Super Rugby

Crusaders beat Lions in Johannesburg




The Lions host the Crusaders on Sunday in a rematch of the 2017 Super Rugby grand final at Emirates Airlines (Ellis) park in Johannesburg.

The Crusaders won last year’s Super Rugby final 17-25.

  • The Crusaders have won eight of their last nine games against the Lions, including last season’s Final.
  • The Lions haven’t beaten the Crusaders in a regular season clash since February 2007.
  • The Lions have won 18 of their last 20 games on home turf, failing to pick up competition points only once in that time.
  • The Crusaders have won six of their last seven games in South Africa, including each of their last three; never before have they won four on the bounce in the country.
  • The Crusaders have finished two of their last three games against the Lions without losing a lineout on their own throw.
  • Marvin Orie won a round-high nine lineouts in Round 6, the most by a Lions player in a single game this season.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway for Easter Sunday Super Rugby in the City of Gold.

3.00: The ruck is going to be very important in this rematch of last season’s final. Both teams have excellent set-pieces and electric attacks. Win the breakdown, win the game.

5.00: Matt Todd and Jordan Taufua with some excellent for at the breakdown. Todd tackled Andries Coetzee and Taufua went over the ball, winning the penalty after the fullback did not release.

6.00: MISS! The penalty is missed, and from right in front. 0-0

7.00: A barnstorming run from Franco Mostert ends with a loss of possession. Scrum to the visitors.

9.00: Sylvian Mahuza loses the ball forward from Harold Voster’s pass.

10.00: The Lions win the scrum-penalty and clear the danger.

12.00: The Lions’ handling has been poor in the opening exchanges. However, they are doing well in the scrum. Hacjivah Dayimani, against three Crusaders, wins the battle at the breakdown.

14.00: TRY! Madosh Tambwe is over in the corner after some slick handling by the backs and forwards. It came from another break by Coetzee. 5-0 

15.00: MISS! Jantjies can’t add the extras. 5-0

16.00: Oops! Another misjudgment by Tambwe, who has botched two restarts, gifts the Saders an attacking scrum. The champions are employing this tactic to a T. They know the winger is poor under the high-ball and are targetting him.

18.00: The Lions are pinged at the ruck. The Crusaders opt for a scrum, under the posts and five metres out.

19.00: We are needing a few scrum resets.

20.00: TRY? George Bridge walks in untouched after a simple overlap. Easy as you like.

20.00: Wait! NO TRY! The TMO adjudges the final pass to Bridge as going forward. 5-0

22.00: The Lions are under the pump, however, after a few pick and goes, the Crusaders kick the ball away, which the Lions gather and clear to halfway.

24.00: Both teams are having trouble with their handling, particularly in the red zone.

25.00: Another forward pass from Mitchell Hunt to Bridge halts the Crusaders attack. The Lions are living dangerously in the wide channels, where the Crusaders are getting lots of space. That was a certain try.

27.00: Some wonderful running and offloading by Ryan Crotty, David Havili and Michael Alaalatoa, but it ends after Todd knocks on.

29.00: The Lions will have the scrum on halfway. Mahuza is tackled, but the Lions go again. Eventually, Jantjies kicks a bomb onto Bridge, giving possession away. Crusaders attack.

30.00: Hunt kicks a big up-and-under, but his team-mates do not chase, allowing Coetzee to claim a mark. Lions clear.

32.00: Tambwe is isolated inside the opposition’s 22 and is penalised for holding. Hunt clears to halfway from a difficult angle.

34.00: The Crusaders win another penalty; Hunt kicks to the Lions’ 22 and has a lineout in good attacking position.

35.00: Great work by Malcolm Marx, who steals the ball from Scott Barrett. Jantjies clears.

36.00: The game is a little scrappy at times, both sides are not at their best.

38.00: Tim Perry is penalised for collapsing the scrum. Jantjies’ kick lands on the 22. Good opportunity for the home team.

39.00: Lionel Mapoe is caught, not releasing and the chance for some late points, is gone.

42.00: BIG DEFENCE! The Lions hold the Crusaders out. The visitors went 12 phases inside their 22 before Marx – who else – wins the penalty at the breakdown.

44.00: Jack Goodhue picks up a loose ball and the Crusaders come again. But, the home team win the ball back, and instead of kicking the ball out for half-time, they run it. Eventually, Jantjies kicks the ball out, but only after some scrappy play.

The half-time score was Lions 5 Crusaders 0

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in Johannesburg.

42.00: The Lions have conceded 61 percent possession and 72% territory, making 68 tackles to the Crusaders’ 25. They are under the pump. Lions coach Swys de Bruin will be concerned.

44.00: It’s all Crusaders, early on in the second half.

46.00: A poor pass by Jantjies to Coetzee, gives the Crusaders a scum inside their 22. This is needless pressure given up by the home team.

50.00: TRY! Sam Whitelock barges around the ruck to level the scores. It came after a 13-phase pulverising of the Lions’ goal-line. 5-all

51.00: CONVERSION! Hunt slots the touchline kick to give his team the lead. 5-7

53.00: TRY! Jack Goodhue is in for his sixth Super Rugby try. It came from the lineout and route-one running from Manasa Mataele. And like London buses, two come at the same time. 5-12

54.00: CONVERSION! That’s two from two for Hunt. 5-14

56.00: The Lions finally buckled under all that pressure. They need to consolidate because this game is still in the balance.

57.00: Kwagga Smith knocks on near the Crusaders’ try-line, but the Lions had a penalty advantage.

58.00: Instead of kicking the points, the Lions opt for a centre-field scrum.

59.00: Big scrum by the Lions. They get another go.

60.00: Dear me! the Lions squandered a gilt-edged opportunity to reduce the deficit, but they give the penalty away, and the advantage.

63.00: Kwagga Smith makes a break but loses the ball in the tackle. Too many mistakes by the Lions, but the Crusaders’ defending has been superb.

66.00: Manasa Mataele is over for the Saders’ third but the TMO overrules the score because of a foot in touch. that’s a big let-off for the Lions, who are reeling.

67.00: The Lions have now made 102 tackles to 48, missing 23 to 11.

69.00: Time is running out for the home side.

73.00: The two teams are tiring, mistakes are being made and the tempo and intensity have been drained.

75.00: the Lions have gone 15 phases inside the Crusaders’ 22, and have a penalty advantage. It’s now or never.

76.00: After 21 phases, they get the penalty. Jantjies will take a shot at goal.

77.00: PENALTY! Jantjies slots the easy kick. 8-14

78.00: Bridge is pinged for taking out Cronje in the air – penalty, only.

79.00: HUGE DEFENSIVE EFFORT by the Crusaders, who halt the Lions’ driving maul, and win the turnover. That should be that.

80.00: The Crusaders win the scrum, and clear the ball into the stands. Game over!


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

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The final score is Lions 8 (5) Crusaders 14 (0)


Tries – Tambwe
Pen – Jantjies
Con –
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Whitelock, Goodhue
Pen –
Con – Hunt (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Ref 2: Egon Seconds
TMO: Marius Jonker



15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Voster, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Albertus Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malco Marx, 1 Dylan Smith.

Replacements: 16 Corne Fourie, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Lourence Erasmus, 20 Marvin Orie, 21 Marnus Schoeman, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Shaun Reynolds


15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Mitchell Hunt, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Tim Perry

Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Tom Sanders, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mike Delany, 23 Manasa Mataele

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