Johannesburg - The Lions made it two wins from two in Super Rugby this year
as they thumped the Waratahs 55-36 with a bonus-point on Saturday.
As it happened: Lions v Waratahs
Tries from Warren Whiteley, Ruan Ackermann, Rohan Janse van
Rensburg (2), Andries Coetzee, Ross Cronjé, Sylvian Mahuza and Malcolm Marx saw
last year's finalists get the better of the Australian visitors.
Rob Horne, Michael Hooper, Bryce Hegarty, David McDuling and
Israel Folau were the 'Tahs' try-scorers but they would leave an entertaining
game with no points to their name. They head to the Sharks next week.
58 points were amassed in the first period as both teams did
not hold back in an end-to-end clash, with eight tries scored in the 40
The Lions snubbed an early kickable three points and instead
went for the corner, with captain Whiteley going over off the back of a maul at
the second time of asking. Elton Jantjies slotted the tough extras as the Lions
moved into a 7-0 advantage with just five minutes played.
Credit to the Waratahs though, who had lost Nick Phipps and
Will Skelton to injury before kick-off, as they responded with a well-worked
score on the left as Horne finished off some good work from full-back Andrew
Kellaway. The conversion levelled things up in Jo'burg.
It was tit for tat leading up to the 20 minute mark as again
the driving maul proved profitable for the Lions, this time Ackermann crossing
for 14-7 before the 'Tahs hit back again, with openside flank Hooper diving
over to make it 14-14 thanks to Matt Lucas' nice delayed pass.
On 21 minutes the Lions had their third try as Janse van
Rensburg enjoyed a free run to the line on the right, Jantjies making it 21-14.
And there was more to come from the Lions as three minutes
later full-back Coetzee crossed for their fourth converted try as it became
28-14. Fortunately for the Waratahs the great work of hooker Tolu Latu on the
ground gave Reece Robinson the chance to cut the gap to 11.
The Lions were now relentless with their kicks to the corner
and it cost Sekope Kepu a yellow card as he infringed at the maul, with the
penalty try question coming into the picture before scrum-half Cronje spotted
space on the fringes and dived over the try-line for 33-17.
But yet again the Waratahs would not bow down as a lovely
chip and regather from Hegarty meant they went into the break nine down.
The second-half was scoreless until the 50th minute but the
Waratahs were the side that came closest, with Hegarty just beaten to the ball
over the line by Courtnall Skosan. As it was, Jantjies decided to sit back in
the pocket and landed a sweet drop-goal from 35 metres out.
That kick from Jantjies seemed to give the Lions a boost and
when Janse van Rensburg was sent over by Kriel, the score was 43-24.
Hope, however, came for the 'Tahs when Lions lock Franco
Mostert was yellow carded for a cynical offence close to his line, with
McDuling powering over to cut the gap to 14 points. There was still 20 minutes
to play as the high-scoring contest meant anything was possible.
The Lions seemed to put the result beyond doubt though on 65
minutes when replacement Mahuza ran over for an unconverted try. And with
Mostert back on the field the Lions were hunting try number eight and it came
11 minutes later when Marx crashed over from the maul.
But there was still time for one more score for the Waratahs
before the end as Folau's step around replacement Jaco van der Walt saw him go
over, but it would do little to gloss over a disappointing game for the
Lions - Tries: Warren Whiteley, Ruan Ackermann, Rohan Janse van Rensburg (2), Andries Coetzee, Ross Cronje, Sylvian Mahuza, Malcolm Marx. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (6). Drop goal: Jantjies
Waratahs - Tries: Rob Horne, Michael Hooper, Bryce Hegarty, David McDuling, Israel Folau. Conversions: Reece Robinson (3), Hegarty. Penalty: Robinson
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 Harold Vorster, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Ruan Ackermann, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Jacques van Rooyen
Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Faf de Klerk, 22 Sylvian Mahuza, 23 Jaco van der Walt
15 Andrew Kellaway 14 Reece Robinson, 13 Israel Folau, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Tom Robertson
Substitutes: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 David Lolohea, 19 David McDuling, 20 Senio Toleafoa, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 David Horwitz, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro