Super Rugby

Revitalised Reds roar past Lions




The Reds beat the Lions 27-22 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane after a devasting first-half performance.

Queensland started with intent and purpose, dominating all facets of the game, racing into a 24-nil halftime lead.

The Lions rallied after the break, outscoring the Reds 22-3 with four tries of their own, but it was not enough for the visitors.

This defeat ended a run of six wins on the bounce for the Joburg men in Australia.

Brad Thorn’s side had only scored one first-half try in their past four matches, but they crossed the whitewash four times in a superb opening stanza.

Jean-Pierre Smith, Caleb Timu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa and the ageless George Smith, all crossed in the first-half.

The Reds dominated the gain-line and set-pieces but were on the backfoot for much of the second-half.

Swys de Bruin’s team missed 13 tackles before the break and conceded nine penalties to one, inside 50 minutes which is not a blueprint for success.

The Lions took control of the last half-hour, scoring four times during a valiant comeback attempt.

Malcolm Marx and Marnus Schoeman both grabbed braces to give the Lions a losing bonus-point.

Match was won in the first-half.

Thorn’s men got off to a perfect start when Jean-Pierre Smith dotted down in the second minute after a powerful driving maul.

The away side were dealt a sucker-punch when Timu intercepted Dillon Smit’s pass and ran half the length of the field to give the Reds a 10-nil lead.

Filipo Daugunu was causing some havoc in the visitor’s defence. Taniela Tupou and Angus Scott-Young were excellent at the breakdown.

Hamish Stewart and Ben Lucas controlled the game with some quality tactical kicking as the Queenslanders looked to play in the opposition’s half.

The Reds forwards were all over the Lions in the scrums and lineouts, winning penalties and stealing throws.

They also won 12 turnovers as they swarmed the visitors.

It was soon 17-nil. Paenga-Amosa picked up a loose ball and crashed over from close-range.

Stewart beat Elton Jantjies and surged into the Lions 22 but the standoff was tackled short.

The ball was recycled quickly and the hooker was over, under the posts.

Things went from bad to worse for last year’s beaten finalists.

The South Africans were ragged. Their tackling was poor and the Reds, with over 70 percent success, were dominating the advantage line.

The Reds stole another lineout, and two minutes’ later, George Smith capped a brilliant half with the game’s fourth score.

Another Lions scrum was destroyed by the opposition’s forwards.

Adam Korczyk flicked the ball back to George Smith, who crashed over to the delight of the home support.

Game of two halves.

Never has the old trope of a “game of two halves” been more appropriate.

The Australians, superb in the first-half, were outplayed by a rampant opponent.

Daugunu kicked a penalty to make it a four-score game.

The Lions started to mount a comeback, enjoying two multiphase plays of 14 and eight phases.

The home team defended in numbers bravely as the Joberg men laid siege to the goal-line.

The South Africans at one stage dominated possession for 12 minutes at 100 percent in the build-up to Marx’s third brace of the 2018 Super Rugby campaign.

Both of Marx’s tries came from powerful driving mauls which the Reds could not stop.

The Lions’ tails were up and they smelt blood. They enjoyed long periods of territory and possession.

Marx was enjoying himself at the breakdown, winning another penalty; keeping his team on the front foot.

Time was running out and the Lions lost the ball over the try-line for the second time.

Schoeman scored twice in three minutes, but it was not enough.

Reds versus Lions video highlights.

Final score: Reds 27 (24) Lions 22 (0)


Tries – J. Smith, Timu, Paenga-Amosa, G. Smith
Pen – Daugunu
Con – Daugunu (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Marx (2), Schoeman (2)
Pen –
Con – Jantjies
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 1: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 2: Damon Murphy
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore



15 Aidan Toua, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi (captain), 11 Jordan Petaia, 10 Hamish Stewart, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Caleb Timu, 7 George Smith, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Jean-Pierre Smith.

Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Harry Hockings, 20 Adam Korczyk, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Duncan Paia’aua, 23 Izaia Perese.


15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Harold Vorster, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Francois Mostert (captain), 6 Albertus Smith, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.

Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Marnus Schoeman, 22 Nicholas Groom, 13 Ashlon Davids.

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