Super Rugby

Lions beat Rebels in Johannesburg




Johannesburg’s Lions have played Melbourne’s Rebels just four times since the Rebels joined Super rugby in 2011.

Due to the vagaries of the Super Rugby draw, these teams only played each other in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2018.

  • This is the fifth Super Rugby match between the Lions and Rebels, with the Johannesburg team prevailing in each of their four prior meetings.
  • Swys de Bruin’s men have won their last four Super Rugby games at home against teams visiting from outside South Africa, scoring 40 points or more on each occasion.
  • The Rebels have won their last three Super Rugby games on the bounce heading into this fixture; a fourth consecutive win would set a club record.
  • The Melbourne side has allowed just four offloads per game this season, fewer than any other team in Super Rugby 2019.
  • Elton Jantjies (Lions), Quade Cooper (Rebels) and Will Genia (Rebels) have each made four try assists in Super Rugby 2019, more than any other player in the competition.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kickoff.

1.00: PEEEEP! we are underway in the City of Gold.

3.00: It’s a hot day in the highveld; how the Australians deal with the heat and humidity will be crucial. They also have to deal with the altitude factor.

4.00: The Lions are using their big ball carriers to punch through the Rebels’ defence. They go seven phases before Isi Naisarani is penalised for not rolling away.

5.00: TRY! Elton Jantjies kicks to the corner and his forwards use the old “pork and cheese” at the front of the lineout and Malcolm Marx sneaks his way in the corner for his 28th Super Rugby try. 5-0

6.00: MISS! Jantjies, from the sideline, can’t convert. 5-0

7.00: That is poor from Marvin Orie, knocking on inside his 22 and giving the Rebels a scrum.

8.00: TRY! Reece Hodge scores in the corner after a well-executed backline move between Will Genia and Quade Cooper. They use the wraparound before Genia, drawing in Ruan Combrinck, sent a long pass to Hodge. The wing had the freedom of the touchline and scored. 5-all

9.00: MISS! Cooper also misses from out wide. 5-all

11.00: Dylan Smith and Marx employ the “pork and cheese” at the front of the lineout, again. It came from Anaru Rangi giving away a penalty and Jantjies kicking to the corner.

12.00: TRY! The Rebels’ defending and counter-attack was a thing of beauty. They turn the ball over and Rangi charges away down the sideline. Cooper linked with Tom English and Billy Meakes before dotting down. Wonderful try. 5-10

14.00: CONVERSION! Cooper converts his score. 5-12

16.00: Orie is isolated, the Rebels’ pack get to the ruck and win the penalty. It was Ross Haylett-Petty and Rangi who did the damage.

18.00: NO TRY! Dane Haylett-Petty can’t gather Genia’s grubber, losing the ball over the in-goal area. The Lions get out of jail because they lost their previous scrum, allowing the counter-attack.

19.00: MASSIVE SCRUM by the visitors, but the referee deems them to have scrummed inwards. Lions can clear their lines.

20.00: TRY! Meakes INTERCEPTS Jantjies’ pass and strolls in under the posts for his second try of the season. Meakes read that in last week’s newspaper. 5-17

22.00: CONVERSION! Cooper can’t miss from in front. 5-19

23.00: The Lions are struggling with the Melbourne kicking game. They have been terrible with the restarts and exit strategy, too. Swys de Bruin will be pulling his hair out.

24.00: TRY! BUSH TELEGRAPH! Another good scrum by the Aussies. They go route one with their ball carriers. We are checking with TMO Willie Vos. Egon Seconds wants to check where the try is scored; next to the posts or against the post? It’s awarded after Luke Jones’ offload to Naisarani, who gets the ball down against the post. 5-24

25.00: CONVERSION! Cooper with another easy kick. 5-26

26.00: Noe the Australians steal a Lions’ lineout; it’s all going wrong for De Bruin’s team.

28.00: Dane Haylett-Petty is caught offsides. Jantjies kicks a great kick to the corner. Expect the driving maul.

29.00: OH DEAR! The Rebels win another lineout against the throw; they have the Lions’ number.

30.00: The counter-attack comes to nothing after Cooper knocks on near the line.

31.00: NO TRY! That was sensational by the Rebels. Jantjies’ poor clearance goes down the throat of Jack Maddocks. He starts a counter-attack in midfield. The winger sends the ball wide to Cooper. The standoff and English’s quick hands put Dane Haylett-Petty away, but he knocks on with the try-line at his mercy.

33.00: We are having some reset scrums.

34.00: The Lions win the scrum-penalty, and clear. They go to a short lineout, which is clever because they are losing their way. Rangi and Tetera Faulkner are penalised at the breakdown. Jantjies clears.

36.00: Great work by Dave Wessels’ men, they win a maul, holding up the Lions. The Rebels forwards have been immense.

37.00: It was a knock on by Marx, actually. Ross Haylett-Petty dislodged the ball from Marx’s hands, but it seems to go backwards.

38.00: Not sure what Mr Seconds was doing, there. He then awards the Aussies a free-kick for an early engagement at the scrum.

39.00: Faulkner loses his bind and is pinged. Jantjies kicks to the corner.

