Super Rugby

Lions beat Waratahs in Johannesburg




The Lions have played the Waratahs 19 times in Super Rugby since 1998, the Lions have won five matches, but lost 14 times.

The five wins give them a measly record of winning 26% of their matches against the Waratahs regardless of venue.

  • The Lions romped to a 44-26 victory over the Waratahs in last season’s Super Rugby semi-final in Johannesburg.
  • The Lions have won their last four Super Rugby games on the bounce against the NSW Waratahs, this after having lost six games in succession against them prior to that run.
  • Last season’s runners-up have won 10 of their last 12 Super Rugby games against Australian opposition but were defeated 31-20 by the Brumbies last weekend.
  • The last time the South Africans lost back-to-back games to Australian opposition was in May 2014.
  • New South Wales have lost their last three games on the bounce away from home in Super Rugby; however, those three defeats have come by a margin of no greater than seven points.
  • The Lions boast a 91% success rate at both the lineout and scrum in Super Rugby 2019, making them one of only two teams (Rebels) with a success rate of 90% or higher at both set pieces this season.
  • Kurtley Beale has made 14 break passes this Super Rugby campaign, more than any other player in the competition.
  • Warren Whitely returns to lead the Lions.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

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

Both teams adopt a European football style handshake before kick-off. Interesting.

1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway at a sunny Ellis Park, Johannesburg. Elton Jantjies, who played every minute of Super Rugby last season, starts the clash.

2.00: The Lions go wide to Cortnall Skosan, who runs from his 22 before clearing. Kurtley Beale runs the ball, back.

3.00: Skosan tries to intercept a pass aimed for Cam Clark, but he knocks on, giving the Waratahs an attacking scrum.

4.00: TRY! The Tahs are on the board after some wonderful running and offloading by Karmichael Hunt to Clark. The winger darted to the line before sending Nick Phipps away. 0-5

5.00: CONVERSION! Bernard Foley adds the extras. 0-7

8.00: Michael Hooper loses the ball forward, but the officials decide on a lineout to the Tahs. The ball must have been ripped out of Hooper’s hands.

9.00: Malcolm Marx intercepts on the Tahs’ 10m and races into the 22. Clark gets back to tackle the hooker, but the Lions are awarded the penalty. They kick to touch.

11.00: TRY! Aphiwe Dyantyi takes Jantjies’ inside pop-pass and stretches out to score near the posts. 5-7

11.00: CONVERSION! Jantjies levels. 7-all

13.00: TRY! Hooper sells Warren Whitely and Marx a dummy, cuts inside and runs away for his 27th Super Rugby try of his career. The hands from the Waratahs was sublime. 7-12

14.00: CONVERSION! Foley can’t miss from there. 7-14

16.00: Lions have a penalty. Lineout.

18.00: TRY! Stephan Lewies burrows over from close range after the maul disintegrated. It is his first Super Rugby try for the Lions. 12-14

20.00: CONVERSION! Jantjies levels – again – from the corner. 14-all

23.00: The Waratahs have an attacking scrum, the first of the match, just outside the Lions’ 22 and 10 metres from touch. It is reset twice.

24.00: Harold Vorster wins the ball after Beale lost possession in the tackle. The Lions use their big runners to punch the ball up the field. They go nowhere, so Jantjies kicks. He slices his kick, allowing the visitors to attack near the 22.

25.00: Marx, after all that, knocks on, giving the players another breather. Beale has made 40 metres from six carries with two offloads and kicks from hand while passing five times.

26.00: The Tahs’ scrum is in centre-field about 30 metres out.

27.00: TRY! Two phases, try. Lalakai Foketi carried, the ball recycled by Phipps to Rob Simmons, who beat the cover defenders to the chalk, scoring under the posts. 14-19

28.00: CONVERSION! Foley is three from three. 14-21

30.00: Lions exit their 22.

33.00: TRY! Kwagga Smith finishes in the corner, dotting down Vorster’s grubber. The centre beat several defenders with a swerving run before booting the ball for the sevens specialist to chase. Smith controlled the bouncing ball expertly. 19-21

35.00: MISS! Jantjies cannot level from out wide. 19-21

37.00: Swys de Bruin’s men are building through the phases. They would love a score before halftime. Marx, Jantjies, Marvin Orie and Dyantyi all combine before the attack breaks down because of poor handling.

