Highlanders beat Lions for first home victory



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The Highlanders fought their way back after an early surge by the Lions to secure their first home victory of the 2010 season beating the Lions by 39 points to 29.

The Lions raced ahead of the Highlanders in the first quarter of the match using the maul to good effect which helped them score three tries and with a comfortable 6-17 lead.

Indiscipline crept into the Lions game however and the Highlanders fought their way back to a 22-17 half time lead.


The Highlanders secured four points for the victory but failed to secure the bonus point for scoring four tries. The Lions however secured the bonus point as they scored five tries.


The Highlanders celebrated only their second win from seven games this season while the South Africans remained winless despite running in five tries to the hosts’ three.


The Lions gained an early dominance to go out to a 17-6 lead midway through the opening spell, but they squandered the lead as the Highlanders piled on 33 points before the visitors scored again.


Occasional ill discipline cost the Lions dearly as Highlanders fullback Israel Dagg kicked 24 points from three conversions and six penalties in an immaculate kicking display.


“Our discipline cost us — stupid penalties, we kept them in the game with the penalty kicks,” Lions captain Cobus Grobbelaar admitted afterwards.


But there was plenty of relief for the Highlanders, whose season reached a low last week with a home loss to the previously winless Sharks.


“It was a difficult week for the boys — probably one of the toughest weeks of my rugby career — but the boys showed a lot of courage and ticker, especially in that first 20 to 30 minutes when we were down,” captain Jimmy Cowan said.


The Highlanders took 30 minutes to kick into gear in the first spell, taking a full toll of penalty opportunities and starting to find some defensive holes to go into the break with a 22-17 lead.


Early on they had no answer to the Lions’ dominant lineout and driving maul, which set up the three tries they racked up in the first 21 minutes.


Fullback Michael Killian scored the first for the Lions after seven minutes, and flanker Grobbelaar and winger Wigan Pekeur added two more.


The first penetrating attack from the Highlanders led to a try to lock Hayden Triggs after 30 minutes as the momentum swung away from the visitors.


The Highlanders came out firing in the second spell with Kenny Lynn scoring an opportunist try after 52 minutes, chasing a Dagg kick into the in-goal area where Lions winger Tonderai Chavhanga failed to control the ball.


The result was almost beyond doubt midway through the spell when referee Stu Dickinson awarded the Highlanders a penalty try after their driving maul was brought down illegally just short of the line.


In the last 10 minutes Pekeur scored his second try for the Lions and replacement back JP Joubert touched down, but it was too little too late.


Final Score Highlanders 39 Lions 29


Tries – H Triggs, K Lynn, Penalty
Pen – I Dagg 6
Con – I Dagg 3
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – M Killian, C Grobbelaar ,W Pekeur 2, JP Joubert  
Pen –
Con – C Spencer, E Rose
Drop –
Cards – Walter Venter (61) yellow.


Match Officials
Referee: Stuart Dickinson (Australia)
Assistant referees: Kane McBride (New Zealand), Shane McDermott (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)


Highlanders – 1 Jamie Mackintosh ( vc ) , 2 Jason Rutledge , 3 Clint Newland , 4 Josh Bekhuis , 5 Hayden Triggs , 6 Adam Thomson , 7 John Hardie , 8 Steven Setephano , 9 Jimmy Cowan ( c ) , 10 Robbie Robinson , 11 James Paterson , 12 Michael Hobbs , 13 Kenny Lynn ,14 Ben Smith , 15 , Israel Dagg

Replacements: 16. Jason Macdonald , 17. Bronson Murray , 18. Joe Tuineau , 19. Tim Boys , 20. Sean Romans , 21. Jason Shoemark , 22. Fetu’u Vainikolo

Lions – 15 Michael Killian, 14 Wigan Pekeur, 13 Walter Venter, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Tonderai Chavhanga, 10 Carlos Spencer, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Todd Clever, 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar (c), 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Nico Luus, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Hannes Franklin, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.

Reserves: 16 Charles Emslie, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Willem Stoltz, 19 Robert Kruger, 20 JP Joubert, 21 Wandile Mjekevu, 22 Earl Rose.

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