40.00: Jones is caught offsides at the ruck. The hooter has sounded. Marx and Jantjies decide on the lineout. Brave call because the lineout has been poor by the hosts.

41.00: OH BOY! The Lions lose their lineout and chance to score before the break.

The halftime score was Lions 5 Rebels 26

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in Johannesburg.

42.00: The second half starts with Jantjies dropping the ball on his try line, gifting Wessels’ men an attacking scrum.

42.00: TRY! Easy as you like. The Rebels go infield and English bashes his way over from close range. 5-31

43.00: CONVERSION! Cooper adds the extras. 5-33

45.00: Good work by Tyrone Green at the breakdown, winning the penalty after chasing a big kick.

46.00: Jantjies kicks to the corner after the Rebels infringed twice in the red zone. Surely Mr Seconds needs to hand out a yellow card; that’s 10 penalties to one in favour of the home team.

47.00: YELLOW CARD! Another three penalties during one phase. It’s Meakes who goes to the bin. Naisarani should have been sent to the naughty step, too for side entry to the maul.

49.00: Marx thinks he’s scored, but Ross Cronje’s pass was forward in the build-up. However, the play is called back and the Lions get a penalty for a high tackle. Where is the yellow card, ref?

50.00: TRY! Marnus Schoeman is rewarded with a try after a big rin from close range. He doubles the Lions tally. 10-33

51.00: CONVERSION! Jantjies won’t miss from in front. 12-33

52.00: Green breaks from inside his half, starting a counter-attack that is cynically halted by a lazy runner. The Lions go quickly, attacking wide. The Rebels infringe again. Mr Seconds has lost the plot. No yellow card after another four penalties. Get him off.

54.00: TRY! Andries Coetzee gets over to bring the Lions some joy. 17-33

55.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 19-33

56.00: TRY! Wow! The Lions counter-attack from their 22. Marx, Kwagga Smith and Skosan all combining before the ball is hacked forward. Lionel Mapoe chases a lost cause, beating a dozy Cooper to dot down in the corner of the in-goal area. The Wallaby stand-off was snoozing and didn’t hear Mapoe charging in from behind. 24-33

57.00: CONVERSION! Jantjies adds the touchline kick, reducing the deficit to seven. 26-33

60.00: BIG SCRUM BY THE LIONS! They take the penalty quickly and launch an attack from deep.

62.00: Skosan knocks on, killing the attack; however, the Rebels are tiring. The final quarter will be tough. I back the Lions, from here, to win.

64.00: TRY! Marx wins the turnover, Kwagga Smith breaks down the left wing before sending Skosan away. The Rebels have only had 15% possession and territory in the second half, they are wilting. 31-33

65.00: CONVERSION! Jantjies levels the scores. 33-all

66.00: Coetzee breaks from deep, but Sithembiso Sithole knocks with nobody in front of him. Scrum to the Rebels.

67.00: Melbourne’s legs and lungs have gone; they need to get their hands on the ball.

69.00: NO TRY! Cooper goes close, but the ball is lost forward before being grounded. Coetzee took an elbow to the face. The referee goes to the TMO – it’s a knock on by Cooper, not Marika Koroibete.

70.00: It’s edgy here, the game is end-to-end, but the Rebels cannot find the final ball as they did in the first half. Too many errors, but that’s to be expected this late in the game.

72.00: Matt Philip is pinged for offsides, the 16th penalty to one.

73.00: The Lions take the penalty quickly. Another penalty. Gianni Lombard kicks to the corner. Matt Gibbon is caught for holding – I have nothing to say about the refereeing.

74.00: The Rebels win the turnover and start another counter. Genia’s brilliant kick gets the Rebels out of jail.

76.00: Naisarani is penalised for a high tackle; Lombard kicks deep.

77.00: YELLOW CARD! Angus Cottrell is sin-binned for multiple cynical infringements.

78.00: Marx opts for a scrum, he has not taken the points. Scrum reset, again. Time is running out.

80.00: The Lions botch a winning opportunity with a knock on. Scrum to the Rebels.

81.00: WOW! Penalty to the Lions. The Lions bulldoze the Rebels, winning a penalty and giving Lombard a chance to kick a winner.

81.00: PENALTY! Lombard slots the winner from wide with the last play of the game.


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

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The final score is Lions 36 (5) Rebels 33 (26)


Tries – Marx, Schoeman, Coetzee, Mapoe, Skosan
Pen – Lombard
Con – Jantjies (4)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Hodge, Cooper, Meakes, Naisarani, English
Pen –
Con – Cooper (4)
Drop –
Cards – Meakes (Yellow, 47′), Cottrell (Yellow, 77′)

Match Officials
Referee: Egon Seconds
Assistant Ref 1: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 2: Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO: Willie Vos


Lions: 15 Tyrone Green, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Franco Naude, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Albertus Smith, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Marvin Orie, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx (captain), 1 Dylan Smith.

Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Sithembiso Sithole, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Rhyno Herbst, 20 Ruan Vermaak, 21 Gianni Lombard, 22 Lionel Mapoe, 23 Andries Coetzee.

Rebels: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty (captain), 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Brad Wilkin, 6 Luke Jones, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner.

Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Matt Philip, 20 Angus Cottrell, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Sione Tuipulotu, 23 Marika Koroibete.

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