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Lions 22 vs Sharks 21

Lions in nail-biting win

Sharks fail to upset the Lions at Ellis Park

The Lions scored a great win over the Sharks at Ellis Park on Saturday, scoring their third and match winning try with about 4 minutes to go in the game, making it three wins in a row for the home team.

The Lions started poorly when Cobus Grobbelaar fielded the Sharks kickoff close to the touchline, but ran backwards into Enrico Januarie and got knocked over the line. From the line-out the Sharks set up a ruck on the Lions 22 in the middle of the field, from where the Lions conceded a penalty and Brent Russell kicked the easy 3 point for the Sharks to lead 3-0. 

In the 9th minute referee JC Fortuin made a huge mistake, not playing advantage after a kick from Jaco van Schalkwyk, the kick from inside his 22 did not go out, but the Sharks player failed to field the ball and fell over his own feet, Wylie Human kicked it forward and went ahead to dot down under the posts, but the Ref already blew his whistle before the Sharks player made the mistake.

On 13 minutes the Lions did go ahead, this from a Sharks knock on deep inside the Lions half, the ball was hacked ahead by a Lions player, Wylie Human managed to follow it up and kick it ahead again, then just outside the Sharks 22 Jaco van Schalkwyk picked it up and passed to Jaco Pretorius on his left, who went over for the try in the left corner. Rose missed the conversion, but the Lions now leading 5-3.

22 minutes into the game the Sharks snatched back the lead when Warren Britz scored their first try, this from a 5 meter scrum after the Sharks were held up after driving over the try-line. The score was now 8-5 for the Sharks.

Rose could have evened the score after 28 minutes with a penalty, but missed the kick that most kickers would have kicked. Just afterwards the Lions had another chance with a 5 meter scrum on the right side of the field, but the Sharks defense held and the chance was lost.

The Lions then got a kickable penalty, but with Rose already having missed a couple, they went for the line-out, which they drove up quite well, getting very close to the try-line, and eventually thye ball came out to the left where Cobus Grobbelaar with the help of Bertus Smit drove over for the try under the posts. This time Rose was able to kick the easy conversion, the Lions lead 12-8.

From the kickoff the Lions then conceded another penalty on their 22, Brent Russell adding the 3 points to reduce the Lions lead to 12-11. This was in the 36th minute, and was also the halftime score.

3 minutes into the second half Earl Rose kicked a difficult penalty from the Sharks 10 meter line to make the Lions lead 15-11.

17 minutes into the second half the Lions made a bad mistake from their own line-out just outside the Sharks 22, where the ball went right down the backline standing deep, but a handling error came and the Sharks kicked the ball forward, chasing it, and with the Lions struggling to fall back Strauss eventually went over for the try, but he missed the fairly easy conversion. The Sharks were in the lead 16-15.

25 minutes into the 2nd half Rose missed another sitter of a penalty that would have given the Lions the lead...

At this stage Esterhuizen, Bernard and Van der Merwe came on as replacements for the Lions.

Harris then came on for van Schalkwyk with just ten minutes left, but unfortunately the Sharks increased their lead with a great try, exploiting a bad defensive error by the Lions with a huge overlap to the right, Keegan Daniel scoring in the right corner. That made the Sharks lead 21-15.

The Lions scored their best try of the night, from their own half and most players involved in the move, Esterhuizen eventually scoring in the left corner, and Harris getting the difficult conversion over to lead again 22-21.

The Sharks then gave everythin in the last few minutes, but the Lions defense held and that was the final score.

The scorers:

For the Lions:
Jaco Pretorius, Cobus Grobbelaar, Grant Esterhuizen   
Earl Rose, Mark Harris   
Earl Rose     

For the Sharks:
Warren Britz, Francois Strauss, Keegan Daniel      
Pens: Brent Russell 2

Yellow card: none
Red card: none 

Lions: 15 Earl Rose, 14 Wylie Human, 13 Jaco Pretorius, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Louis Ludik, 10 Jaco van Schalkwyk, 9 Enrico Januarie, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Cobus Grobbelaar, 6 Wikus van Heerden(capt), 5 Anton van Zyl, 4 Cobus Grobler, 3 Bertus Smit, 2 Ethienne Reynecke, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 James van der Walt, 17 Lawrence Sephaka, 18 Franco van der Merwe, 19 Roland Bernard, 20 Nicholas Eyre, 21 Grant Esterhuizen, 22 Mark Harris.

Sharks: 15. JP Pietersen, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Waylon Murray, 12. Andries Strauss, 11. Brent Russell, 10. Bradley Barritt, 9. Scott Mathie, 8. AJ Venter(c), 7. Jacques Botes, 6. Warren Britz, 5. Steven Sykes, 4. Wouter Moore, 3. Danie Saayman, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Kees Lensing.
Replacements: 16. Skipper Badenhorst, 17. Robbie Harris, 18. Ryan Kankowski, 19. Keegan Daniel, 20. Sandile Nxumalo, 21. Gcobani Bobo, 22. Francois Steyn

Referee: JC Fortuin
Touch judges: Johan Meuwesen, Fumanekile Yamile 
TV Match Official: Shaun Veldsman

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