Force down Lions

2011-03-19 18:47

Johannesburg - James O'Conner scored 15 points to lead the Western Force to a 27-15 win over the Lions in their Vodacom Super Rugby match at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Flyhalf O'Conner succeeded with five penalties as the Australians secured their first win of the season after losses to the Reds and Sharks and a 22-22 draw with the Blues in their previous match.

"Our effort has been fantastic this year but we had a one-point loss to the Reds, lost to the Sharks playing with 14 men and drew last week," Force captain Nathan Sharpe said.

"Before the game we spoke about how there is no reward without effort so it was great to get some reward tonight," he added.

Heavy rain fell throughout the match but, despite the conditions, both teams showed admirable handling skills and a propensity to run the ball whenever given an opportunity.

The Force were first to profit from an expansive approach and opened the scoring in the 10th minute when outside centre Nick Cummins found himself on the end of a sweeping backline move to slide over in the corner for an unconverted try.

The 20-year-old O'Conner then succeed with two penalties before his opposite number Elton Jantjies narrowed the gap to just two points, despite the home side spending most of the half camped in their own territory, with three successful penalty kicks of his own.

O'Conner ensured the visitors went to the break holding a 14-9 lead thanks to a long-range penalty after the halftime hooter had sounded.

Ten minutes into the second half the Force were reduced to 14 men when O'Conner received a yellow card for not rolling away at a ruck after the visitors had been warned by referee Mark Lawrence for repeated infringements at the breakdown.

Jantjies nailed his fourth three-pointer from the resulting penalty and, five minutes later, the home side took the lead for the first and only time in the match when Jantjies popped over a close-range drop goal.

The Force struck back immediately after fullback Cameron Shepherd gathered his own kick before feeding wing Alfie Mafi, who galloped over untouched for a converted try.

Trailing 21-15 the Lions began to lose their discipline and O'Conner punished them with two penalties to kill the match off.

"The big thing tonight was our discipline. We gave away too many penalties and it kept them in the game," said Lions skipper Franco van der Merwe.


15. Jaco Taute, 14. Lionel Mapoe, 13. Jannie Boshoff, 12. Waylon Murray, 11. Michael Killian, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Rory Kockott, 8. Warren Whiteley, 7. Josh Strauss, 6. Derick Minnie, 5. Franco van der Merwe (captain), 4. Wikus van Heerden, 3. Partic Cilliers, 2. Bandise Maku, 1. JC Janse van Rensburg

Substitutes: 16. Martin Bezuidenhout, 17. Kevin Buys, 18. Michael Rhodes, 19. Baywatch Grobbelaar, 20. Jano Vermaak, 21. Burton Francis, 22. Deon van Rensburg

Western Force:
15. Cameron Shepherd, 14. Alfie Mafi, 13. Nick Cummins, 12. Gene Fairbanks, 11. David Smith, 10. James O’Connor, 9. Brett Sheehan, 8. Ben McCalman, 7. Matt Hodgson, 6. Richard Brown, 5. Nathan Sharpe, 4. Sam Wykes, 3. Tim Fairbrother, 2. Ben Whittaker, 1. Pek Cowan

Substitutes: 16. Nathan Charles, 17. Kieran Longbottom, 18. Tom Hockings, 19. Tevita Metuisela, 20. James Stannard, 21. Matt Brandon, 22. Pat Dellit


  • Robynsky - 2011-03-19 18:51

    I have been a Lion for as long as Iam alive, but tonight was a truly pathetic display. should these guys even be in super rugby? and the crowd? cheering when Elton went off, pathetic and very poor. Move out of Ellis and get some proper players. absolutely pathetic.

      Lions4ever - 2011-03-20 11:35

      The Lions just pissed me off. Don't get me wrong there are some players who is really trying their hearts out bu then you get Jantjies who just F*** things up and all that hard work to no avail. I really thought after the Cheetahs game that the lions had more confidence and was looking forward to a new and resurgent team, but boy was I wrong they looked like the lions of last year and if things don't change then the win over the Cheetahs will be our last win in this year's tournament. I love the Lions and will never ever support another team but really we cannot keep on losing like this it is embarrassing.

      Thomas - 2011-03-21 06:20

      Why would you have Kockott on the field and let the same kickers throw nine to twelve points away, on kicks that kockott would have kicked in his sleep!!!!!!!

