Pretoria’s Bulls host Johannesburg’s Lions in a match that is often called the battle of the Jukskei after the name of a river that separates the two South African cities.
The Lions have played two and won two. The Bulls had a bye in the opening round so although they are unbeaten they have only played one match.
They have, arguably, been tested more though as the Bulls beat the Hurricanes last weekend.
- The Lions have won four of their last five games against the Bulls, including their last two meetings; they had previously never beaten them as the Lions (D1, L10).
- Each of the Bulls’ last three games against in derbies has been won by the away team.
- The Lions have won their last six games away from home, and haven’t lost on the road against South African opposition since Round 12, 2015, against the Bulls.
- The Bulls have had one player receive a yellow card in each of their last three games at home. Only once in 21 home games has a Bulls player received a yellow card.
- Malcolm Marx has crossed for a try in each of his last three games away from home in South Africa.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: PEEEP! We are underway in the trans-Jukskei derby at Loftus Versfeld. It’s another glorious day in Pretoria. Handré Pollard has moved to inside centre and Marnitz Boshoff goes in at flyhalf.
3.00: Both teams are spreading the ball wide in the early exchanges. The handling was excellent before the first knock on.
6.00: PENALTY! Marnitz Boshoff opens the scoring for the home team. 3-0
9.00: The Lions have a scrum inside the Bulls’ 22 and are going through the phases. They have a penalty advantage and are awarded a penalty. Elton Jantjies kicks to the corner.
12.00: The Bulls collapse the resulting driving maul and Jantjies goes to the corner, again. Referee Marius van der Westhuizen will have to go to the pocket the next maul is collapsed.
14.00: TRY! Ruan Dreyer powers over for the score. Francois Mostert took the lineout, set the drive and recycled at the back of the maul. The ball was transferred to Dreyer, who drives over the whitewash. 3-5
15.00: CONVERSION! Jantjies adds the two. 3-7
18.00: TRY! Jacques Van Rooyen, the prop finishes off another powerful driving maul that went 20 metres. Wow! The Lions pack is dismantling the Bulls. 3-12
19.00: CONVERSION! Jantjies slots another tough conversion. 3-14
20.00: The Bulls are in serious trouble. The Lions are dominating the tight phases and using the ball better.
21.00: The bulls earn a penalty at the ruck after Jantjies does not release. The home side goes to the corner.
22.00: PENALTY! Another penalty won by the Bulls and this time they opt for goal. Boshoff makes no mistake. 6-14
25.00: The Bulls should have taken the points, just to settle their nerves, instead, they have lost a good opportunity for points.
26.00: Another good scrum by the visitors. They win the penalty with a strong right shoulder by Dreyer. Jantjies kicks into Bulls territory. It was not a long kick, though.
28.00: PENALTY! Boshoff reduces the deficit. The Bulls steal the lineout and kick deep. Sylvian Mahuza is tackled by Pollard and Johnny Kotze supports and wins the penalty. Great work by the two backs. 9-14
31.00: The Bulls have settled, but only just. Boshoff’s boot will not win them the game because the Lions deal in sevens.
31.00: The Bulls are off their feet and the Lions have a penalty advantage. We are checking for a try by Marvin Orie.
32.00: TRY! Marvin Orie has beaten the Bulls defender and grounded the ball. Rasta Rasivhenge could not help Marius van der Westhuizen award the score, so they went to the TMO. 9-19
33.00: CONVERSION! That’s a simple kick for the flyhalf. 9-21
35.00: TRY! Johnny Kotze gathers Pollard’s cross-kick, beats Mahuza and Ross Cronje and dives in the corner for the five-pointer. 14-21
36.00: MISS! Boshoff can’t add the extras. 14-21
38.00: The Bulls have kept within touching distance, despite being outplayed all over the park. This young team is showing some cojones.
40.00: Cronje crunches Kotze into touch. Malcolm Marx is drying the ball. One last chance for the Lions to extend their lead.
41.00: Great counter-ruck by the Lions, turning over the ball, but Cronje kicks the ball into touch.
The half-time score was Bulls 14 Lions 21
41.00: PEEEEP! Boshoff restarts this enthralling South African derby.
41.00: TRY! Jesse Kriel with the big hit on Cronje. The scrumhalf loses the ball and Pollard scoops the loose ball and is over in the corner. What a start! 19-21
42.00: CONVERSION! Boshoff slots the touchline kick and the scores are level. 21-all
46.00: The Bulls needed tries, not penalties, and they have delivered, either side of the break.
47.00: Their scrum is still under pressure and gives away another penalty. Jantjies puts the ball in the corner.
48.00: Another driving maul ends with a Lions penalty. Corner, again.
50.00: Marco van Staden intercepts but it is called back for multiple infringements. The ref has warned Pollard, again, about his team’s ill-discipline.
51.00: TRY! Marx picks and dives over the whitewash for the lead. 21-26
52.00: CONVERSION! Jantjies adds another two points. 21-28
53.00: YELLOW CARD! Conraad van Vuuren is only on for three minutes but suffers for his team’s previous sins.
55.00: PENALTY TRY! The Lions pulverise the Bulls pack in another fierce driving maul. The maul is brought down and Nic de Jager will get a yellow card. 21-35
55.00: YELLOW CARD! Nic de Jager!
56.00: TRY! Mahuza rounds Warrick Gelant and strolls in for the Lions sixth try. The game is now well and truly over. 21-40
57.00: CONVERSION! Jantjies kicks his fifth conversion. 21-42
60.00: This has turned into a blowout, but the Bulls are young and not giving up. The Bulls get hammered in the scrum, yet again, but the home team gets the penalty. Dodgy call by the referee. Terrible officiating!
63.00: The game is end-to-end, but it’s all Lions. The Bulls are struggling to keep them out, but to their credit, there has not been a yellow card or try in the last six minutes.
68.00: The Bulls had a chance but the lineout is stolen and the 2017 runners-up, show their experience and clear.
71.00: TRY! Cronje collects Warren Whitely’s over-the-top and races ghosts through the Bulls defenders. It came from Marx’s throw to the back of the lineout in what was a well-planned move. 21-47
72.00: CONVERSION! The Bok 10 adds another two. 21-49
76.00: TRY! Lizo Gqoboka is over. 26-49
77.00: CONVERSION! Pollard adds the extras. 28-49
78.00: TRY! Travis Ismaiel races away for another Bulls score. 33-49
79.00: TRY! CONVERSION! Pollard can’t miss from there. 35-49
80.00: Game over!
The final score: Bulls 35 (14) Lions 49 (21)
Tries – Kotze, Pollard, Gqoboka, Ismaiel
Pen – Boshoff (3)
Con – Boshoff, Pollard (2)
Cards – C. Van Vuuren (Yellow, 53′), De Jager (Yellow, 55′)
Tries – Dreyer, Van Rooyen, Orie, Marx, Penalty try, Mahuza, Cronje
Con – Jantjies (6)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 1: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Ref 2: Stephan Geldenhuys
TMO: Christie du Preez
15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Handré Pollard (Captain), 11 Johnny Kotze, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Rudolph Snyman, 3 Frans van Wyk, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Nic de Jager, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Francois Brummer, 23 Warrick Gelant.
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Francois Mostert, 6 Cyle Brink, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques Van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Jacobus Adriaanse, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Marco Jansen Van Vuren, 22 Harold Vorster, 23 Madosh Tambwe.