Planet Rugby

Lions win by a whisker!

14th August 2010 15:53

Share:

Jan Vermaak Lions cheetahs CC2010

Cat fight: The Lions finally win against a big union

A late rally saw the Lions come from behind to snatch a 30-26 Currie Cup victory over the Free State Cheetahs in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Trailing by ten points with ten minutes left on the clock, the Lions scored two tries to record only their second win of the season in arguably their best display this year.

19-year-old Lions fly-half Elton Jantjies scored half his team's points including a try and two difficult conversions.

The result is the Lions' first win against one of the 'big' unions in South Africa this season and will be seen as a major stepping stone in their revival under coach John Mitchell.

Lions led 13-9 at half-time but a poor start to the second period left them with a lot of work to do.

Two teams looking to keep the ball in hand kept the crowd at Ellis Park entertained throughout. It was all square at 6-all the end of the first quarter after Jantjies, who was denied a try a mere inches earlier, replied to opposite number Louis Strydom's two penalties.

Strydom put his team back in front on the half-hour mark but it was the Lions who scored the game's first try just before half-time.

After countless phases of build-up play, Jantjies put a neat chip over the top for Deon van Rensburg to run onto. The ball bounced perfectly for the right wing, who could cruise over untouched. Jantjies added the conversion to give the hosts a 13-9 lead at the break.

The visitors regained the lead shortly after the restart however when the Lions scrum disintegrated, leaving the way open for number eight Ashley Johnson to touch down for the men in orange.

Strydom provided the conversion and a penalty a few minutes later to give the Free Staters a six-point lead.

The Lions' poor start to the half got worse when flank Renaldo Bothma was sent to the bin for stupidly knocking the ball out of Tewis De Bruyn's hands.

The Cheetahs though were unable to make the extra man count and Jantjies was allowed to reduce the gap to three with fifteen minutes left on the clock.

As so often is the case, the Lions defence dropped a notch in intensity in the closing stages and when Hennie Daniller was able to bust through, replacement prop Kobus Calldo was on hand to crash over.

Meyer Bosman's conversion handed the visitors what looked like a winning ten-point advantage.

But before the fat lady could clear her throat Jaco Taute timed his offload to perfection to put Jantjies into the corner.

From the touchline, Jantjies slotted the conversion to set up a grandstand finish.

The killer blow came just three minutes from full-time when Jannie Boshoff grabbed up Michael Killian's kick ahead (thanks largely to a lucky bounce) and used his pace to seal a memorable win for the Lions.

The scorers

For the Lions:
Tries: Van Rensburg, Jantjies, Boshoff
Cons: Jantjies 3
Pens: Jantjies 3

For the Cheetahs:
Tries: Johnson, Calldo
Cons: Strydom, Bosman
Pens: Strydom 4

Yellow cards: Bothma (Lions - 48th min)

Lions: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Derek Minnie, 6 Renaldo Bothma, 5 Franco van der Merwe (c), 4 George Earle, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Wayne Swart, 18 Johan Snyman, 19 Joshua Strauss, 20 JP Joubert, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Jannie Boshoff.

Free State Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Philip Snyman, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Jongi Nokwe, 10 Louis Strydom, 9 Tewis De Bruyn, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Francois Uys, 6 Hendro Scholtz, 5 Waltie Vermeulen, 4 Izak van der Westhuizen, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Skipper Badenhorst, 17 Kobus Calldo, 18 Philip van der Walt, 19 Kabamba Floors, 20 Tertius Carse, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 JW Jonker.

Venue: Coco-Cola Park (Ellis Park), Johannesburg
Referee: Sindile Mayende

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Preview
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau vs CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Preview
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26