The Lions host the Hurricanes in the second Super Rugby Semi-final and this match is a rematch of last year’s Super Rugby final.
This match will be the first time that the Lions have faced a New Zealand team this year due to the draw. Ironically the last time the Lions faced a Kiwi team it was the final which the Hurricanes won 20-3.
The Lions will be looking to become just the second South African team in Super Rugby history to appear in back-to-back finals after the Bulls did so in 2009 and 2010.
Canes’ skipper Dane Coles is set to line up for his 100th Super Rugby game.
The Lions have only beaten the Hurricanes once in the last 11 matches and that was in 2007.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: BEEP! BEEP! We are underway in a sunny Johannesburg where the Lions will look to get revenge on the Hurricanes after last year’s Super Rugby final loss in Wellington. Elton Jantjies will need to be a lot better than he was last week against the Sharks where he had a shocker and was substituted.
3.00: The breakdown will need to better for the JHB men after last week. The Canes flood the first ruck but the home team get a second scrum. Their set piece looks in good shape, just from those two scrums.
5.00: Vaea Fifita is penalised for entering the ruck from the side. Normally, the Lions kick to the corner, but this time Jantjies will take a shot at goal.
6.00: PENALTY! Jantjies gets his team on the board, more importantly, the Springbok starts well; he left 10 points on the field last week, which almost cost his team: 3-0
7.00: TRY TJ Peranara! Beauden Barrett’s restart is out on the full. From the centerfield scrum, the Lions lose possession after another Jantjies stray pass to Ross Cronje. The ball is hacked forward and Perenara chases and wins the race to the ball, flopping on it over the try-line: 3-5
8.00: The conversion is wide: 3-5
11.00: TRY Wes Goosen! Beauden Barrett ghosts through a big gap in the Lions midfield after a good lineout and wraparound move with Ngani Laumape. The All Black first five runs to the 22 and sends a wide pass to Goosen and the wing coasts over the whitewash for the Canes’ second try: 3-10
12.00: Jordie Barrett slots the conversion and extends the Kiwi’s lead: 3-12
14.00: Two Stolen: Franco Mostert has stolen 16 line-outs so far this season, eight more than any other player and 13 more than Hurricanes’ best Vaea Fifita and Brad Shields (three each). The lock just stole two successive lineouts, relieving the pressure on his side.
17.00: The Lions are under some intense pressure, most of their own doing. Like last week versus the Sharks, they have started very poorly. They must cut out the silly errors. Kwagga Smith is the next Lion to lose the ball forward.
20.00: PENALTY! Jordie Barrett extends his side’s lead: 3-15
22.00: Quick water break after an injury assessment. The Hurricanes are camped inside the Lions’ 22, almost scoring through Nehe Milner-Skudder, but the pass was forward.
24.00: Ross Cronje breaks from the scrum, races down the field and offloads to Jantjies. Somehow, the Kiwis win the ball back and Milner-Skudder returns with a counter-attack. Eventually, the Lions are penalised at the ruck and Beauden Barrett kicks to the corner.
26.00: some champagne rugby being played between the Barrett brothers and Milner-Skudder before Jordie is tackled by Smith into touch. Beauden’s pass to Jordie looked forward but Jaco Peyper the assistant referee did not see it.
28.00: The Lions turn the ball over again and the Canes go wide, but the ball goes out after a stray pass. Peyper talks to Jaco Kriel about his players refereeing the game and irritating the ref says he won’t stand any more shouting of “offsides” and tells the flank that the Hurricanes are “making good decisions”.
30.00: TRY Ardie Savea! A scuffle breaks out after the Lions are awarded a penalty; they tap and go quickly rather than kick to touch. It proves costly because Cronje has the ball knocked out of his hands by Sam Lousi. Savea picks up and races clear from the halfway line to score under the posts: 3-20
31.00: The conversion can’t be missed from in front: 3-22
35.00: It is calamity after calamity from Johan Ackermann’s men; they have started worse than they did against the Sharks, somehow, the Hurricanes will not squander this lead like the Durban team. It is way too easy for the Canes.
38.00: HELD UP! Jantjies sees a gap but is tackled and held up over the Hurricanes’ try-line. He really should have scored there, but they do go back for another penalty. They go to their lineout again. Lionel Mapoe joins the set piece.
