Planet Rugby

Lions denied incredible comeback

10th May 2014 10:29

Share:

Richard Buckman of the Highlanders scores a try v Lions

Two tries: Richard Buckman

Elton Jantjies missed a last-minute conversion to hand the Highlanders a 23-22 victory over the Lions in Dunedin on Saturday.

In what proved to be a ding-dong battle, it was one-way traffic in the first half as the Highlanders scored 23 unanswered points, including three tries, before the interval.

The second half was an entirely different story however as the Lions came roaring back with four tries of their own!

An incredible finish was tinged with controversy after the Lions were denied a try by the TMO in the dying minutes as Vinny Munro could not find clear evidence that Rudi Mathee had touched the ball against the post padding.

Courtnall Skosan scored the Lions' fourth try shortly afterwards but the conversion from out wide - as opposed to directly in front of the posts - proved too much for Jantjies.

The Lions had further reason to be upset as Jantjies could very well have been entitled to a second attempt as the Highlanders had charged early but referee Angus Gardner did not hesitate in blowing the final whistle.

Richard Buckman scored two brilliant tries and Gareth Evans added another in the first half as the Highlanders exploited some shaky defence from the men in red.

But a change in tactics saw the Lions take a far more direct approach after the break. Their execution was markedly better too as Faf de Klerk, Lionel Mapoe, Armand van der Merwe and Skosan all crossed the whitewash.

Inaccurate kicking ultimately cost the visitors as Marnitz Boshoff had uncharacteristically missed two previous conversions.

Read how the drama unfolded minute-by-minute here.

The scorers:

For Highlanders:
Tries: Buckman 2, Evans
Con: Parker
Pen: Parker
Drop: Parker
Yellow card: King (foul play - 55th min)

For Lions:
Tries: De Klerk, Mapoe, Van der Merwe, Skosan
Con: Boshoff

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Jason Emery, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 John Hardie, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Joe Wheeler, 3 Ma'afu Fia, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Chris King.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Matias Diaz, 18 Kane Hames, 19 Tom Franklin, 20 TJ Ioane, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Trent Renata, 23 Gareth Evans.

Lions: 15 Chrysander Botha, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (c), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Martin Muller, 4 MB Lusaseni, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Rudi Mathee, 20 Warwick Teckenburg, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 JW Jonker.

Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Kane McBride (New Zealand)
Television match official: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs vs CrusadersWaratahs vs Crusaders Preview
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , July 26
Crusaders 38 - 6 SharksCrusaders vs Sharks Report
Waratahs 26 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Saturday , July 19
Brumbies 32 - 30 ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Report
Sharks 31 - 27 HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 12
Crusaders 34 - 8 HighlandersCrusaders vs Highlanders Report
Reds 3 - 34 WaratahsReds vs Waratahs Report
Lions 60 - 25 CheetahsLions vs Cheetahs Report
Stormers 10 - 34 SharksStormers vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 11
Blues 8 - 11 ChiefsBlues vs Chiefs Report
Brumbies 47 - 25 Western ForceBrumbies vs Western Force Report
Bulls 40 - 7 Melbourne RebelsBulls vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Sunday , July 6
Waratahs 44 - 16 HighlandersWaratahs vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 5
Crusaders 21 - 13 BluesCrusaders vs Blues Report
Western Force 30 - 20 RedsWestern Force vs Reds Report
Stormers 16 - 0 BullsStormers vs Bulls Report
Cheetahs 27 - 20 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 4
Chiefs 24 - 16 HurricanesChiefs vs Hurricanes Report
Lions 34 - 17 Melbourne RebelsLions vs Melbourne Rebels Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 28
South Africa 55 - 6 ScotlandSouth Africa vs Scotland Report
More International Match results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 16 - 9 CrusadersHurricanes vs Crusaders Report
Waratahs 39 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Western Force 14 - 40 BluesWestern Force vs Blues Report
Friday , June 27
Highlanders 29 - 25 ChiefsHighlanders vs Chiefs Report
Melbourne Rebels 20 - 36 RedsMelbourne Rebels vs Reds Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 21
Australia 39 - 13 FranceAustralia vs France Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00