Lions take a bite out of Chiefs play-off hopes



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The Lions pulled off a shock win against the Chiefs at Ellis Park on Saturday and almost certainly ended the Chiefs Play-offs hopes beating them by 33 points to 27.

The Chiefs also suffered a further blow as Ben May was sent off with a red card for standing on a players face and he may be suspended for next week’s match against the Sharks.

Chiefs captain Mils Muliaina who scored an injury time try refused to accept that the Chiefs campaign was over even though the Chiefs can now only score a maximum of 39 points when it looks like 42 will be the requirement for a Semi final.

The Lions packs were hugely impressive, with Joe van Niekerk and Willem Alberts outstanding with ball in the hand.

Behind the Lions pack an unlikely Man of the Match Chris Jonck made the right decisions, scored a try and led the assault with clever breaks after filling in for first-choice scrumhalf Jano Vermaak who had to withdraw because of flu.

It was one of those days for the Chiefs.

They were just not allowed to get into the game by an aggressive Lions pack who were also quicker to the breakdown with captain Cobus Grobbelaar again outstanding on the ground.

But the man to be singled out, despite his few opportunities, was returning Springbok centre Jaque Fourie.

He had two chances and created two gaps – and one led to the try that ultimately put the Chiefs on the rack.

Earl Rose, who like opposite number Stephen Donald , put over all his kicks at the posts, had a good match after last weekend’s shocker and set up the one try after he had started stepping in his own half.

He was good under the high ball and his returning kicks were spot-on to keep the pressure on a below-par Chiefs side, who are now all but out of the Super 14 title race.

The first try, by Jonck, was set up after a long run by the huge Alberts who slipped a deft pass to the scrumhalf.

The Lions were full value for their 10-0 after the first quarter, but were shortly thereafter 13-10 behind when the Chiefs took control for the only spell in the match through a try to hooker Aled de Melmanche with the rest of the points coming from Donald.

A great try just before the break by the Lions, with Alberts scoring, put the home side deservedly in the lead at 17-13, and when they stretched it to 27-13 after 54 minutes, the Chiefs were in trouble.

A legitimate try by Lelia Masaga after 62 minutes was cancelled because of a foul by prop Ben May who was red-carded for stamping on an opponent’s face, and the match seemed to be won.

Rose added two more penalties, with Grobbelaar opting for the points rather than a fourth bonus point try – and that was ultimately the right decision as the Chiefs ran in two consolation tries in the last two minutes to make it a more flattering defeat.


Final Score Lions 33 Chiefs 27





Tries – Chris Jonck, Willem Alberts,Cobus Grobbelaar
Pen – Earl Rose (3)
Con – Earl Rose (2)
Cards – Earl Rose 75 (yellow)



Tries – Aled de Malmanche ,Lelia Masaga,Mils Muliaina
Pen – Stephen Donald (2)
Con – Stephen Donald (3)
Cards – Ben May 64 (Red)


Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Lions vs Chiefs in Johannesburg
Stuart Dickinson (Australia)
Assistant Referee: Brett Bowden (Australia), Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)
TMO: Johann Meuwesen (South Africa)
Assessor: Dennis Immelman (South Africa)



Earl Rose, Louis Ludik, Jaque Fourie, Walter Venter, Rayno Benjamin, , Jaco van Schalkwyk, Jano Vermaak, Willem Alberts, Joe van Niekerk, Cobus Grobbelaar (capt.), Gerhard Mostert, Dewald Senekal, JC Janse van Rensburg, Willie Wepener, Heinke van der Merwe.

Replacements: Ethienne Reynecke, Ross Geldenhuys, Franco van der Merwe, Wilhelm Koch, Chris Jonck, Jannie Boshoff, Dusty Noble.


1. Ben May, 2. Tom Willis , 3. Ben Castle, 4. Toby Lynn , 5. Kevin O’Neill , 6. Liam Messam 7. Tanerau Latimer , 8. Sione Lauaki , 9. Jamie Nutbrown , 10. Stephen Donald , 11. Sitiveni Sivivatu , 12. Callum Bruce, 13. Dwayne Sweeney, 14. Lelia Masaga , 15. Mils Muliaina (capt)

Reserves: 16. Aled de Malmanche , 17. Simon Lemalu, 18. Jono Gibbes, 19. Faifili Levave , 20. David Bason ,21. Viliame Waqaseduadua, 22. Sosene Anesi

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