39.00: TRY Jacques van Rooyen! The big man can’t be stopped from close range. Jantjies darted to the line, was stopped short, the Lions recycled quickly and the loosehead prop gathered and barged over for his team’s first try: 8-22
40.00: The Bok standoff adds the extras from in front after an important score, just before the break: 10-22
The half-time score was Lions 10 Hurricanes 22
41.00: BEEP! BEEP! We are back underway at Ellis Park for the second-half of the second semi-final. The Lions have a mountain to climb if they are to win this match; they are making too many silly mistakes and their midfield defence has been poor.
43.00: The Lions earn a penalty and kick deep into Canes’ territory. They will go to their driving maul.
44.00: TRY Ross Cronje! After a good drive from the lineout, the Lions get to the goal-line before the scrumhalf picks up the ball at the base of the ruck and dives forward, stretching out his hand to dot down: 15-22
45.00: Jantjies reduces the deficit to five points with his second conversion: 17-22
49.00: The Hurricanes stop the Lions with some big defence. Brad Shields, this time, poaching the ball at the breakdown and Beauden Barrett clears the penalty deep.
50.00: Last week’s hero Ruan Combrinck kicks a monster clearance down the field and into the Kiwi’s territory. The Lions kicking game has been better, especially, after the interval.
52.00: Harold Vorster breaks down the sideline. The ball is shifted to the try scorer Van Rooyen, in support, who barges over the try-line but yet again, is held up by TJ Perenara.
53.00: TRY Malcolm Marx! The Lions go to their maul and from around the corner, the hooker breaks to level the scores with his ninth try of the season: 22-all
54.00: Jantjies hits the post from out wide: 22-all
56.00: TRY Ngani Laumape! Just as the crowd were coming alive, some slick handling after a good counter ruck which saw Ardie Savea win the turnover and charge forward, sees Nehe Milner-Skudder and Dane Coles play the centre near the touchline to score: 22-27
57.00: Jordie Barrett adds the two points: 22-29
58.00: YELLOW CARD! Beauden Barrett is sent to the bin; that is a very harsh call.
59.00: PENALTY! Jantjies reduces the deficit to four with another penalty: 25-29
61.00: We have entered the final quarter – an important one – on the Highveld. The New Zealanders will be sucking hard in the altitude, while the Lions will know the threat posed by the Kiwis in the last 20 minutes.
62.00: TRY Harold Vorster! Kwagga Smith started the move with a wonderful offload before the centre runs in untouched to give the Lions the lead: 30-29
63.00: It’s good from the Bok flyhalf: 32-29
65.00: Smith is penalised at the breakdown and Coles tells Peyper that they will opt for a shot at goal. The kick is from distance but we are at altitude. The penalty will also eat up the clock.
66.00: MISS! It’s wide from Jordie Barrett: 32-29
68.00: NEARLY! Andries Coetzee interferes with Nehe Milner-Skudder’s interception and saves a certain try – scrum to the Lions. Beauden Barrett is waiting to come back on as the Lions have a penalty advantage after dismantling the Kiwi’s scrum.
69.00: TRY Elton Jantjies! The standoff goes over but Peyper is consulting with TMO Marius Jonker about a knock on in the build up. There’s no compelling evidence that there was a knock on: 37-29
70.00: Jantjies adds another two points: 39-29
73.00: Time is running out for the Hurricanes; they need two scores but it is all red at the moment. The Lion’s front row leaves the field to a standing ovation.
74.00: TRY Kwagga Smith! Armand van der Merwe intercepts TJ Perenara’s loose pass and plays the supporting Sevens legend in for the game clinching try: 44-29
75.00: MISS! the conversion is wide but it does not matter: 44-29
78.00: The Lions come again; they want 50 points here and revenge for last year’s final loss. Ardie Savea smokes Jantjies with a huge hit. The flyhalf is down for a short while but gets up. He has been immense today, guiding his side to victory in extraordinary circumstances. Well done Lions.
80.00: The hooter sounds and the ball is booted into the stands: Cue bedlam.
The final score is Lions 44 (10) Hurricanes 29 (22)
Tries – Van Rooyen, Cronje, Marx, Vorster, Jantjies, Smith
Pen – Jantjies (2)
Con – Jantjies (4)
Tries – Perenara, Goosen, A. Savea, Laumape
Pen – J. Barrett
Con – J. Barrett (3)
Cards – B. Barrett (Yellow, 59th minute)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 2: Rasta Rasivhenge
TMO: Marius Jonker
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Albertus Smith, 6 Jaco Kriel (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 23 Sylvian Mahuza.
15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Wes Goosen, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Thomas Perenara, 8 Brad Shields, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Jeffery To’omaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles (captain), 1 Ben May.
Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Loni Uhila, 19 Reed Prinsep, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Otere Black, 23 Julian Savea