Three of the four South African provincial sides who face the Lions next summer are currently tied at the top of the Currie Cup standings.
Western Province, The Sharks and The Cheetahs share top spot after last weekend’s third round of pool matches.
The Lions face all three of these sides within a period of just eight days during their build up to the First Test against the Springboks in Durban on June 20.
Western Province came through 9-3 at home in Newlands, Cape Town, against The Cheetahs on Saturday, with The Sharks falling to defeat against the fourth side to share joint-top spot, The Blue Bulls.
As well as leaving the aforementioned teams level on nine points out of a possible 15, those results provide a further reminder of the competitiveness of the sides the Lions will face in mid-June.
The other Currie Cup side to challenge Ian McGeechan’s men gained their first win of the season as they served notice of their abilities after two successive defeats. The Lions secured a 35-23 win over the Valke at Ellis Park on Friday night, with the name of one particular match winner more than likely noted by McGeechan and Gerald Davies. Earl Rose produced the best individual showing of the weekend, scoring 30 of his team’s 35 points as The Lions bounced back from narrow reverses against the Blue Bulls and The Cheetahs in the opening two rounds.
The leading Absa Currie Cup scorers
50 Earl Rose (The Lions)
45 Willem de Waal (Western Province)
35 Conrad Barnard (Wildeklawer Griquas)
33 Justin Peach (Boland Cavaliers)
31 Chris Rossouw (The Cheetahs)
3 – Earl Rose (The Lions), John Mamets (Blue Bulls), John Daniels (Boland Cavaliers)
2 – Luvo Sogidashe (Valke), Tiger Mangweni (Blue Bulls), Jacques Botes (The Sharks)
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