Super Rugby

Bulls beat Lions in Johannesburg




The Lions have played the Bulls 25 times in Super Rugby since 1998 and the Lions have won 11 matches, losing 14.

The Golden Lions a record of winning 44% against the Blue Bulls regardless of the venue.

  • The Lions have won six of their last seven games against the Bulls including each of their last four in a row, this after failing to win any of their initial 11 encounters in Super Rugby (D1, L10).
  • Swys de Bruin’s team have won their last 14 home derbies, last losing at home in February 2015, when they were beaten by the Stormers.
  • The Lions boast the best tackle success rate of any side so far this season (89%) and have won the most turnovers (24).
  • The Bulls are one of just two sides to boast a 100% line-out success rate after the opening two rounds of the season (also Rebels), winning all 23 of their throws.
  • Marvin Orie (Lions) has made 32 tackles so far this campaign – the most of any player – and has missed just two further attempts.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kickoff.

1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway in the Republic at Ellis Park, Johannesburg.

2.00: Dylan Smith loses the ball forward trying to take the ball out of his 22. Scrum to the Bulls.

4.00: The Lions are under the pump in the early stages.

6.00: Brilliant tackle from Ruan Combrinck on Rosco Specman after Warrick Gelant’s mini-break through the midfield.

8.00: Ruan Steenkamp knocks on into touch after some good work by Schalk Brits and Cornal Hendricks. Brits is taking the ball at first receiver, at every opportunity and driving the Bulls over the gain line.

10.00: It’s been a great start by the Pretoria side, they are camped inside the Lions’ half, but they keep losing the ball with the final pass.

11.00: Eli Snyman goes close, but the ball is stolen and then lost forward. Scrum to the home team on their 5m.

13.00: Malcolm Marx is – harshly – penalised for a deliberate knock down; Handré Pollard calls for the tee.

14.00: PENALTY! Pollard’s long-range is good. 0-3

16.00: Scrum to the Bulls after another handling error by the Lions; they should have worn their Spider-man kit.

17.00: Marnus Schoeman wins the penalty at the ruck. Elton Jantjies relieves the pressure. It’s been all Bulls at Ellis Park.

18.00: Schoeman undoes his previous good work by not releasing after being tackled, killing a rare Lions’ attack.

20.00: Brits is having another storming game, this time stepping and offloading with one hand, but again, the Bulls lose the ball forward with the try line in view.

22.00: Trevor Nyakane is pinged at the ruck. Jantjies clears into Bulls’ territory.

25.00: The Bulls are building through the tight phases, using their big ball carriers around the fringes.

27.00: Brits sends Lizo Gqoboka through a gap, plays halfback at the breakdown and cleans out the following ruck. The Lions halt the 16-phase attack but are offsides.

28.00: PENALTY! Pollard doubles the lead from in front. 0-6

29.00: Kwagga Smith is penalised for holding, but the home crowd are angry. They make their displeasure known to the referee.

30.00: TRY! Specman sparks another attack, beating two tackles. The ball is recycled quickly and sent wide to Duane Vermeulen, who bashes his way over. 0-11

31.00: MISS! Pollard cannot add the extras. 0-11

32.00: Gqoboka is making tackle after tackle, which eventually leads to a penalty because of a neck roll by Stephan Lewies. Pollard kicks deep into Lions territory.

34.00: Specman is free, on the outside, but he can’t gather Gelant’s grubber. Brits is rolling back the years, almost taking a wayward Marx lineout throw, however, he knocks on.

35.00: the Lions are using Combrinck’s big boot for clearances on their goal line. This time his kick doesn’t travel very far. Lineout to the Bulls, just outside the Lions’ 22.

37.00: De Bruin’s men are under the cosh, they give away another penalty after eight phases by the away team.

38.00: PENALTY! Pollard takes another three. 0-14

39.00: The Lions have made 71 tackles to 33, missing 18 to two; that’s not great and in this heat, that will take its toll in the last 20 minutes.

