Johannesburg - Bagging their sixth victory of this year's Super Rugby competition
with a 34-17 defeat of the Rebels at Ellis Park on Friday evening, the
Lions turned in their best season in the competition.
As it happened: Lions v Rebels
Bagging their sixth victory of this year's Super Rugby competition with a 34-17 defeat of the Rebels at Ellis Park on Friday evening, the Lions turned in their best season in the competition.
It may have been a disjointed affair but Lions mentor Johann Ackermann would have taken the victory on any day.
Like his players, Ackermann emerged as an unlikely saviour to an embattled team that only a year ago found themselves in the rugby wilderness.
With one more match left in the regular season, the fairy tale has not quite reached its final chapter.
However, the match was anything but bedtime reading as it had more bad patches than good ones.
The hosts opened the scores with a try two minutes into the match when winger Anthony Volmink received a beautifully floating pass from flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff.
Boshoff missed the conversion kick but he did not have to wait long to take aim again for a penalty conversion in the ninth minute.
The tourists got onto the scoresheet in the 22nd minute when Tom English finished a counter attack from a turnover deep inside their own half, with Jack Debreczeni converting.
On the half-hour mark Boshoff pulled back three points for his side through a penalty conversion before Debreczeni responded with his own three pointer.
With only a point separating the sides, Boshoff extended their lead to four points with a penalty goal in the 38th minute.
The Rebels made an encouraging start to the second half as flanker Colby Faingaa scored his side's second try through a driving maul from a lineout metres from the line, with Debreczeni adding the two extra points.
The Lions' persistent attack on the Rebels' line finally paid off on the hour mark when Boshoff gave an under arm pass to flanker Warwick Tecklenburg for the try.
Boshoff added the conversion and continued to play a leading role as he added some cushioning to the score with two penalty goals.
The Rebels' chances of launching a fightback were dealt a serious blow in the 69th minute when Scott Higginbotham copped a yellow card for a dangerous tackle.
The visitors were made to pay for their indiscretion as Lions captain Warren Whiteley scored the final try of the match, with Boshoff adding the two-pointer for a flattering 17-point victory.
Lions: 34 (14) - Tries: Anthony Volmink, Warwick Tecklenburg, Warren Whiteley; Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff (2); Penalties: Boshoff (5)
Rebels: 17 (10) - Tries: Tom English, Colby Faingaa; Conversions: Jack Debreczeni (2); Penalty: Debreczeni
15. Coenie van Wyk, 14. Deon van Rensburg, 13. Stokkies Hanekom, 12. Alwyn Hollenbach, 11. Anthony Volmink, 10. Marnitz Boshoff, 9. Ross Cronjé, 8. Warren Whiteley ,7. Warwick Tecklenburg, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Franco van der Merwe, 4. Franco Mostert, 3. Julian Redelinghuys, 2. Robbie Coetzee, 1. Schalk van der Merwe
Substitutes: 16. Armand van der Merwe, 17. Jacques van Rooyen/Corné Fourie, 18. Ruan Dreyer, 19. Willie Britz, 20. Derick Minnie, 21. Faf de Klerk, 22. Elton Jantjies, 23. Lionel Mapoe
15 Jack Debreczeni, 14 Tom Kingston, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Colby Fainga'a, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Shota Horie,1 Toby Smith
Substitutes: 16 Pat Leafa, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Paul Alo-Emile, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Jordy Reid, 21 Nic Stirzaker, 22 Jason Woodward, 23 Telusa Veainu