Super Rugby

Blues beat Lions in Johannesburg




Super Rugby leaders the Lions are at home again in the fourth match on Saturday and they host Auckland’s Blues.

The Lions have played the Blues 18 times in Super Rugby and they have won six matches and lost 12. There have been no draws.

This gives the Lions an overall record against the Blues of winning 33% of their matches.

  • The Lions have won their last three games against the Blues, though they were defeated in their seven meetings prior.
  • The Lions have won four of their last six games against New Zealand opposition; however, all but one of those games came in the post-season.
  • The Blues have won only one of their last 10 games in South Africa, letting two half-time leads slip in that period.
  • The Lions have scored eight tries on the back of a lineout win this season, only three other teams in the competition have scored more than eight tries overall (Crusaders, Rebels, Stormers).
  • Melani Nanai has an average gain of 12m per carry this season, the best of any player (min. 10 carries).

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway in the City of Gold. Sonny Bill Williams knocks on. Wow!

2.00: TRY! Sylvian Mahuza takes Ross Cronje’s long pass and beats Melani Nanai to the try-line. 5-0

4.00: CONVERSION! Elton Jantjies kicks the touchline conversion. 7-0

7.00: The Blues win the penalty, and instead of opting for three, they kick to the corner.

8.00: Big defence. The blues got the driving maul going, but the Lions stop it, on the second drive. Scrum to the home team.

10.00: Jantjies clears to halfway. Lineout to the Blues.

12.00: The Blues have possession inside the Lions’ 22. Lionel Mapoe is caught offsides. Bryn Gatland kicks to the corner.

14.00: The Lions keep the Blues out, take the 22-drop-out quickly and have the lineout near halfway.

15.00: TRY! Rohan Janse van Rensburg plays a one-two with Jantjies after Sonny Bill, again, loses possession, and races away for the Lions’ second. 12-0

16.00: CONVERSION! Jantjies adds another two. 14-0

21.00: Kwagga Smith replaces Warren Whiteley and Jantjies takes over the captaincy.

22.00: PENALTY! Gatland puts the Blues on the board. 14-3

25.00: There are too many stoppages in this game. Reset scrums do not help. Time for a rule change.

26.00: Big defence by Malcolm Marx, who wins the penalty at the ruck.

30.00: Brilliant kick to the Lions’ 22 by Gatland. Pinpoint.

31.00: Another knock on by the Blues. The Lions have a scrum on halfway.

33.00: Nanai is caught offsides.

36.00: The scrum is having to be reset on multiple occasions.

37.00: TRY! Jantjies’ angled run is good enough to beat the tackle and cross the goal-line. 19-3

39.00: CONVERSION! The Bok flyhalf adds another two points. 21-3

40.00: TRY! Akira Ioane crosses for his ninth Super Rugby try. 21-8

41.00: CONVERSION! Gatland won’t miss from there. 21-10

The half-time score was Lions 21 Blues 10

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway at Ellis Park. 

44.00: The second-half has started at a frenetic pace. It’s end-to-end. The handling by the Kiwis has been unusually poor.

46.00: The handling errors are also starting to mount for the home team.

47.00: The Lions have made 63 tackles to the Blues’ 23.

48.00: Penalty to the Blues. It came from a big scrum. Gatland will take a shot at goal.

49.00: MISS! Gatland pushes his kick to the right and it deflects off the post and out. 21-10

52.00: MISS! The Blues standoff misses another penalty. 21-10

54.00: Cronje breaks away into blues territory. The Kiwis win the ball back and start a counter-attack of their own.

55.00: TRY! Aphiwe Dyantyi intercepts Murphy Taramai’s loose pass and races away for his fourth Super Rugby try of the season. 26-10

56.00: CONVERSION! Jantjies adds his fourth conversion of the day. 28-10

58.00: Andries Coetzee smokes Ioane and saves a try.

59.00: The Lions counter-attack but Dyantyi receives a forward pass. Scrum to the visitors, just outside the Lions’ 22.

61.00: We are in the last quarter. The altitude will be a big factor at this stage.

62.00: TRY! Rieko Ioane is in for his second. The blues are rewarded for all their pressure. 28-15

64.00: CONVERSION! Stephen Perofeta slots the touchline kick. 28-17

65.00: A poor kick by Coetzee sees the Lions gift possession to the Blues. Wait, the scrum is awarded to the home team after a Blues knock on, first.

68.00: The game reached a furious tempo, resulting in the Blues getting an attacking scrum.

69.00: TRY! Rieko Ioane is in for his second. 28-22

70.00: CONVERSION! Stephen Perofeta adds his second conversion. 28-24

73.00: TRY! Dylan Smith is over! It came from the lineout steal and driving maul. The Lions needed that to halt the Blues’ momentum. 33-24

74.00: CONVERSION! Jantjies adds another two points. 35-24

76.00: TRY! Jimmy Tupou is over. This game is crazy. 35-29


77.00: Dyantyi is almost in for another try, but he looks to have lost it forward. It will be a 22 drop-out.

79.00: Desperate defending by the Lions, however, they cannot keep the New Zealanders out.

80.00: TRY! Murphy Taramai is over! 35-36

81.00: CONVERSION! Perofeta adds the final dagger! 35-38


In the meantime why not have a look at the match preview.

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The final score: Lions 35 (21) Blues 38 (10)


Tries – Mahuza, Janse van Rensburg, Jantjies, Dyantyi, D. Smith
Pen –
Con – Jantjies (5)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – A. Ioane, R. Ioane (2), Tupou, Taramai
Pen – Gatland
Con – Gatland, Perofeta (4)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 1: AJ Jacobs
Assistant Ref 2: Jaco Pretorius
TMO: Willie Vos



15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Francois Mostert, 6 Cyle Brink, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.

Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Jacobus Adriaanse, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Albertus Smith, 21 Ashlon Davids, 22 Harold Vorster, 23 Hacjivah Dayimani.


15 Michael Collins, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Melani Nanai, 10 Bryn Gatland, 9 Sam Nock, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Antonio Kiri Kiri, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Alex Hodgman.

Replacements: 16 Ross Wright, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Michael Tamoaieta, 19 Scott Scrafton, 20 Jimmy Tupou, 21 Murphy Taramai, 22 Jonathan Ruru, 23 Stephen Perofeta

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