Johannesburg’s Lions are second in the overall standings while the Sunwolves are the last placed team in the overall Super Rugby standings.
Given where the teams are placed few will be picking the Sunwolves to win a match that will be played at altitude.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: BEEP! BEEP! We are underway in the final game of the weekend in a cold Johannesburg.
4.00: NO TRY Courtnall Skosan, the so-called quickest rugby player in South Africa, chasing the long kick, but could not dot the ball down. He burnt Takaaki Nakazuru and Teruya Goto, but could not control the grounding.
5.00: TRY Ross Cronjé! The Lions bulldoze the Sunwolves’ scrum and the Springbok scrumhalf scores after beating two defenders: 5-0
6.00: Elton Janjties adds the conversion: 7-0.
7.00: Not a good start by the tourists, they have lost their first scrum and lineout in the opening five minutes.
10.00: The scrum has had to be reset three times in this passage of play. The ref is already losing his patience.
11.00: TRY Jaco Kriel! Wow! Jantjies takes the ball wide, pops to Kriel, who runs through and over eight players before getting up to dive over near the posts. Stunning power and run from the flanker: 12-0
12.00: Jantjies adds the simple conversion: 14-0
14.00: The Sunwolves are under immense pressure in JHB. Somehow, they intercept a loose pass and run in the field, but the ball is lost forward.
17.00: Another promising Sunwolves’ attack breaks down after Shokei Kin gathers Keisuke Uchida’s short, forward pass.
19.00: BIG SCRUM! The home team smash their opponents in the set piece, go wide, sending the ball through all the backline players’ hands.
20.00: TRY Kwagga Smith! The Lions bring the ball back to the left, Lionel Mapoe loops Smith, who darts in to score: 19-0
21.00: Jantjies adds his third conversion to stretch the lead to three converted tries to nil: 21-0
23.00: The Lions’ scrum is dominant. They go wide again, this time they lose the ball forward and Willie Britz picks up the ball and charges ahead. The Sunwolves get the scrum feed, but one feels that they would rather not.
25.00: Ruan Combrinck makes another electric break, hands off to Mapoe, who is tackled short. But, the centre rolls his way over the try-line. It looks like a triple movement, never mind a double, but was he held?
25.00: No try! A penalty for double movement. Mapoe should have offloaded to Harold Vorster, who was free and open.
27.00: TRY and second for Kwagga Smith! From a standing start, the Sevens specialist races clear to score: 26-0
28.00: Jantjies is slotting everything: 28-0
30.00: It’s a point a minute for the home team at Ellis Park. The Sunwolves need to start tackling; their D has been very poor, to non-existent.
31.00: They’ve made 29 tackles but missed 16 – eight of those on Kriel. Starting props Yasuo Yamaji and Matasaka Mikami has been replaced. On comes Koki Yamamoto and Takuma Asahara after the dismantling taken in the scrum.
33.00: The Lions win another penalty and kick to touch – who’d have thought? Jantjies dances through some defenders but is tackled near the 22. The Lions go 13 phases before Jantjies attempts a cross-kick for Ruan Combrinck, but the tall wing, cannot gather.
35.00: Atsushi Sakate can’t find his jumper and the Lions steal another lineout. Somehow, the Sunwolves get their hands back on the ball and kick downfield.
37.00: The Sunwolves enter the Lions’ 22, win a penalty and take it quickly. The ball is lost, kicked down the field, where Teruya Goto collects, but finds a poor touch. They are breathing heavily at altitude. Willie Britz is down, and he looks in pain.
39.00: TRY Elton Jantjies! The Bok flyhalf bounces off a weak tackle and races to the corner to score: 33-0
40.00: Jantjies slips, but the ball sails through the posts: 35-0
The half-time score was Lions 35 Sunwolves 0
41.00: BEEP! BEEP! We are back underway at Ellis Park. The visitors missed 24 tackles in the first-half and have had to make 63. With the final 20 minutes at altitude a big factor for touring sides, the second period might need to be called early.
