2019 Lions Super Rugby Preview
March 16, 2019 - The match was played at Ellis Park on Saturday 16 March 2019, and kicked off at 15:05pm SA Time.
The Lions took a very early lead in the match when Marx threw a line-out ball to Dylan Smith at the front of the line-out close to the Rebels line, who in turn passed it back to him and Marx scored in the left corner. Jantjies missed the difficult conversion, but the Lions were leading 5-0 after just 4 minutes.
The Rebels then dominated the rest of the 1st half, scoring 4 tries by Hodge, Cooper, Meakes and Naisarani, with Cooper converting 3 of them, to put the Rebels in a 26-5 lead at half time.
After the break the Rebels scored again through English, converted by Cooper, to take the score to 33-5. At this stage few people would have backed the Lions to stage a comeback, but that is exactly what happened, the Rebels started playing negative rugby, conceding penalties that lead to yellow cards, and they also seemed to be affected by the high altitude as they seemed to run out of steam, with the Lions scoring tries by Schoeman, Coetzee, Mapoe and Skosan to level the score at 33 all with about 8 minutes to go.
The Lions then turned down something like 3 kickable penalties in the 22 metre area of the Rebels, opting for the line-out instead, but the Rebels were able to counter everything thrown at them. In a move close to the Rebels try-line, the Lions knocked the ball and all seemed lost. At the resulting scrum the Rebels were scrummed off the ball and this gave the Lions a penalty, and this time they decided to go for poles, and as Elton Jantjies wasn't on the field it was up to replacement Gianni Lombard to kick the rather difficult penalty, which he did to give the Lions the unlikely 36-33 victory.
Referee: Egon Seconds
AR1: Jaco Peyper
AR2: 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 Cronjé, 8. Kwagga 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. Sti 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.
Lions: 36 (5): Tries: Malcolm Marx, Marnus Schoeman, Andries Coetzee, Lionel Mapoe, Courtnall Skosan. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (4). Penalties: Gianni Lombard.
Rebels: 33 (26): Tries: Reece Hodge, Quade Cooper, Billy Meakes, Isi Naisarani, Tom English. Conversions: Cooper (4). Penalties: None