The Lions have played the Sharks 29 times in Super Rugby since 1998, winning 10 matches and drawing two.
The Lions 10 Super Rugby victories give them a winning 35% winning record against the Sharks regardless of venue.
- The Sharks beat the Lions in their most recent Super Rugby encounter (Round 17, 2018), ending a run of seven defeats against them.
- The Lions are on a three-game winning run in Super Rugby, the last time they enjoyed a longer streak was their record 14-game winning run on their way to the 2017 Super Rugby Final.
- The Sharks have lost their last seven away games in Super Rugby against fellow South African sides, their last such win coming against the Cheetahs in March 2017.
- The Lions have scored 10 tries in the 20 minutes immediately after half-time in Super Rugby 2019, more than any other team in the competition.
- Elton Jantjies has missed more tackles (20) than any other player in Super Rugby so far this season, completing just 67% of his attempts.
We are waiting for the kickoff.
1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway at Ellis Park, Johannesburg. The pitch is heavy underfoot because of some rain that fell during the day otherwise it is dry out there.
3.00: The Sharks are enjoying some sustained pressure early on. They have made their way into the Lions’ 22 but Makazole Mapimpi steps on the chalk after a Tyrone Green – who is playing wing tonight – tackle.
5.00: Tendai Mtawarira, playing in a South African record 157th Super Rugby game, bounces Green as he sets the Sharks away on another attack. The Sharks’ forwards are offloading and breaking the advantage line, however, they lose the ball in contact close to the try line.
7.00: The Sharks are attacking the right-hand touchline, and they are finding space in the channel. Another sustained period of attack by the visitors, who go nine phases before they win a penalty for offsides.
8.00: The men in black (white) have a penalty advantage after a Lions’ infringement for collapsing the driving maul. Rhyno Herbst was pointed out by referee Mike Fraser. Curwin Bosch kicks to the corner again.
10.00: Herbst is pinged again for collapsing the maul; the next infringement will be yellow.
11.00: YELLOW CARD! Herbst is caught tackling without his arms and is – finally – sent to the sin-bin. The Sharks take the penalty quickly, but the ball is turned over. Elton Jantjies clears, but the visitors run the ball straight back at them. nil-nil
12.00: Lukhanyo Am is tackled into touch. The Lions’ defence has been superb despite leaking penalties. They cannot get out of their half, though. The Sharks have turned down nine points by opting for lineouts.
13.00: Malcolm Marx throws into the defensive lineout on his side’s 5m. Marnus Schoeman takes the ball up before Ross Cronje clears. His kick is only out just outside his side’s 22. The Sharks have had 82% possession so far.
20.00: TRY! The dam wall is finally breached as Jacques Vermeulen opens the scoring for the Sharks. 0-5
21.00: MISS! Rob du Preez misses from out wide. 0-5
24.00: TRY! Mapimpi goes over in the corner after some great work by Bosch. 0-10
25.00: MISS! Rob du Preez can’t add the extras. 0-10
27.00: TRY! Two in two minutes for the visitors. This time AM races away to score after taking an inside ball that split open the Lions defence. 0-15
28.00: CONVERSION! Robert du Preez adds the extras. 0-17
30.00: The Sharks are in complete control in the City of Gold. The Lions have spent the evening tackling, making 83 tackles (missing 19) to the Sharks’ 12.
31.00: PENALTY! Du Preez adds another three. 0-20
35.00: The Sharks are dominating as no one has at Ellis Park. Stunning.
38.00: TRY! Mapimpi is over in the corner after another long attack, this time the Sharks used the big ball carriers to suck in the defence before using Am and Lwazi Mvovo out wide to stretch the Lions. Eleven phases later and the winger has his second try. 0-25
39.00: MISS! Du Preez pushes his kick well wide. 0-25
40.00: The Lions have a rare scrum inside the Sharks’ half. Am collects a loose pass, and Louis Schreuder kicks into touch.
The halftime score is Lions 0 (nil) Sharks 25
41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in the City of Gold. The Heavens have opened at Ellis Park.
45.00: The field is getting slippery in the downpour, so scrumming is difficult.
47.00: The Sharks win a penalty at the ruck. Bosch calls for the tee for the long-range kick.
48.00: PENALTY! Bosch slots the kick – wow! 0-28
50.00: A couple of reset scrums. Coenie Oosthuizen is penalised for collapsing. Jantjies kicks to the corner.
53.00: Great defence by the visitors as they keep the Lions out.
57.00: The Lions are ragged, Hacjivah Dayimani drops a floated intercept. This is inept by last year’s finalists, who only enjoyed five per cent territory in the opening half.
59.00: The Lions win another penalty as the Sharks go off their feet at the ruck.
60.00: The Sharks are awarded a penalty just inside the Lions’ half and Bosch calls for the kicking tee.
62.00: MISS! Bosch pulls his kick to the left. 0-28
65.00: It’s getting messy out there, the Sharks have taken their foot off the gas, and Swys de Bruin’s men have given up.
67.00: Free kick to the visitors; they opt for another scrum. The rain has stopped, and so has the scoring.
69.00: The Sharks go through the phases, offloading and bashing the advantage line before Mapimpi puts in a grubber that cannot be chased.
70.00: Aphiwe Dyantyi fluffs a 22 drop-out. The Sharks have an attacking lineout just outside the 22.
72.00: The Lions stop a driving maul, but the Sharks regroup and Thomas du Toit crashes over from close range. 0-33
73.00: CONVERSION! Bosch splits the uprights. 0-35
76.00: Aphelele Fassi thinks he’s scored but the pass was forward.
77.00: The Lions win a scrum penalty, and have a chance to clear their lines. They must be willing the hooter to sound after this dross.
79.00: TRY! Sylvian Mahuza crosses in the corner after what looked a forward pass. Good for the Lions, whose support is still cheering, although, sarcastically.
79.00: MISS! A drop-kick conversion attempt is well wide. 5-35
81.00: TRY! That’s number six for the visitors. Fassi gets in on the act thanks to Bosch. 5-40
83.00: CONVERSION! Bosch slots the conversion. 7-42
The final score is Lions 5 (0) Sharks 42 (25)
Tries – Mahuza
Cards – Herbst (Yellow, 11′)
Tries – Vermeulen, Mapimpi (2), Am, Du Toit, Fassi
Pen – R. Du Preez, Bosch
Con – R. Du Preez, Bosch (2)
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 1: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Ref 2: Brendon Pickerill
TMO: Willie Vos
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Tyrone Green, 13 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 12 Lionel Mapoe, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Ruan Vermaak, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Rhyno Herbst, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx (captain), 1 Sithembiso Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Nathan McBeth, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Stephan Lewies, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Hacjivah Dayimani, 23 Sylvian Mahuza
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Lwazi Mvovo, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Luke Stringer, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Fez Mbatha, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 JJ van der Mescht, 20 Philip van der Walt, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Kobus van Wyk, 23 Aphelele Fassi.