Super Rugby

Scintillating Simelane stars as Lions maul Griquas




The Lions mauled Griquas 61-31 in a high-scoring Super Rugby Unlocked Round 4 clash at Ellis Park, Johannesburg.

Courtnall Skosan grabbed a hat-trick as the Lions scored nine tries to four to seal a comprehensive bonus-point victory in the City of Gold.

Dan Kriel, Stean Pienaar, MJ Pelser, Visagie, the sensational Simelane, and Reinhard Nothnagel also crossed for the hosts.

Wandisile Simelane starred for the Lions. The outside centre had a hand in all four first-half tries as the Lions took control of the Super Rugby contest on the Highveld.

Elton Jantjies kicked all four conversions, while the opposition’s only points came from a 24th-minute Whitehead penalty, as the Lions led 28-3 at the break.

Super Rugby Unlocked Player-of-the-Match Simelane also scored the Lions’ seventh try 10 minutes before time to cap a scintillating performance.

Jantjies was almost flawless from the tee, knocking over eight of nine conversion attempts for 16 points, while George Whitehead landed all his kicks for 11 points.

Lions roared out of the gate with four first stanza goal to Griquas’ lone penalty-goal

Skosan scored twice inside half-an-hour, Kriel and Pienaar also crossed as the Lions backline cut Griquas to shreds.

Simelane broke the line after Griquas lost their scrum. He played Gianni Lombard, interlinking with the centre before shifting to Skosan, who raced away untouched to open the scoring.

Simelane was involved again, standing up two defenders with a hop and a skip then popping a delayed his pass to Kriel, who ghosted through a gap to score under the posts.

The third score came 14 minutes later when a mistake by Griquas, inside the Lions 22, saw the 29-year-old flyer get his second against the run of play.

Super Rugby Unlocked Round 4: Lions versus Griquas at Ellis Park, Johannesburg

One mistake and the Lions pounced, going from their 22 to under the posts.

The loose ball was booted into the Griquas half by Kriel, and sat-up nicely for Simelane to gather.

The 22-year-old playmaker drew in the defender before popping to Skosan to score.

On the stroke of halftime, Griquas tried to counter-attack following a turnover near their line; however, it went wrong.

The hosts won back possession, sent the ball to Simelane, who sucked in two defenders before offloading a chicken-wing pass to Pienaar to dive over in the corner.

Griquas replied with second-half tries from Zak Burger, Hendrik Luus, James Verity-Amm, and Tinus de Beer as they looked to mount a late fightback.

It was too little, too late for Scott Mathie’s men, though. The home team scored five more times to claim a comfortable 30-point win.

Lions pick up where they left off, this time the forwards getting in on the act, but Griquas match their hosts

Both teams scored two tries apiece in the opening 15 minutes of the second half. Three tries came from driving mauls as the two sets of forwards traded blows.

Ivan van Zyl’s side came out firing after the break, Pelser scoring from a 43rd-minute driving maul. Jantjies added the extras.

Scrumhalf Burger scored his team’s first try of the night when he broke around the ruck, slipped prop Sti Sithole’s tackle to score under the poles. Whitehead knocked over the conversion to make it 35-10.

Visagie flopped over the line, two minutes later, following another powerful driving maul by the forwards.

Griquas did not give up, scoring twice inside 10 minutes to keep their hosts honest

On 53 minutes, it was the Kimberley side’s turn to score from a driving maul. Hooker Luus crossed the chalk after a throw to the back of the lineout.

Griquas started to enjoy periods of time with possession inside the opposition’s half.

Ten minutes after Luus’ try, Verity-Amm snatched Jantjies’ stray crossfield kick and raced away to score his team’s third try.

Another Whitehead conversion made it 42-24 as the visitors looked to mount an unlikely comeback in the final quarter of an hour.

Simelane’s individual brilliance saw him gather his chip-kick and score before De Beer scored with six minutes remaining to threaten the Lions’ bonus-point at 49-31.

However, Nothnagel also darted over from close range soon after following a knock-on by the visitors.

Skosan, just before the hooter, added the icing on the cake.

Final Score: Lions 61 (28) Griquas 31 (3)


Tries – Skosan (3), Kriel, Pienaar, Pelser, Visagie, Simelane, Nothnagel
Pen –
Con – Jantjies (8)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Burger, Luus, Verity-Amm, De Beer
Pen – Whitehead
Con – Whitehead (4)
Drop –
Cards – S. Willemse (Yellow, 2′)

Match Officials
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 1: Aimee Barrett-Theron
Assistant Ref 2: Stuart Berry
TMO: Jaco Peyper



15 Gianni Lombard; 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Courtnall Skosan; 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 Morné van den Berg; 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 MJ Pelser, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole

Replacments: 16 PJ Botha, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Ross Cronjé, 22 Burger Odendaal, 23 Tiaan Swanepoel


15 James Verity-Amm, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Harlon Klaasen, 12 André Swarts, 11 Eduan Keyter, 10 George Whitehead (captain), 9 Zak Burger, 8 Carl Els, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Adré Smith, 4 Mzwanele Zito, 3 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 2 Hendrik Luus, 1 Andrew Beerwinkel

Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Bandisa Ndlovu, 18 John-Roy Jenkinson, 19 Johan Momsen, 20 Ewan Coetzee, 21 Theo Maree, 22 Tinus de Beer, 23 Masixole Banda


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