Lions rescue win from Rebels

2012-07-07 19:28

Johannesburg - The Lions led by 24 points and trailed by five before a late try from replacement forward Jaco Kriel set up a 37-32 triumph over the Rebels Saturday in a Super 15 thriller.

Kriel got the thumbs up from the television match official after Francisco Pastrana, the first Argentine to referee a southern hemisphere provincial championship match, was unsure whether the South African had a foot in touch.

Fly-half Elton Jantjies converted from the touchline to edge the South Africans 34-32 ahead and he kicked a penalty from in front of the posts in stoppage time to finish with a 17-point haul.

Only pride was at stake in a clash of two season-long strugglers at chilly Ellis Park, and it could be the last Super 15 match at the venue for some time with Southern Kings set to replace the bottom-of-the-table Lions next season.

After dominating the opening half and leading 24-7 at half-time, the Lions trailed 32-27 with six minutes left before Kriel barged over in the corner for a bonus-point fourth Lions try that turned the tide.

"I do not know what happened to us in the second half," confessed Lions No 8 and skipper Josh Strauss, "but I am proud of the boys for coming back in the closing minutes and winning.

"This was our final home match of the season and it was great to go out with a bang. Special praise must go to Elton for his fantastic conversion from the touchline to put us back in front."

Veteran Rebels inside centre and captain Stirling Mortlock, who retired midway through the second half, was not overly disappointed with the result on a tour which continues next Saturday against Western Stormers in Cape Town.

"This match reminded us once again that if we do not defend well in this competition, we will pay a heavy price. There were a lot of pleasing aspects, but our inconsistency is annoying."

Lions were ahead within two minutes through a try from outside centre Waylon Murray and flank Derick Minnie dotted down twice with Jantjies converting both and kicking a penalty as the home team raced to a 24-point advantage.

A first half stoppage-time try from hooker Ged Robinson sparked a Rebels' revival that continued after the break through two tries from lock Hugh Pyle and another from fly-half James Hilgendorf.

Full-back Julian Huxley converted three and kicked two penalties while the only Lions points came from a Jantjies penalty before a late surge brought the home team only a third victory this season from 15 outings.


For Lions:
Tries: Murray, Minnie 2, Kriel
Cons: Jantjies 4
Pens: Jantjies 3

For Rebels:
Tries: Robinson, Pyle 2, Hilgendorf
Cons: Huxley 3
Pens: Huxley 2


15 James Kamana, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Butch James, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Joshua Strauss (captain), 7 Grant Hattingh, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco Van der Merwe, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg

Substitutes: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Ruaan Dreyer, 18 Etienne Oosthuizen, 19 Jaco Kriel, 20 Ross Cronje, 21 JR Esterhuizen, 22 Ruan Combrinck

15 Julian Huxley, 14 Mark Gerrard, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Stirling Mortlock (c), 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 James Hilgendorf, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Gareth Delve, 7 Hugh Perrett, 6 Tim Davidson, 5 Al Campbell, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Jono Owen, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson

Substitutes: 16 Adam Freier, 17 Paul Alo-Emile, 18 Hugh Pyle, 19 Luke Jones, 20 Richard Kingi, 21 Lachlan Mitchell, 22 Lloyd Johannson


  • jack.bleck - 2012-07-07 19:52

    Next weekend is gonna be interesting. Both Sharks and Bulls may end up needing 4 tries to keep out the Reds (who would have a superior win ratio if the points were equal). I bet they're hoping the Tahs can hold back the Reds...because scoring 4 tries against the Lions and Cheetahs won't be easy...

      joe.smit.547 - 2012-07-08 02:40

      Shows how important a bonus point becomes. If the Sharks had got one against the Lions......

      sean.brady.14224 - 2012-07-08 11:48

      Bonus points are critical. The difference between the Reds and Brumbies on the log is...bonus points! The Tahs may be able to hold the Reds though, a draw would be nice. Interesting if the Reds don't win, and the Sharks beat the Cheetahs earlier on Saturday afternoon. The Bulls will be in a position to "manipulate" their game. An unexpected loss to the Lions would leave them in 6th position with a trip to the Brumbies. The alternative is 5th with a trip to the Crusaders! I know which I'd prefer. If this is the case then my Lions won't end up in last place :-), good news all around!

      jack.bleck - 2012-07-08 13:26

      @sean - it's not just the Reds you have to worry about. The Hurricanes are also still in it (and beat the Crusaders last week!). If they upset the Chiefs, both Bulls and Sharks would have to win their games. The likelihood of the Bulls being able to manipulate things is possible, but unlikely.

      sean.brady.14224 - 2012-07-09 11:45

      Jack, a certain Bryce had a lot to do with the Crusaders losing to the Canes. Having said all that the results are all speculation, but that's half the fun :-). I just feel the Chiefs may wake up after last week and win well on the weekend.

  • brendan.vanderpluym - 2012-07-07 19:54

    Well done Lions, good to see a win for you guys.

  • bradley.oakleybrown - 2012-07-07 20:06

    Proud to be a Lions supporter...good win. Showed some composure and guts. The Lions deserve to stay in Super competition.

  • Provence - 2012-07-07 20:50

    Go Lions nail the blue cows next week

      joe.smit.547 - 2012-07-08 02:35

      Pink cows, bro!

      sean.brady.14224 - 2012-07-09 11:46

      Hey Provence, support us because you like the team, not so they can do some dirty work for you...

  • francois.leroux.33 - 2012-07-07 23:41

    Good win Lions! What is with SA teams only playing for one half?

      lean.sadie - 2012-07-08 00:26

      Indeed GJ lions. And that seems to be a problem, even carrying over to the boks. Sure hope its not like that in the 4N. It should be a cracker of a tourny.

  • maarten.slabbert.7 - 2012-07-08 05:09

    Congrats Lions. But did you HAVE to string my nerves out like that? Some really bad defence in the second half.

  • sean.brady.14224 - 2012-07-08 08:29

    Lions are no longer bottom of log with regards to tries scored!!! ;)

  • jacobus.vandermerwe.9 - 2012-07-10 08:35

    Suddenly! CharlesDumbwin has nothing to say...

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