries and three penalty goals, while their Cape rivals responded with three tries, two conversions and a penalty goal in going down in their first defeat in three games.

Ultimately, it was the kicking boot of Sam Francis that proved to be the difference between the two sides. The Lions flyhalf slotted the three conversions and added two of their three penalty goals, while former Junior Bok scrumhalf Imad Khan succeeded with two of his three conversions and one penalty attempt.

In the other Saturday game played at Loftus Versfeld B-field in Pretoria, the Vodacom Bulls U21 ran out comfortable winners 69-13 over the Hollywoodbets Sharks. The hosts were already 31-13 ahead by the sound of the halftime whistle.

The Bulls were in rampant form and scored 10 tries, with former Junior Bok hooker Juan Else helping himself to a hat-trick, while fullback Regan Izaks succeeded with eight conversions and a penalty goal. The Durban side could only reply via a converted try and two penalty goals.

Meanwhile, the Toyota Cheetahs hosted the Leopards at Shimla Park in Bloemfontein on Friday afternoon, with the Free Staters victorious by 39-31.

The Leopards matched the hosts’ try tally of five, however, the Cheetahs managed to score four conversions and two penalty goals while the side from Potchefstroom could only add three conversions.

In the opening round, WP beat the Sharks (19-10), the Lions were too strong for the Cheetahs (53-17) and the Bulls beat the Leopards (67-19).

The second round saw victories for the Sharks over the Cheetahs (22-7), the Lions over the Leopards (50-26) and WP over the Bulls (25-20).

The weekend results resulted in the Lions U21 consolidating their top-spot on the log with 14 points from their three wins, and they are followed by their neighbours the Bulls on 11 points from their two wins to date. The Gauteng sides are followed by WP on eight points, the Cheetahs and Sharks (five points each) and the Leopards (two).

Three more league games take place this coming weekend. The Bulls will kick-off the fourth-round action when they host the Cheetahs on Friday afternoon (13h00) at Loftus Versfeld.

This encounter is followed by two more fixtures on Saturday, which see WP in home action against the Leopards (12h00), while the Sharks welcome the Lions to Durban (13h00).