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Blues beat Lions in Johannesburg

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Article Published: Friday 4 March 2011|

There's definitely something about Friday nights in Johannesburg. It's when the Lions come out to really play - or is it that opponents get nervous after dark in Doornfontein?

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick off. It's 1995 all over again at Coca Cola Park as PJ Powers sings - The world in Union on the field.
The teams are on the field.
1.00: Jantjes kicks off and goes deep. The Blues boot it way back and set up a Lions line out in their half.
2.00: The Blues start very strongly. Stowers does well with a run and the Lions are in retreat. The Blues come close but the ball is turned over and the Lions kick it straight out. Blues line out.
3.00: The Blues win the line out and spread it wide , Toeava sets up Joe Rokocoko who scores in the corner. Good team try.
4.00: Luke McAlister takes the kick and nails it. Straight between the posts.
6.00: The Blues win the ball back from the restart and boot it downfield to set up a Lions line out in their 25. It's all the Blues.
7.00: The Blues are cutting the Lions to pieces. Only their secondary defence is stopping the Blues from scoring.
8.00: The Lions breakout after a line out and run almost the length of the field and Jano Vermaak scores against the play.
9.00: Elton Jantjies will take the conversion. His leg is heavily strapped in red tape. Clearly still struggling with his groin but not with his kicking as he nails the conversion.
12.00: The Blues are on attack again in the Lions 25. The Lions turn it over and boot it out but Rokocoko opens up the Lions and he sets up another attack phase and Toeava passes to  Jared Payne who scores.
13.00: McAlister's conversion kick is perfect.
15.00: The Lions aren't giving up yet and still have an edge. Vermaak creates space but the Blues stop them.
16.00: Penalty to the Lions. Jantjies will take the kick.
17.00: Jantjies nails the penalty kick.
19.00: The Blues are straight back in on attack. Luke McAlister sees the Blues have a penalty advantage so he casually goes for the drop and nails it.
21.00: The Blues still have the Lions under pressure but they give away a penalty in the Lions 25.
23.00: The Lions show some really good handling skills as they throw the ball around. Waylon Murray sets up Warren Whiteley who dashes for the line and scores.
25.00: Elton Jantjies takes the conversion and nails it. Two converted tries each now.
26.00: You can tell the Lions players have been working hard as they are all dripping with sweat. Mitchell is getting the most out of these guys. The Blues concede a penalty so Jantjies gets another shot at the posts.
28.00: Jantjies boots the penalty and the Lions lead for the first time.
30.00: Lions growing in confidence. Jantjies boots for the corner and finds touch. The Blues win the line out and boot it back so the Lions start the attack all over again.
31.00: On the fifth phase the Lions knock on - probably because they are sweating so much that their hands are slippery. We have a water break before the scrum. Territory is 63 per cent to the Blues.
33.00: The Blues win the scrum and run at the Lions. Handling is a problem and a knock on goes in. A couple of scrum resets follow.
36.00: McAlister kicks for touch and it's a shocker. Its goes straight out.
38.00:The game is being played just inside the Lions half. Suddenly Jaco Taute breaks and the Lions are up to the Blues line almost. After 8 phases they win a 5m penalty. Ref Kaplan calls over Kaino and sends Kurtis Haiu to the bin.
39.00: The game resumes at pace. Lions mess up the line out but they win the ball back. Michael Killian breaks free and Doppies la Grange scores!!
41.00: Jantjies takes the conversion and misses.
The half time score was Lions 25 Blues 17
The second half is underway.
The Blues will play the first 8 minutes or so without Haiu. They give away a penalty and kick for touch but Vermaak can't find it. The Blues have the ball.
42.00: The Blues bench has 6 All Blacks on it. They are going to be crucial for the Blues. The Lions attack using the numbers advantage and get to within 5 but give away a penalty. The Blues clear.
44.00: The Blues have an urgency about them. The Lions are defending well. Whiteley is having a good game.
46.00: Killian on attack again and Whiteley in support but Big Joe shoves him out into touch.
47.00: The Lions win a lazy line out and the ball is scrappy but a Jantjies grubber suddenly comes good for Vermaak who is in space but he just gets caught.
48.00: The Lions have a scrum in the Blues 25. The Blues win the scrum and McAlister clears. He doesn't find touch but Taute is shoved into touch.
49.00: The Blues are slowing down. Kaplan not having his best match and just missed a forward pass by the Lions.
50.00: Jared Payne breaks free on the wing and he passes to Rene Ranger who dashes and scores !!
51.00: McAlister takes the conversion and nails it.
53.00: From the restart Mapoe has a run but is shunted backwards in a McAlister tackle. The Lions recycle and keep the ball alive. Vermaak dashes for the line and is caught and goes down hard. The Lions continue the attack. They drive over the line ..... we have to go uspstairs to see if they scored. Inconclusive evidence is the call so we go back for a 5m scrum.Kockott comes on for Vermaak. The scrum collapses so its a free kick. Kockott takes it quick but Jantjies knocks on.
54.00: Mealamu comes on. The Blues win the scrum and McAlister clears. The Blues win a line out and McAlister bashes through Jantjies and takes off, he passes to Payne and he passes to Ranger who scores the Blues bonus point try.
55.00: Luke McAlister takes the conversion and curls it in.
57.00: The Blues have upped the pace. It's almost as if they were saving themself. The Lions have missed 14 tackles so far. The Lions win a line out and spin the ball out to line.
60.00: Penalty to the Blues. McAlister takes the kick and nails it. His kicking has been absolutely perfect.
65.00: The Lions are still trying to throw the ball around but the Blues look fresher. Taute is off and Kamana is on. He breaks and gets the Lions up to the 5m line. Strauss goes for the line and scores the bonus point try for the Lions.
68.00: Jantjies nails the conversion and we have a real game on our hands. Stephen Brett is on.
70.00: The Lions are under pressure from the Blues. They work the ball up to the line and Alby Mathewson scores!!
71.00: Stephen Brett adds the conversion as Elton Jantjies comes off and Burton Francis goes on.
73.00: The Blues are still bashing away at the Lions. they are not trying to run the clock down. Some really great handling skills on show from the Blues.
75.00; The Lions have the ball and they are stringing together the phases. They get to 9 phases but the Blues give away a penalty.
78.00: The Lions are all over the Blues. They get the ball up to the 5m line. They can't get through. They win a penalty and then another but the Blues defence is strong.
80.00: Lions keeping the ball alive through the phases. Killian chips and darts through and scores. We go upstairs. Video shows Ranger tackled Killian who lost the ball - no try.
The final score is Lions 32 Blues 41


