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Green at the double as Lions edge Reds

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The Lions beat the Reds 27-20 in a scrappy Super Rugby match at Ellis Park, Johannesburg.

Tyrone Green scored a first-half brace, while tries from Marnus Schoeman and Courtnall Skosan completed a hard-fought victory over the winless Reds.

Green, who shone, could have had a treble but for a last-ditch tackle by Henry Speight just after the break.

The hosts outscored the visitors four tries to two as Jock Campbell and Tate McDermott both crossed in each half for the Australians.

The Lions led 17-13 at the break after Greens brace and Schoeman’s try on the stroke of halftime.

Queensland’s points were courtesy of Campbell’s 10th-minute try and the boot of Bryce Hegarty, who kicked two penalties and a conversion.

The Reds fought back after the interval, despite having two players in the sin-bin for multiple cynical infringements, to take the lead.

Taniela Tupou and debutant Josh Nasser were both yellow carded either side of the interval as the Lions pack turned the screw.

However, the hosts did not take advantage, instead, it was the Reds who fought back to take a three-point lead on the hour when McDermott scored after a series of scrum-penalties.

Skosan finished off a 22-phase attack, as the Reds began to tire, to put his side back in front with 12 minutes to play.

Then Elton Jantjies, who was poor from the tee, extended the lead to seven with a late penalty as the Lions held on for the win.

The home team take a slender first-half lead despite early struggles with handling and set-pieces

Torrential rainfall had made the surface heavy underfoot and handling the ball, tough, but the visitors handled the conditions better than their hosts.

The Lions made 13 handling errors to six from the Reds, making the game harder than it should have been for all their superiority.

The game was a struggle for the two teams, who battled the elements at a sodden Ellis Park; however, it was the home team who made more mistakes in the opening 25 minutes.

Ivan van Rooyen’s men, somehow, stayed in the game despite being sloppy with possession.

His charges made six handling errors to one of the Reds, lost three scrum-penalties through Jannie du Plessis collapsing the set-piece, and two poor lineout throws that conceded possession, all inside the opening half-hour.

Reds start well as both teams trade scores

Hegarty kicked a fifth-minute penalty to open the scoring after Jannie du Plessis – who struggled in the scrums – gave away the first of his two scrum-penalties away.

The Lions struck two minutes later when Green scored his maiden Super Rugby try. Green latched onto Jantjies’ well-weighted grubber and dotted down in the right-hand corner.

Jantjies missed from out wide.

Some sloppy play gifted the Reds their first try.

Super Rugby Video Highlights: Lions versus Queensland Reds, Ellis Park, Johannesburg

The Lions kicked the ball away, Queensland regathered and sent the pill to Campbell, who raced away to score under the posts for his 3rd Super Rugby try.

It wasn’t long before the scores were level thanks to Green’s second on 17 minutes.

Van Rooyen’s side went 11 phases before shifting the ball wide to the left-wing where Greem was on hand to cut inside Tupou and level the scores.

Jantjies again missed from near the touchline before a second Hegarty penalty, after another Du Plessis scrum-penalty, put the Aussies back in front.

Lions forwards take control through their driving maul as Reds’ ill-discipline proves costly, but the hosts cannot make their numerical advantage count

Queensland started to struggle with the Lions’ driving maul, collapsing multiple mauls inside their 22 before referee Jaco Peyper sent Tupou to the bin in the 40th-minute.

Several mauls had been illegally sacked, but finally, the pressure told on the depleted Reds pack, who could not stop a powerful drive from five metres out.

Schoeman was the man to dot down; the Lions led by four after Jantjies’ first successful kick of the afternoon.

The second stanza started poorly for the Reds after they had debutant Nasser, who had only come on the field for the first scrum of the second period, was also sent to the bin for sacking the maul.

Queensland, somehow, withstood the barrage, but poor handling from the home team helped the visitors more than their defence, which was creaking.

Skosan unsuccessfully chased an Andries Coetzee kick that rolled over the dead-ball line.

Green thought he had a hat-trick, on 51 minutes, but a last-ditch cover tackle by Speight put the winger’s boot into touch.

The South Africans waisted their numerical advantage, again through poor handling and some quality Reds defending.

Brad Thron’s side started to take control, winning three scrum-penalties in a row on the Lions’ try-line.

Harry Wilson thought he had scored next to the posts after another powerful scrum on the hour, but the TMO could not overturn the call of “no try” from referee Peyper.

Wilson was short before losing the ball in the act of grounding, however, the Reds had the penalty-advantage.

The pressure eventually told, but Lions hang on for the win

Another series of set-pieces ended with McDermott darting inside prop Carlu Sadie and score under the posts, which put the visitors ahead with 18 minutes remaining.

Skosan scored his 23rd Super Rugby try in the 68th minute after an epic 22-phase Lions attack.

Jantjies added the conversion before knocking over a penalty, seven minutes later, which sealed a first victory of the season for the Joburg franchise.

More to follow…

Final Score: Lions 27 (17) Reds 20 (13)

Scorers

Lions
Tries – Green (2), Schoeman, Skosan
Pen – Jantjies
Con – Jantjies (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Reds
Tries – Campbell, McDermott,
Pen – Hegarty (2)
Con – Hegarty (2)
Drop –
Cards – Tupou (Yellow, 40′), Nasser (Yellow, 45′)

Match Officials
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1: Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant Ref 2: Griffin Colby
TMO: Marius Jonker

Teams

Lions

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Tyrone Green, 13 Duncan Matthews, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 Morné van den Berg, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Pieter Jansen, 1 Dylan Smith.

Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Ruan Vermaak, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Manuel Rass, 23 Shaun Reynolds

Reds

15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Jock Campbell, 13 Jordan Petaia, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Henry Speight, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Liam Wright (captain), 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 Jean-Pierre Smith.

Replacements: 16 Sean Farrell, 17 Dane Zander, 18 Josh Nasser, 19 Angus Blyth, 20 Seru Uru, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Isaac Lucas, 23 Hunter Paisami.

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