39.00: Foley clears to touch. Orie is down, again. Referee Egon Seconds tells the medics to take the lock-forward off the field for an HIA.

40.00: Simmons wins the throw, but the Waratahs waste the counter-attacking opportunity with a rubbish kick that sailed out on the full. Lions have a lineout on their 10m.

41.00: Ross Cronje knocks on under pressure at the ruck after his forwards nearly lost another lineout. It’s a mess.

The halftime score was Lions 19 Waratahs 21

41.00: PEEEEP! Foley gets us back underway. The final 20 minutes will be interesting because the Waratahs have been training on the Highveld for two weeks, so the altitude might not be as big a factor as usual.

43.00: TRY! Smith and Vorster combine again, this time defensively as the win the turnover and start a counter-attack from their 22. Jantjies, Whiteley, Marx and Skosan all combine for the winger’s try. The Lions’ handling is still superb and can open up the best defences, never mind Daryl Gibson’s men. 24-21

45.00: CONVERSION! Jantjies adds the extras. 26-19

47.00: The Lions dominated that last scrum. Jantjies kicks to the Tahs’ 22.

50.00: Some scintillating play from the Lions ends with an attacking scrum after a NSW knock on. The Lions are running the Waratahs ragged. De Bruin’s side is throwing the ball around like a hot potato.

52.00: Poor from the Lions. They turn the ball over and are caught offsides as at the ruck, trying to stop the visitors’ counter.

53.00: Orie burgled a lineout, but after the Lions use some width, they also lose possession. Mistakes are starting to creep in before the fourth quarter.

55.00: Ned Hanigan’s pass is not taken. Scrum to the three-times runners-up just outside their 22. No bother, they win the free-kick and take it quickly.

56.00: Cronje’s poor, low pass slips out of Orie’s hands. It’s stop-start, now.

57.00: TRY! Beale floats a pass over Skosan to Curtis Rona, who charges towards the corner. Rona was brought down, short. The ball recycled quickly to the right. Tom Staniforth crashed over after the third phase. Superb from the Aussies. 26-all

58.00: CONVERSION! Foley puts his side back in front. 26-28

62.00: The Lions have an attacking lineout.

66.00: Marx picked up Adam Ashley-Cooper despite being the attacker. Michael Wells was lucky he did not drop Smith on his head. Lions get the penalty. Kick to touch.

67.00: Shaun Reynolds loses the ball trying an offload. The Lions get the penalty for offsides, but he made a bizarre call after the Lions were held-up in the maul. Instead of giving a scrum to the tourists, he let the hosts recycle, and win a penalty. Mr Seconds called a maul but told Hooper it was not a maul. What is going on?

68.00: PENALTY! Reynolds kicks his first penalty of the season, which give his side the lead. 29-28

72.00: time is running out for the teams to seal the win. both sides are stretching the play, but mistakes and ill-discipline is killing them.

74.00: Hanigan makes an early tackle, which was well-spotted by Mr Seconds. Shaun Reynolds boots his side into the Tahs’ half. The Lions are slowing play down, taking their time for once.

75.00: Adam Ashley-Cooper is offsides. Reynolds kicks to the corner. What money on a Marx try? (Check the link below).

76.00: Marx breaks early, is tackled by the fringe defenders. Groom and Orie play a one-two but go nowhere. It’s a siege on the visitors’ line.

77.00: NSW survive. Another knock on kills momentum, and a chance to put the game to bed.

79.00: The Lions win a scrum-penalty, kick to the corner, and lose possession. One last shot for the visitors. They will need to go coast-to-coast to win the game.

80.00: If NSW can get to the halfway line, they can attempt a shot at goal if they can milk a penalty.

81.00: The hooter goes, the Lions win possession at the breakdown, and Reynolds boots the ball into the stands.


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The final score is Lions 29 (19) Waratahs 28 (21)


Tries – Dyantyi, Lewies, Smith, Skosan
Pen – Reynolds
Con – Jantjies (3)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Phipps, Hooper, Simmons, Staniforth
Pen –
Con – Foley (4)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Egon Seconds
Assistant Ref 1: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 2: Rasta Rasivhenge
TMO: Willie Vos



15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Sti Sithole.

Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Shaun Reynolds, 23 Tyrone Green.


15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Cam Clark, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Harry Johnson-Holmes.

Replacements: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Hugh Sinclair, 20 Will Miller, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 23 Curtis Rona.

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