Tries - J Vermaak,W Whiteley, D Le Grange, J Strauss.
Pen - E Jantjies 2
Con - E Jantjies 3
Drop -
Cards -

Tries - J. Rokocoko,  J. Payne, R Ranger 2, A Mathewson 
Pen - L McAlister
Con -L McAlister  4, S Brett
Drop - L McAlister
Cards - Kurtis Haiu (38) Yellow

Match Officials
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant Ref 1:Joey Salmans
Assistant Ref 2:Phillip Bosch
TMO :Shaun Veldsman


Lions : Jaco Taute, Lionel Mapoe, Waylon Murray, Doppies la Grange, Michael Killian, Elton Jantjies, Jano Vermaak, Warren Whiteley, Josh Strauss, Derick Minnie, Franco van der Merwe (capt.), Wikus van Heerden, Patric Cilliers, Bandise Maku, JC Janse van Rensburg

Replacements: Martin Bezuidenhout, Kevin Buys, Dries van Schalkwyk , Cobus Grobbelaar, Rory Kockott, Burton Francis, James Kamana.

Blues: Isaia Toeava, Joe Rokocoko, Jared Payne, Benson Stanley, Sherwin Stowers, Luke McAlister, Alby Mathewson, Peter Saili, Luke Braid, Jerome Kaino (capt), Ali Williams, Kurtis Haiu, John Afoa, Tom McCartney, Tony Woodcock.

Reserves: Keven Mealamu, Charlie Faumuina, Anthony Boric, Daniel Braid, Toby Morland, Stephen Brett, Rene Ranger

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