Two-try Dayimani gives Lions dramatic Currie Cup win

A hat-trick by loose forward Ruan Steenkamp, pictured April 2017, helped the Bulls lead 35-24 with 15 minutes remaining

Loose forward Hacjivah Dayimani scored twice in five minutes Saturday to give the Golden Lions a dramatic 38-35 South African Currie Cup win over arch rivals the Blue Bulls.

Helped by a hat-trick from Ruan Steenkamp, another loose forward, the Bulls led 35-24 with 15 minutes remaining at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria.

But Dayimani struck after 65 and 70 minutes, dotting down between the posts each time to give Shaun Reynolds easy conversion kicks.

Reynolds, who scored 13 points, made no mistake with the shots at goal and the Lions turned an 11-point deficit into a three-point victory over their Highveld neighbours.

Dayimani also scored twice last weekend, making him the top try scorer with four after three rounds of the 127-year Currie Cup, the oldest provincial rugby competition in the world.

Victory moved the Johannesburg outfit to 10 points from two outings and second place behind defending champions Western Province on points difference.

Bulls picked up two bonus points -- one for losing by less than eight points and one for scoring five tries -- and lie fourth with seven points.

Sharks, the runners-up last season, are third with 10 points, behind Western Province and Lions on points difference.

Province scored eight tries in a 57-28 triumph over the Pumas in Nelspruit Friday and the Sharks edged the Free State Cheetahs 33-29 Saturday in a Bloemfontein thriller.

"We had to dig deep in the second half and a great team effort got us the bonus-point win," said Dayimani, who was voted man of the match.

Lions skipper and Springboks discard Lionel Mapoe said: "Character won the day for us. Defeating the Bulls in Pretoria is always very special."

Bulls skipper Hanro Liebenberg blamed defensive errors for a second successive loss after a heavy beating at the Sharks.

"It was a frustrating match as we seemed to dominate throughout and still ended up losing. Mistakes when defending costly us dearly."

With the first choice side playing Munster in the PRO14 in Limerick, the Cheetahs reserves seemed to have no chance against a Sharks side packed with Super Rugby players.

But fly-half Louis Fouche scored 17 points, including two tries, for the inexperienced home side as they took the Sharks to the wire losing only 33-29.

Sharks relied heavily on rolling mauls to score, with skipper Chiliboy Ralepelle bagging two pushover tries and fellow forward Wian Vosloo one.

On Friday, SP Marais scored 22 points, including a try, as Western Province proved too good for the Pumas after establishing a 29-14 half-time advantage.