43.00: The Lions go close, but the try is saved thanks to some smart defensive work by the Sunwolves. The Lions win a penalty for offsides; Jantjies kicks to touch, inside the visitors’ 22.
45.00: TRY Armand van der Merwe! The Lions mauled their way over from short range to score the first try of the second-half: 40-0
46.00: MISS! What? Jantjies hits the left-hand upright: 40-0
50.00: The Sunwolves earn a penalty at the breakdown and kick into the Lions’ 22.
51.00: After some juggling, Jaco Kriel rips the ball free from an attacker and charges up the field with one of his trademark runs.
52.00: TRY Ruan Combrinck! The winger beats a defender, near the sideline after taking a pass from Van der Merwe:45-0
53.00: Jantjies adds the conversion:47-0
53.00: TRY Kriel gets his second of the night, it’s a simple run-in. Jantjies is off and Faf de Klerk, the scrumhalf, goes to flyhalf: 52-0
54.00: The conversion is good from Combrinck: 54-0
56.00: The Lions have stepped up a gear; they are relentless. They have all the ball, all the territory, and all the points. They are running the Japanese ragged.
59.00: TRY Combrinck at the double! The winger collects his second after taking a long pass from Faf de Klerk: 59-0
60.00: MISS! The wing cannot convert his own try: 59-0
63.00: TRY Uwe Helu! The substitute goes over under the posts after some good ball from the ruck and taking it through some phases: 59-5
64.00: The kick is good by Jumpei Ogura: 59-7
65.00: TRY Courtnall Skosan! It came from Kwagga Smith’s quick throw-in, the ball was shifted and De Klerk, who is loving life at first receiver, puts Skosan away: no one is catching him: 64-7
66.00: Combrink can’t miss from under the posts: 66-7
68.00: Courtnall Skosan leaves to a standing ovation. Not bad for your 50th appearance. Cyle Brink is caught offside and the Sunwolves kick to touch. The lineout is five metres out from the Lions’ try-line, but remember the last time that happened?
70.00: TRY Faf de Klerk! The playmaker ghosts through a huge gap after selling a dummy and scores under the sticks: 71-7
71.00: Combrinck slots the conversion: 73-7
73.00: TRY Sylvian Mahuza! It’s that man De Klerk again. The standoff goes through another gap, draws the defender and Mahuza races clear for his fourth try of the season: 78-7
74.00: Combrinck kicks his fourth conversion to make it: 80-7
77.00: TRY Ruan Ackermann! The No 8 gets in on the act: 85-7
78.00: The conversion is good: 87-7
79.00: The Sunwolves take a quick throw-in, go wide, but knock the ball on.
81.00: TRY! Hat-trick for Combrinck! The flyer intercepts and races clear to score: 92-7
82.00: De Klerk slots the touchline conversion to the joy of the crowd. Boy, did he have a game: 94-7
The final score is Lions 94 (35) Sunwolves 7 (0)
Tries – Cronjé, Kriel (2), Smith (2), Jantjies, Van der Merwe, Combrinck (3), Skosan, De Klerk, Mahuza, Ackermann
Con – Jantjies (6), Combrinck (5), De Klerk
Tries – Helu
Con – Ogura
Referee: Egon Seconds
Assistant Ref 1: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Ref 2: Archie Sehlako
TMO: Johan Greeff
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Albertus Smith, 6 Jaco Kriel (captain), 5 Francois Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corné Fourie, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Jacques Nel, 23 Sylvian Mahuza.
15 Yasutaka Sasakura, 14 Takaaki Nakazuru, 13 Ryohei Yamanaka, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Teruya Goto, 10 Jumpei Ogura, 9 Keisuke Uchida, 8 Willem Britz (captain), 7 Shokei Kin, 6 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 5 Kotaro Yatabe, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Yasuo Yamaji, 2 Atsushi Sakate, 1 Matasaka Mikami.
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Hino, 17 Koki Yamamoto, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Uwe Helu, 20 Malgene Ilaua, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Rikiya Matshuda, 23 Kotaro Mathushima