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Chiefs hold off Lions for bonus point victory

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Article Published: Sunday 24 April 2011|

The Chiefs held the Lions out for a bonus point 30-34 Super Rugby victory at Coca Cola Park in Johannesburg.

The loss was the Lions sixth loss in a row and takes them to a record of 1 win in 24 matches.

Chiefs flanker Scott Waldrom scored two of the Chiefs five tries while the Lions scored three of their own.

Although the Lions were first to get points on the board with a Burton Francis penalty, it was the visiting side that looked far more dangerous on attack despite being deprived of possession in the opening exchanges of the game.

What made matters worse for the Lions is that the same symptoms that had been preventing them turning close losses into wins were again on display throughout the match.

In the first half they lost no less than four line-out balls from their own throw, while the three chances they had to score a try of their own ended up turning into counter attacking material for the visiting side.

The Lions defended admirably for about 20 minutes of the first half before the Chiefs started showing their superiority up-front.

Shortly after Francis tried to extend his side's 6-0 lead with an attempted drop-goal, the Chiefs responded with a quick restart resulting in the first of two tries flanker Scott Waldrom scored on the night.

Waldrom added his second 10 minutes later to give his side a 12-6 lead.

Had it not been for a piece of individual brilliance by wing Lionel Mapoe, who set up fullback Michael Killian for the home side's first try of the match, the Lions could have been dead and buried after the first 40 minutes.

Chiefs lock Romana Graham barged over for his team's third try just minutes before the break.

Lions coach John Mitchell said last week that his side is about seven points off the pace of established sides in the competition.

It can therefore be seen as irony that his men trailed by six (13-19) as the second stanza got underway.

After both goal kickers missed their first attempts at goal in the second half, prop Toby Smith dived over for his team's bonus point try, which seemed to take the wind out of the Lions' sails.

Soon thereafter centre Dwayne Sweeney proved that the Chiefs back line players are also capable of crossing the white-wash and they are not only dangerous on the counter attack.

The home side were then taught a few lessons in offensive tackling as they tried their best to catch up to the lowest ranked New Zealand side in the competition.

Eventually Josh Strauss and fellow loose-forward Cobus Grobellaar brought the Lions back into the contest by finding a way through the almost air-tight Chiefs Defence.

Grobelaar's try from a driving maul -- really gave the home fans hope as only one point (30-31) separated the sides with seven minutes left on the clock.

The Chiefs, however, took back control of proceedings when Donald slotted his first penalty of the match shortly after the returning kick-off.

Despite an admirable fight-back at the end, the Lions again showed that they have a lot of growing up to do if they wish to compete at this level.

Final Score Lions 30 Chiefs 34


Tries - M Killian, J Strauss, C. Grobbelaar
Pen - B Francis 3
Con - B Francis 2, R Kockott
Drop -
Cards -

Tries - S Waldrom 2, R Graham, T Smith, D Sweeney
Pen - S Donald
Con - S Donald 3
Drop -
Cards -

Match Officials
Marius Jonker (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa), Christie du Preez (South Africa)
Television match official: Gerrie Coetzee (South Africa)


Lions:Michael Killian, Lionel Mapoe, Waylon Murray, Doppies la Grange (capt.), Deon van Rensburg, Burton Francis, Jano Vermaak, Warren Whiteley, Michael Rhodes, Cobus Grobbelaar, Franco van der Merwe, Wikus van Heerden, Patric Cilliers, Martin Bezuidenhout, JC Janse van Rensburg.

Replacements: Edgar Marutlulle, Kevin Buys, David de Villiers, Josh Strauss, Rory Kockott, Elton Jantjies, Jaco Taute

Chiefs :1. Toby Smith,2. Aled de Malmanche,3. Ben Afeaki,4. Craig Clarke,5. Romana Graham,6. Liam Messam,7. Scott Waldrom,8. Fritz Lee,9. Brendon Leonard,10. Stephen Donald,11. Sitiveni Sivivatu,12. Dwayne Sweeney,13. Richard Kahui,14. Lelia Masaga,15. Mils Muliaina

Reserves:16. Hika Elliot,17. Nathan White,18. Hayden Triggs,19. Sam Cane,20. Tawera Kerr-Barlow,21. Tim Nanai-Williams,22. Save Tokula

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