Cape Town - The Bulls have edged the Lions in an entertaining Super Rugby friendly played at the FNB Stadium as part of Super Hero Sunday.
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The Pretoria-based franchise ran out 40-35 winners in a match in which 11 tries were scored.
The first half saw the Lions opening the scoring through Dan Kriel and running in another two tries through Duncan Matthews, all of which were converted by Elton Jantjies.
The Bulls scored through Abongilie Nonkontwana who crashed over from a driving maul as well as centre Johnny Kotze with veteran flyhalf Morne Steyn slotting both conversions for the Lions to lead 21-14 at half-time.
The second half started with the the Bulls drawing level when Manie Libbok pounced on a loose ball to canter over for a converted try.
They then took a 26-21 lead when Divan Rossouw crossed over in the left-hand corner for an uncoverted try after some crisp handling.
The Lions hit back in the 57th minute when Courtnall Skosan was on the end of a pinpoint cross kick to score in the left-hand corner. Jantjies slotted a difficult conversion to give the Lions a 28-26 lead.
They extended that lead to 35-26 soon after when Morne van der Berg broke free of the Bulls defence to score a converted try under the poles.
A second try for Divan Rossouw, converted by Chris Smith closed the gap to just two points as the Lions still led 35-33.
But then disaster struck for the Lions as a poor pass in on their own line gifted a try to Cornal Hendricks who collected a loose ball and dotted down for a converted score.
That gave the Bulls a 40-35 lead with just two minutes left in the match, a lead they defended to run out winners in an enterprising encounter.
Tries: Abongile Nonkontwana, Johnny Kotze, Manie Libbok, Divan Rossouw (2), Cornal Hendricks.
Conversions: Morne Steyn (2), Chris Smith (3)
Tries: Dan Kriel, Duncan Matthews (2), Courtnall Skosan, Morne vd Berg
Conversions: Elton Jantjies (5)
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Cornal Hendricks, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Muller Uys, 6 Wian Vosloo, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Simphiwe Matanzima
Substitutes: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Mornay Smith, 19 Ryno Pieterse, 20 Ruan Nortje/Jean Droste, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Divan Rossouw, 24 Dylan Sage, 25 Manie Libbok, 26 Jeandré Rudolph, 27 Abongile Nonkontwana, 28 Tim Agaba
15 Tiaan Swanepoel, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Duncan Matthews, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 André Warner, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Pieter Jansen, 1 Dylan Smith
Substitutes: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Roelof Smit, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Morné van der Berg, 22 Manuel Rass, 23 Tyrone Green, 24 Jo-Hanko de Villiers, 25 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 26 Jan-Louis la Grange, 27 Wandisile Simelane