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Lions 16 vs Waratahs 25

Lions lose tough opener at home

Waratahs take a workman-like victory at Ellis Park

The Lions were hit by two pre-match injuries, both captain Andre Pretorius and Kenny McKenzie had to withdraw because of injury, and they were replaced by Louis Strydom and Brian Mujati respectively. Colin Lloyd and Lawrence Sephaka moved up to the bench.

The teams ran onto the field in pouring rain, and the Waratahs started the game, kicking away from the forwards, where Louis Ludik did well to take the ball in the air and get away from Tiqiri.

In the 3rd minute the Lions got their first opportunity for points from a penalty in the middle of the field on the halfway line, where the referee blew the Waratahs for going off their feet in a ruck. Unfortunately Louis Strydom missed the kick to the left.

The rain stopped after about ten minutes, and at this stage the Lions had most of the possession and also did most of the playing. Willie Wepener also impressed with the way he was finding his jumpers in the line-out.

In the 16th minute Jannie Boshoff had a chance to run with the ball, he got to the halfway line where he was tackled, and turned over the ball, Hewat from the Waratahs ran the ball down the right hand touchline, and when he was blocked, kicked ahead, and here the touch judge, Meuwesen, judged that Strydom tackled him late. Hewat kicked the fairly difficult penalty with ease to put the Waratahs in a 3-0 lead.

In the 21st minute, inside their 10 meter area, the Waratahs ran the ball from their scrum feed, and passed inside to Tiqiri, who was tackled and then held on in the ruck. Louis Strydom kicked the penalty, and the scores were even at three all.

The Waratahs answered with a try right away, putting the ball through phases inside the Lions 22 meter area, with the Lions defense not realising that they are thin on the right, and eventually Halangahu broke through a tackle and managed to reach the try-line with an outstretched arm. Hewat missed the conversion, score now 8-3 Waratahs.

The Waratahs transgressed at a scrum just inside their 10 meter area in the 30th minute, and Louis Strydom kicked this penalty with much more confidence, the score now 8-6 for the Waratahs.

With just two minutes in the first half left, the Lions seemed to lose concentration at a scrum inside the Waratahs 10 meter line, and were penalised. From the lineout the Waratahs went down the right hand touch line again, with Elsom running strong and breaking through a few tackles and scoring in the corner, although it had to be referred to the TMO first. Hewat kicked the conversion from the touchline, and the score now 15-6 for the Waratahs, also the halftime score.

The Lions hit back with a spectacular try by Louis Ludik in the first minute of the 2nd half. The Lions managed to steal possession from the kick-off when Willie Wepener won a ball dropped by the Waratahs, and the Lions hit to the left with the backline, where Jaque Fourie kicked a grubber that went out inside the Waratahs 22. The Tahs kicked ahead from the line-out, into the hands of Boshoff at left wing, who ran the ball up to the Waratahs 10 meter line, where a ruck formed. The quick ball came to the right, where Ludik on the right wing received the ball and beat his man Tiqiri to dive over in the corner for the try. Strydom also kicked the difficult conversion, the score 15-13 for the Waratahs.

9 minutes into the second half the Waratahs were awarded a penalty on the halfway line, and Hewat had no problem to kick the points. That made the Waratahs lead 18-13.

16 minutes into the 2nd half the Lions made their first replacement, Vermaak replacing Januarie.

20 minutes into the 2nd half the Waratahs conceded a penalty just outside their 22, where Tiqiri joined a ruck from the side, but Strydom this time kicked it to the left.

Franco van der Merwe replaced Alberts at this stage.

2 minutes later the Lions got another penalty, this time on the left of the field and just outside the 22 meter line of the Waratahs, and this time Strydom kicked it over, the score 18-16 for the Waratahs.

The Waratahs were threatening at this stage from a line-out deep in the Lions 22, but Cobus Grobbelaar managed to steal a great ball at a ruck to stop the threat.

Kurtley Beale, who was on the field at this stage, seemed to inject quite a bit into the play of the Waratahs. The Tahs came close to the Lions try-line, and 5 meters out, Jaque Fourie spear-tackled Tiqiri, and was yellow carded. The Tahs opted for the line-out, and managed to drive it over for the try by one of the props, Freier, and Hewat converted to make the score now 25-16. 

With 9 minutes to go, Van Schalkwyk replaced Rose, and Sephaka was on for Mujati. Strydom missed another penalty as well, this time to the right.

With just 5 minutes to go, Gilfillan replaced Grobler. 

The Lions tried hard in the last 5 minutes, but couldn't manage to break the defense of the Waratahs to try and get within 7 for a bonus point.

The scorers:

For the Lions:
Strydom (3)

For Waratahs:
Halangahu, Elsom, Freier           
Cons: Hewat (2)   
Pens:  Hewat (2)   

Yellow card: Jaque Fourie
Red card: none 

Lions: 15 Earl Rose, 14 Louis Ludik, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Jannie Boshoff, 10 Louis Strydom, 9 Enrico Januarie, 8 Willem Alberts, 7 Ernst Joubert(c), 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Anton van Zyl, 4 Cobus Grobler, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Ashton Constant, 17 Lawrence Sephaka, 18 Gordon Gilfillan, 19 Franco van der Merwe, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Colin Lloyd, 22 Jaco van Schalkwyk.

Waratahs: 15. Sam Norton-Knight, 14. Peter Hewat, 13. Morgan Turinui, 12. Ben Jacobs, 11. Lote Tuqiri, 10. Daniel Halangahu, 9. Josh Valentine, 8. Wycliff Palu, 7. Phil Waugh, 6. Rocky Elsom, 5. Ben Hand, 4. Will Caldwell, 3. Alaistair Baxter, 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1. Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16. Adam Freier, 17. Aaron Broughton-Rouse, 18. Dean Mumm, 19. Tim Davidson, 20. Brett Sheehan, 21. Kurtley Beale, 22. Sam Harris.  

Referee: Chris Pollock (NZ) 
Touch judges: Keith Brown (NZ) and Johann Meuwesen (SA)
TV Match Official: Shaun Veldsman (SA)

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