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Last minute heartbreak for Lions

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The Reds scored a converted try in the dieing seconds of their Super 14 match against the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday to snatch a 24-all draw.


The result meant that no South African side could win a match in this weekend’s round of matches.


The visitors came back from an-11-point deficit to take two points from the match, scoring three tries to the Lions’ two.


Great pressure in the last 10 minutes by the visitors that saw them clinch this draw after they had been slightly the worse off in the rest of the match against a side that again left tries behind in a first half where the Lions deserved more than a 3-0 lead.


To add to the Lions woes, they let a try slip through after a lack of concentration and/or communication just when it seemed that they had the match tied up.


The first half produced exciting, open rugby by both sides – but the scoreline of 3-0 to the Lions showed the inability of both sides to finish as much as it showed good defence.


Scrappy it wasn’t, but at that stage one somehow felt the match lacked real structure. Added to that there was the old Lions malaise of not finishing off their chances, and at least two tries went begging.


However, the Lions backline looked threatening throughout, and there can be little doubt that the greater willingness of Man of the Match Jaco van Schalkwyk to run the ball at flyhalf has brought a new dimension to a backline that has pace and flair.


Poor Lions defence seven minutes after the break saw Reds wing Peter Hynes break and score after a run of 70 metres, putting the Reds 10-6 in the lead.


A penalty by Vermaak closed the gap as the Lions had the better of the third quarter.


The real reward, however, came when Van Schalkwyk broke the line to send Joe van Niekerk on a 40-metre run to put the home side back in the lead at 16-10.


Five minutes later it was the turn of Sevens Springbok Rayno Benjamin, who got a good ball and scored after a nice little dummy.


With the Lions 11 points ahead, the match looked in the bag – but then the home side, like they did after every Reds score, slipped in concentration and Rodney Blake rounded off a Reds move that started just outside their 22.


Suddenly it was only 21-17 to the Lions and anyone’s game again.


Reds fullback Chris Latham employed some gamesmanship and showed the referee that a 45-metre Van Schalkwyk drop was short.


However, the television match official had no hesitation in deciding it was good when replays showed it had crossed the bar.


Latham scored the last Reds try after a straightening run following continued Reds pressure to give the Reds and Lions a draw after the conversion.


Full time Score  Lions 24 Reds 24

 

Scorers

 

Lions
Tries – Joe van Niekerk, Rayno Benjamin
Pen –  Jano Vermaak (3)
Con – Jano Vermaak
Drop Goal -Jaco van Schalkwyk

 

Reds
Tries – Peter Hynes, Rodney Blake, Chris Latham
Pen – Clinton Schifcofske
Con – Clinton Schifcofske (3)

 

 

Saturday March 22
Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Lions v Reds
Referee:
Paul Honiss(NZ)
Asst. referees: Bryce Lawrence (NZ), Marius Jonker (SA)
TMO: Johan Meuwesen (SA)
Assessor: Banks Yantolo (SA)



Man of the match – Jaco van Schalkwyk

 

Teams

Lions


Louis Ludik, Dusty Noble, Jaco Pretorius, Walter Venter, Rayno Benjamin, Jaco van Schalkwyk, Jano Vermaak, Joe van Niekerk, Ernst Joubert (capt.), Cobus Grobbelaar, Anton van Zyl, Gerhard Mostert, Ross Geldenhuys, Willie Wepener, Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: Ethienne Reynecke, JC Janse van Rensburg, Willem Alberts, Franco van der Merwe, Chris Jonck, Rudi Vogt, Jannie Boshoff.


Reds


(15-1) Chris Latham, Clinton Schifcofske, Morgan Turinui, Berrick Barnes, Peter Hynes, Quade Cooper, Sam Cordingley (c), Leroy Houston, Poutasi Luafutu, John Roe, James Horwill, Van Humphries, Dayna Edwards, Sean Hardman, Greg Holmes. Reserves: Stephen Moore, Rodney Blake, Ed O’Donoghue, David Croft, Ben Lucas, Brando Va’aulu, Scott Higginbotham.

 

Super14.com

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