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Reds kick off South African tour with Lions win

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Article Published: Saturday 2 April 2011|

The Reds extended their unbeaten record at Coca-Cola (Ellis) Park when they beat the Lions 25-30 on Saturday.

The Lions led 14-10 at half time and scored the first try of the second half through Jaco Taute in under a minute but from that point on it was pretty much all the Reds.

The Lions could easily have won the match though as flyhalf Andre Pretorius kicked four of his nine attempts at goal.

The Lions secured a losing bonus point as former Shark Rory Kockott took over the kicking duties from Pretorius and kicked a penalty in the final 5 minutes sealing the bonus point.

The Reds spent a quarter of the match with fourteen men as first James Slipper was sent to the bin and then shortly after he came back Reds captain James Horwill was sent to the bin.

The Reds stuck to their guns and played their usual exciting brand of rugby to outscore the home side with three tries to two.

The Lions made good use of the few chances they had, but failure to convert tries and kick easy penalties denied them what would have been their first home win of the season.

Both sides took some time before playing the expansive brand of rugby for which they are known, but the match was spiced up when the Reds were reduced to 14 men in the fifth minute when lock James Slipper was sin-binned for a tip-tackle.

In the time Slipper was off, the Lions picked up eight points as the Reds started to notice a distinct change in tactics from the home side.

Instead of running from all corners, flyhalf Andre Pretorius launched a couple of testers into the Reds 22 that were contestable by his teammates.

The first try by fullback Michael Killian was the result of an up-and-under by Pretorius who gave the ball enough air for wing Dean Van Rensburg to challenge in the air.

Killian left the field shortly thereafter with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Jaco Taute.

Taute would later score the second Lions try which also came as a result of a high kick the Reds failed to deal with.

As Slipper came back on, the Reds were again reduced to 14 men.

This time skipper James Horwill was yellow-carded for committing a professional foul.

Despite Horwill's absence, the Reds added 10 points while he was off the field through a brilliant try by Luke Morhan who was guided over the line by flyhalf Quade Cooper, while fullback Mike Harris added the difference with two successful kicks.

Cooper nonetheless stepped down as the team's goal kicker after missing another two attempts.

As the match headed towards the halfway mark, Pretorius slotted a long range three pointer to ensure the hosts held a four-point buffer (10-14) heading into the break.

The Lions started the second half with a quick-fire five points to stretch their lead.

In response to Taute's sublime try, Cooper danced through the wide-spread Lions defence to keep his side in contention and Harris converted to bring his side within two points of the lacklustre hosts.

Shortly thereafter the Reds were rewarded for the hard work they put in to dominate territorially and in the 52nd minute Harris put them in front with another penalty.

Four minutes later he added three more and, to really rub salt into rapidly widening Lions wounds, centre Digby Ioane dived over for the visitors' third try.

The Lions managed to squeeze in a penalty of their own, through Pretorius, to restore some dignity, and Rory Kockott landed three more points from nearly 60 meters out to give the Lions a bonus point.

Final Score Lions 25 (14) Reds 30 (10)


Tries - M Killian, J Taute
Pen - A Pretorius 4, R. Kockott
Con -
Drop -
Cards -

Tries - L Morahan, Q Cooper, D Ioane
Pen - M Harris 3
Con - M Harris 3
Drop -
Cards - J Slipper 6th min (yellow), J Horwill 23rd minute (yellow)

Match Officials
Referee: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
Assistant referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand), Cobus Wessels (New Zealand)
Television match official: Gerrie Coetzee (South Africa)

Teams :

Lions:Michael Killian, Lionel Mapoe, Waylon Murray, Doppies la Grange, Deon van Rensburg, Andre Pretorius, Jano Vermaak, Warren Whiteley, Joshua Strauss, Cobus Grobbelaar, Franco van der Merwe, David Bulbring, Patric Cilliers, Bandise Maku, JC Janse van Rensburg.

Replacements: Edgar Marutlulle, Jacobie Adriaanse, Michael Rhodes, Derick Minnie, Rory Kockott, Elton Jantjies, Jaco Taute.

Reds: Mike Harris, Rod Davies, Digby Ioane, Anthony Faingaa, Luke Morahan, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, Leroy Houston, Beau Robinson, Scott Higginbotham, James Horwill (c), Adam Wallace-Harrison, James Slipper, Saia Faingaa, Greg Holmes.

Reserves: James Hanson, Ben Daley, Rob Simmons, Radike Samo, Jake Schatz, Ian Prior, Ben Tapuai.

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