40.00: Another knock on kills a rare Lions attack.

42.00: Marx loses the ball forward trying to kick-start a final counter-attack of the half.

The halftime score was Lions ZERO Bulls 14

The Lions have had 34% possession and 23% territory, making 91 metres to 265 by the Bulls. De Bruin’s side has made 71 tackles to 40, missing 18, while Pote Human’s men have missed four (two in the last minute of the half.).

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in the City of Gold. The Lions have it all to do, but they are only 14 points down despite being stuck inside their own 22 for most of the first half.

44.00: Some early momentum is snuffed out by the Bulls forwards. Brits is down, holding his knee. He’s been immense, again.

46.00: Specman is pinged for a high tackle. The Lions go several more phases before the attack splutters out.

47.00: Jantjies kicks to the corner. Combrinck leaves the field for an HIA.

48.00: TRY! Carlu Sadie bashes his way over the whitewash in the right-hand corner. The Bulls could not hold the red and white wave. 5-14

49.00: MISS! Jantjies misses the touchline conversion attempt, but his side is on the board. 5-14

51.00: The Bulls have controlled the gain line, but another penalty lets Jantjies kick deep into their 22.

54.00: Lionel Mapoe tackles Embrose Papier, who’s having a monster game, high and is pinged to the distaste of the Joburg faithful.

57.00: PENALTY! POLLARD again. 5-17

58.00: The Lions seem to have found some momentum, pinning the Bulls back. They’ve seen most of the ball since the break.

60.00: Ross Cronjé wins a penalty. It’s good to see him back at the base of the scrum. Jantjies kicks to the corner. The Lions have only made eight or so tackles since the interval.

62.00: IMMENSE! Brits wins another penalty; he’s first to the ruck, killing the Lions’ attack. Pollard wants a shot from inside his half.

63.00: PENALTY! Pollard slots the long-range kick. 5-20

65.00: TRY! The Lions power over for their second try of the game. Some good ball-carrying and Dylan Smith scores under the posts. 10-17

66.00: CONVERSION! It’s the old drop-kick conversion to save time from Jantjies. 12-17

69.00: The Lions have overturned the stats’ sheet, making 265 metres, now, to the Bulls’ 311. They’ve had 54% possession and 52% territory, up to this point of the game.

70.00: All Lions, now. Bulls under the pump.

72.00: Penalty to the hosts; Jantjies clears after more good work by Blitzboks legend Kwagga Smith.

74.00: It’s helter-skelter at Ellis Park. The Bulls lost possession inside the opposition’s half. The ball is scooped up and sent to Jantjies, who almost gets through a gap. Eventually, the Bulls are awarded a scrum for another knock on. Phew!

75.00: GAME OVER! TRY! Gelant opens his 2019 Super Rugby account. The Lions botch a quick lineout throw from near their try line. Ivan van Zyl takes the loose ball and sets up a counter-attack. Pollard sends the ball wide and the fullback dots down in the corner. 12-28

76.00: CONVERSION! The Bok 10 slots the sideline kick and ends the match as a contest. 12-30

79.00: Lions trying to break out, but lose the ball.

80.00: The siren sounds; the teams set for the last scrum.

81.00: Pollard kicks into touch and the Bulls record their first win at Ellis Park since 2012.


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

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The final score is Lions 12 (0) Bulls 30 (14)


Tries – Sadie, D. Smith
Pen –
Con – Jantjies
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Vermeulen, Gelant
Pen – Pollard (6)
Con – Pollard
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant Ref 1: Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant Ref 2: Griffon Colby
TMO: Marius Jonker


Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Marnus Schoeman, 6 Albertus Smith, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Rhyno Herbst, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx (captain), 1 Dylan Smith.

Replacements: 16 Pieter Jansen, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Robert Kruger, 20 Vincent Tshituka, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Franco Naude, 23 Courtnall Skosan.

Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Dylan Sage, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.

Replacements: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Tim Agaba, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Manie Libbock, 23 Divan Rossow.

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