Planet Rugby

Lions win it at the death

15th February 2014 16:51

Share:

Marnitz Boshoff Lions Super Rugby

Matchwinner: Marnitz Boshoff

A late drop goal from Marnitz Boshoff sealed a dramatic 21-20 win for the Lions over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

The Lions number 10 stunned the Cheetahs faithful when he dropped into the pocket, in the 80th minute and landed his snap-shot from 40 metres out, after his team-mates had set up the perfect platform by taking the ball through seven phases in the build-up.

The Cheetahs, in particular Elagar Watts, will be kicking themselves as the replacement fly-half missed a fairly easy penalty two minutes earlier which would have secured victory for the home side.

Earlier, there were obvious signs of rustiness from both sets of players, with it being the season opener, none more so than Cheetahs fly-half Johan Goosen, who missed two shots at goal inside the opening 10 minutes.

His first effort was a difficult one, from just inside his half, after after Schalk van der Merwe was penalised for a ruck infringement but the second attempt was fairly easy by his standards, after the Lions' backs were pinned for being offside inside their own 22.

The Lions eventually took the lead in the 16th minute when Marnitz Boshoff added a penalty after referee Craig Joubert overturned his decision to award a penalty to the hosts when was pinned for ill discipline off the ball.

Goosen drew his side level when he slotted a three-pointer, five minutes later, after the Lions front row were penalised for illegal scrummaging.

The game came alive five minutes later when a superb piece of indivualism from Willie le Roux set up Raymond Rhule for the game's opening try.

Le Roux gathered a loose ball on his 10-metre line before, beating four defenders with deft footwork and an excellent burst of speed. He drew in the last defender, just outside the Lions' 22, before offloading to Rhule who crossed the whitewash without having a finger laid on him.

Goosen added the extras, which gave the hosts a 10-3 lead, but Boshoff narrowed the gap to four points, on the half-hour mark, when he landed a penalty after Francois Venter failed to roll away at a ruck.

The rest of the half was characterised by several handling errors and poor decision making from both sides and the only other points came via the boot of Boshoff, who succeeded with his third penalty, on the stroke of half-time, after Lood de Jager infringed at a ruck.

The early stages of the second half was like the latter part of the first stanza error-strewn but the Cheetahs extended their lead in the 50th minute after another momet of magic from Le Roux. The Cheetahs were hammering away at the Lions' try-line before the Bok full-back threw a sublime long-pass to Cornal Hendricks wh0 scored in the right-hand corner.

Goosen succeeded with a difficult spot-kick, from close to the touchline, which made the score 17-9 to the home side. Five minutes later, Sarel Pretorius was penalised at a ruck and Boshoff maintained his perfect goal-kicking record for the match when he goaled another three-pointer from the kicking tee.

The game took a dramatic turn in the 61st minute when replacement back-row Jean Cook was sent to the sin bin for a late charge on Boshoff.

The Lions number 10 dusted himself off to kick his fifth penalty and with the score at 17-15, and a holding a numerical advantage, the Lions tried desperately to take the lead.

They came close on a couple of occasion but poor handling in the final quarter cost them dearly. Another scrum infringement by the Lions allowed Elgar Watts to add another penalty for the hosts before Boshoff replied with his sixth three-pointer after Coenie Oosthuizen was pinned at a ruck.

Penalites were coming thick and fast and after Watts missed his chance to seal the win for his team Boshoff held his nerve in the dying moments to finish the game as the Johannesburg-based outfit's matchwinner.

The scorers:

For Cheetahs:
Tries: Rhule, Hendricks
Cons: Goosen 2
Pen: Goosen, Watts
Yellow card: Cook (61st minute)

For Lions:
Penalties: Boshoff 6
Drop goal: Boshoff

Cheetahs: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Maks van Dyk, 19 Ligtoring Landman, 20 Jean Cook, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Rayno Benjamin.

Lions: 15 Chrysander Botha , 14 Deon van Rensburg , 13 Lionel Mapoe , 12 Stefan Watermeyer , 11 Ruan Combrinck, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Franco Mostert, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Willie Britz, 20 Warwick Tecklenburg, 21 Faf de Klerk, 22 Coenie van Wyk, 23 Alwyn Hollenbach.

Referee: Craig Joubert

By David Skippers
@David_Skipster

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs SaleExeter vs Sale Preview
Bath vs WorcesterBath vs Worcester Preview
Wasps vs GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Preview
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Preview
Newcastle vs SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Preview
Connacht vs MunsterConnacht vs Munster Preview
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Preview
Newport Gwent D'gons vs OspreysNewport Gwent D
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Preview
Waratahs vs BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Preview
Sharks vs CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Preview
Stormers vs LionsStormers vs Lions Preview
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
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
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
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers2064
4Bath1959
5Harlequins2058