  • Jik - 2011-03-19 19:07

    I'm sorry, call me racist blah blah blah.. but WTF, the should be starting fly half is playin B team and Jantjies just keeps on shanking them.. Was so keen to finally have a second team to support whole heartedly but i again, WTF?? If you need evidence of not being ready for this level, a bit of blood and maat is rattled.. I'm not saying its all his fault, by no means, but I mean really, you need a solid experienced head at pivot.. And the only cover at 10 is Franceen.. are you faakin kidding me.. I'm telling you now, the cinderella based hype is BS, and no disrepect or digging intended at Lions fans, Im gutted, but WTF??

  • Chris Holtshausen - 2011-03-19 21:01

    En daarsy!!!! Jammer vir Leeus as ek hul hier as forum vir my boodskap gebruik! Uiteindelik 'n NEUTRALE ref wat nie soos ons Marius Plonker, Craigie en Lawrence slegs Blou sien nie, maar uiteindelik hul oortredings!!!! Stormers, die keer kon die ref dit nie van jul steel nie!!! Nog altyd gese SA-refs het al hul bekers die afgelope 2 jaar gewen!!!! Go Stormers!!!! Jul is KONINGS!!!!

      Ockie - 2011-03-20 06:43

      Ja. Lions se swakste wedstryd die seisoen. Dit wys ook watter rol Doppies in die agterlyn speel. Op 'n positiewe noot ... dit kan seker darem nou net beter, want hul sal hopelik nie slegter as Saterdag speel nie. Oeps die Bulls wag volgende week en hulle sal wil wys hoekom daar so baie Springbokke in hul span is.

      xperdt - 2011-03-20 10:06

      My naam is chris Hol-houspyp en ek is 'n dom drol, glo my!

      Chris Holtshausen - 2011-03-20 15:38

      @xperdt: Ag shame, wat 'n intellegente en weldeurdagte opmerking! Het seker ure vir 'n ou met 'n verstand soos joune geneem om dit uit te dink!!! die weklikheid maak seer my ou!!!!

  • Mark - 2011-03-19 22:03

    For f&^%#$S sake.....wake up Lions

  • Oukoos - 2011-03-19 23:17

    Ek het nog nooit 'n hoë dunk van Elton Jantjes gehad nie, maar vanaand het hy weer eens gewys dat hy nie op hierdie vlak hoort nie. En die tragedie is dat hy heel warskynlik voor Peter Grant vir die Wereldbeker gekies gaan word, want sy kleur is reg

      Johan - 2011-03-20 10:06

      Pdivie like vir Grant...Jantjies sal nie gekies word nie so kom oor dit!!!! Grant sal gekies word want hy speel goed!

  • ChumScrubber - 2011-03-20 06:58

    Very dissapointing, it must be really frustrating supporting the Lions, just when things were looking up they wobble again. They have to stop persisting with young Elton, they're going to break his confidence permanently. To have fans boo their own player off the field is disgusting though. Strauss is my player of the season so far though, our own Chabal - loved the beards in the crowd. Go Sharks!

  • Makutu - 2011-03-20 08:46

    KAK Game... Jantjie can't defend to save his life.

  • burneyowen - 2011-03-20 08:53

    I am a very dissapointed Lions supporter. This was a pathetic performance, we cant even stick to a game plan. Can't wait for Butch to come, Elton can't and won't be able to ever handle this pressure. He should play Vodacom Cup for a wile before they even look at him again. John is a good couch but dammit, he should open his eyes and start managing his players. He's got a 3 year plan, all new couches hide behind that shit... Come on Lions - get some passion for what you do. We need you to do better, I cant keep going through life like this.

  • Nico - 2011-03-20 09:11

    Well done to the Force, they outplayed us :( We did not compete at the breakdowns, so they had fast forward ball the whole game. And our backline without Doppies got no striking power Next week will require a massive effort! The bulls are also hurting.

  • Straight Forward - 2011-03-20 10:57

    The Lions desrve no better. WTF is a player like Jantjies doing in the team? Useless BEE appointment. He's poor defense resulted in the Force's try. He should noy even be palying in the Vodacom Cup. Over-rated hotnot

      Lions4ever - 2011-03-20 11:42

      I agree with 100%. he is useless but it is the commentators who is also to blame because all they do is talk him good like they did with Earl Rose. Joel Stransky seems to be in love with Jantjies. I am so glad that the crowd booed him off the filed he deserve nothing less. Useless and for Waylon Murray he is just as useless as Jantjies.

  • red - 2011-03-20 11:33

    1. make doppies captain !! 2. bring back Carlos & Andre at flyhalf until Butch is back 3. bulk up killian/mapoe/ wandile mjekevu 4. need a scrumhalf like Francois Hougaard - quick and crisp 5. Wikus aint good enough

  • waine - 2011-03-20 23:11

    Aye, when will the Lions get it right? It just does not come through for them...perhaps they are missing Earle Rose...

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