RUNAWAY leaders the Lions secured a Currie Cup home semifinal today, denting the hopes of Western Province with a 42-25 victory at Ellis Park.
The hosts took the early advantage when hooker Bandise Maku crashed over as early as the sixth minute.
Flyhalf Elton Jantjies added the conversion and the Lions never looked back.
Province flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis put up a brave fight to keep the visitors within striking distance, kicking two penalties and a drop goal to narrow the gap to 10-9 after the first half hour.
Jantjies, however, was flawless at the other end, and Lions fullback Jaco Taute dotted down shortly before halftime to give the hosts a 20-9 advantage at the break.
Catrakilis was again on form in the second period, slotting three penalties in 10 minutes to pull the visitors back in contention, leaving them trailing by only two points.
The Lions drew clear, however, with Taute scoring his brace and replacement Martin Bezuidenhout going over for the bonus point, with Jantjies converting both tries.
Deon Fourie scored a consolation try for the visitors in the dying minutes, but Lions flanker Derick Minnie hammered the final nail in the coffin when he stormed over in injury time.
Lions: Tries: Bandise Maku, Jaco Taute (2), Martin Bezuidenhout, Derick Minnie. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (4). Penalties: Jantjies (3).
Western Province: Deon Fourie. Conversions: Demetri Catrakilis. Penalties Catrakilis (5). Drop Goals: Catrakilis.-Sarugby.net