2019 Lions Super Rugby Preview
August 10, 2019 - The match was played at Ellis Park on Saturday 10 August 2019, and kicked off at 17:15pm SA Time.
The visitors scored their first try after just 30 seconds, when they won the ball back from the kickoff and then hit right where the Lions defence was found wanting and Cornal Hendricks dotted down in the corner. Shortly thereafter the Lions spilt an up-and-under, and Libbok won the ball back for the Blue Bulls and sent prop Dayan van der Westhuizen away for the try.
Blue Bulls flanker, Fred Eksteen, was red-carded for a dangerous clean and this helped the Lions to draw level, first with a penalty try from a dominant scrum on the Blue Bulls try-line, and then when Flyhalf Shaun Reynolds crashed over for a try from another scrum close to the Bulls try-line.
Libbok then added two penalties before the break, to put the Blue Bulls in a 18-12 lead at half time.
Libbok then scored a try just after the break, which he also converted, to make it 25-12 for the visitors, before the Lions answered with a try from a driving maul by Hooker Pieter Jansen, to make it 25-19.
Libbok then kicked another penalty to make it 28-19, and then Blue Bulls lock Andries Ferreira was yellow carded that meant the Blue Bulls were left with just 13 players on the field. Lions Winger Stean Pienaar scored a try 7 minutes after the yellow card, converted by Reynolds, to make it 28-26, and it looked like the Lions might pull this one off like the first 3 matches of the season, as there was 11 minutes left on the clock, but the Lions just couldn't make use of the numbers advantage, and then Libbok even increased the lead with 5 minutes to go with a penalty, to make it 31-26.
The Lions then threw everything and the kitchen sink at the Blue Bulls, but couldn't score any more points, and thus suffered their first defeat of the season.
Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni
AR1: Jaco Pretorius
AR2: Jaco Kotze
TMO: Pro Legoete
Lions: 15. Tyrone Green; 14. Madosh Tambwe, 13. Wandisile Simelane, 12. Eddie Fouche, 11. Stean Pienaar; 10. Shaun Reynolds, 9. Ross Cronje (Capt); 8. Hacjivah Dayimani, 7. Len Massyn, 6. Marnus Schoeman, 5. Reinhard Nothnagel, 4. Ruben Schoeman, 3. Johannes Jonker, 2. Pieter Jansen, 1. Sti Sithole.
Replacements: 16. Jan-Henning Campher, 17. Leo Kruger, 18. Chergin Fillies, 19. Rhyno Herbst, 20. Vincent Tshituka, 21. James Venter, 22. Dillon Smit, 23. Duncan Matthews.
Blue Bulls: 15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Dylan Sage, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Ivan van Zyl (captain), 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Wian Vosloo, 6 Fred Eksteen, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Dayan van der Westhuizen
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Madot Mabokela, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Andre Smith, 20 Jean Droste, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Stedman Gans
Lions: 26 (12): Tries: Pieter Jansen, Stean Pienaar, Shaun Reynolds and a Penalty Try. Conversions: Shaun Reynolds (2). Penalties:
Blue Bulls: 31 (18): Tries: Dayan van der Westhuizen, Cornal Hendricks, Manie Libbok. Conversions: Manie Libbok (2). Penalties: Manie Libbok (4)