Planet Rugby

Lions conquer Loftus Versfeld

06th August 2011 18:07

Share:

Elton Jantjies the Lions

Fine display: Elton Jantjies

The Lions cemented their position at the Currie Cup summit with a superb 36-27 victory over the Blue Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.

The Johannesburg side are now the only team in the competition with a clean sheet after the Sharks and Western Province lost their respective matches at the weekend. They have also moved four points clear at the top of the table.

Despite trailing 19-16 at half-time, the Lions showed great character to keep the hosts off their try line in the dying stages of the match.

Both sides struggled in the early stages to adapt to referee Jaco Peyper's interpretation at the breakdowns and the visitors were first to benefit when fly-half Elton Jantjies opened the scoring from a subsequent penalty.

Jantjies extended his team's early lead to six points after Blue Bulls centre Francois Venter failed to roll away in time.

The Bulls bounced back with a try by Springbok hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle, who sneaked around the edge of a ruck to open his team's account, but Francois Brummer missed the conversion to leave them trailing by a point.

Brummer's goal kicking cost his side dearly on the night and he would end up missing four shots at the posts.

He was successful, however, with two attempts midway through the first-half, giving his side an 11-6 lead.

The first moment of excitement in the match came when Akona Ndungane burst through the Lions' line.

The winger's pace caught the visitors off guard, and after he recycled the ball, centre Stefan Watermeyer dived over for the first try.

A snappy response by the Lions from the kick-off, however, which coincided with some poor defence from their hosts, allowed skipper Josh Strauss to wipe out the advantage.

Despite Strauss' converted try, the Bulls managed to enter the half-time break with a three-point lead after Brummer converted his third penalty in the dying stages of the opening stanza.

As was the case in the first-half, the Lions were the first to get points on the board in the second period with a Jantjies penalty shortly after centre Waylon Murray was stretchered off the field.

While Murray was forced to watch the match from the sidelines, the home side lost a key player, lock Flip van der Merwe, who was sin-binned for his team's repeated infringements at the tackle area.

Six minutes after Jantjies levelled the scores at 19-19, wing Lionel Mapoe set up the Lions' second try of the evening.

Mapoe bounced off two Bulls defenders before off-loading to full-back Michael Killian who dived over in the corner.

Brummer kicked one more penalty before the Bulls again lost Van der Merwe.

This time the big lock received a yellow card (which turned red) for a high tackle and was subsequently sent off with a little more than 10 minutes left to play.

The Lions were, however, also forced to complete the match with only 14 players after loose forward replacement Michael Rhodes was yellow carded for a late charge on Bulls hooker Gary Botha.

The try that sealed victory for the Lions came after they had survived a period of dominance by the hosts.

Scrum-half Michael Bondesio showed his class by drawing in two defenders before off-loading to Warren Whitley who flicked the ball inside for Killian to dive over for his second try of the match.

The scorers:

For Blue Bulls:
Tries: Ralepelle, Watermeyer, Ndungane
Pen: Brummer 4

For Golden Lions:
Tries: Strauss, Killian 2
Con: Jantjies
Pen: Jantjies

Blue Bulls:15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Stefan Watermeyer, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Stephan Dippenaar, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Dustin Jinka, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Dewald Potgieter (c), 6 Derick Kuün, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements:16 Gary Botha, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Fudge Mabeta, 19 Deon Stegmann, 20 Lohan Jacobs, 21 Marntiz Boshoff, 22 Jurgen Visser.

Golden Lions:15 Michael Killian, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Lionel Mapoe, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Joshua Strauss (captain), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Wikus van Heerden, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements::16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Patric Cilliers, 18 Michael Rhodes, 19 Warren Whiteley, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Jaco Taute.

Referee: Jaco Peyper

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Preview
Newcastle vs SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Preview
Newport Gwent D'gons vs OspreysNewport Gwent D
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs Edinburgh19:05
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs Stormers17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058