Pretoria - The Lions consolidated their position at the top of the South African
Super Rugby group with a 56-20 victory over the Bulls in Pretoria.
As it happened: Bulls 20-56 Lions
The seven-try win over their Gauteng neighbours takes the Lions seven
points clear of the Sharks at the Africa 2 summit and six clear of the
Stormers in the South African group.
The result is also the Bulls' first loss at home this season.
The score was 8-25 at the interval to the visitors. The half-time
statistics were indicative of the Lions dominance as the Jo'burg team
made 321 metres to the Bulls 101, had beaten 12 defenders to the Bulls
zero and seemingly never let go of the ball as they had 74 percent of
Rohan Janse van Rensburg was incredible on the day. The number 12 had
two tries, made three clean breaks and ran 108 metres with ball in
The Lions showed their intentions early on in the game as they were
the first team to open their scoring account with Marnitz Boshoff
knocking over a penalty after Lappies Labuschagne was penalised at the
breakdown. His penalty set the tone as the Lions kept their lead
throughout the game. Boshoff played with a different style to his
predecessor, the injured Elton Jantjies, as the fly-half tried to kick
and turn the opposition early on before settling into a classically,
Lions running game.
Bjorn Basson nearly scored from an interception for his team after a Lions pass went wayward but it was disallowed.
The Lions put the Bulls under intense pressure with some impressive
running led by Janse van Rensburg and Lionel Mapoe. The first try of the
game came through Janse van Rensburg but not without controversy as the
Bulls crowd jeered that it was crossing. But referee Craig Joubert
illustrated the rules very carefully for the opposition as he explained
the Bulls fell for the dummy runner, and chased him, which allowed the
inside centre to hit the gap and score the try.
Jesse Kriel replied immediately as the Lions' kick-off went awry,
which the outside centre capitalised on and burnt the cover defence to
go over the whitewash and score his team's first try.
After an incredible bit of team play the Lions unleashed Mapoe, whose
work wasn't done yet as he handed off a Bull before cantering in for
the try with his trademark chicken celebration.
The Lions began to run away with it just before the end of the
first-half as Julian Redelinghuys charged over. As the teams headed into
the paddock, the Bulls looked fairly dejected and rightfully so.
Jaco Kriel then went over to further his side's dominance over their
opposition. But the Bulls weren't done yet as captain Adriaan Strauss
added a five pointer.
No less than five minutes afterwards Courtnall Skosan showed
blistering pace to beat several defenders to score. The try came through
a brilliantly executed switch from Sylvian Mahuza to give Skosan the
The Lions' precision lasted till the very end as they scored again
the 74th minute through Janse van Rensburg once more. That followed by a
consolation Deon Stegmann try.
Bulls: Tries - Jesse Kriel, Adriaan Strauss, Deon Stegmann. Conversion - Tian Schoeman. Penalty - Francois Brummer
Lions: Tries - Rohan Janse van Rensburg (2), Lionel Mapoe, Julian Redelinghuys, Jaco Kriel, Warren Whiteley, Faf de Klerk. Conversions - Marnitz Boshoff (6). Penalties - Boshoff (3)
15 SP Marais, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Lappies Labuschagne, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Substitutes: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Pierre Schoeman, 19 Grant Hattingh, 20 Deon Stegmann, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Dries Swanepoel
15 Sylvian Mahuza, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith
Substitutes: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Ruan Ackermann, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Ross Cronjé, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Ashlon Davids