Lions 11 vs Highlanders 6
beat Highlanders for first Super 14 victory
Highlanders couldn't breach the Lions defense
Lions beat the Highlanders 11-6 at Ellis Park for their first victory in the
Super 14 since getting rid of the Cats tag. The Lions certainly had more scoring
opportunities, but in the end managed to score one try, and that was all that
separated the two teams.
The Lions got the first chance for
points very early in the game when Ludik gathered a kick ahead and ran it up to
the halfway line, where he was tackled, and the tackler penalised for not
rolling away. Unfortunately Strydom's kick was short and to the right.
Lions kept up the pressure though, putting the ball through phases in the
Highlanders territory, and eventually another penalty came, this one much closer
and easier that the first, and this time Strydom converted it to put the Lions
in a 3-0 lead after four minutes.
The Highlanders were awarded
their first penalty after 12 minutes of the first half, this for a Lions
transgression at a ruck just outside their 22 meter line, but close to the left
touch line. Callum Bruce had no difficulty to kick it over and level the scores
at three all.
For the next few minutes the Lions were full of
running, hitting left and right across the field, and looking very promising,
but play eventually broke down when Doppies la Grange knocked on just outside
the Highlanders 22 meter line.
26 minutes into the first half
Franco van der Merwe had to replace Alberts for blood.
nothing, the Highlanders were shifting the ball down the line on the halfway
line, and then the wing opted to kick, where Wylie Human was rushing up to him,
and somehow the ball went straight into the hands of Human, who ran in the try
unopposed down the right hand touchline. Strydom missed the conversion, but the
Lions were back in the lead 8-3.
The Lions almost got punished
for a bad mistake, when they opted for a line-out when awarded a penalty close
to the Highlanders try-line. The drive was well stopped by the Highlanders, and
the ball had to come left to the backline, where a ruck was set up, and when the
ball came out, Vermaak passed to Human, who attempted a drop, but it was charged
down and kicked ahead by the Highlanders, eventually up to close to the Lions
try-line, where Jaco Pretorius gathered, and under pressure, passed to Ludik,
but the ball went loose, and over the try-line, but luckily Ludik got there
first and prevented a try.
In the 37th minute, the Lions were
driving well from a line-out, and just outside the Highlanders 22, the maul was
collapsed, and a penalty awarded by the referee. Strydom kicked it over for the
Lions to lead 11-3, which was also the halftime score.
had the first attack in the second half, when their scrum actually got pushed
back on the halfway line, and it wheeled left, where Alberts picked up, and
suddenly found no defenders in front of him. He got to the 22 meter line of the
Highlanders, where he had Vermaak on his right and Human on his left, he passed
to Human, who advanced a bit and got tackled, but Cobus Grobbelaar picked up,
and with defenders on him, got over the line. The TMO said no try.
minutes into the 2nd half, Bertus Smit replaced Mujati, and his first
contribution to the game was to lose his boot at a scrum and take a very long
time to get it back on again. Reynecke came on for Wepener eight minutes into
the 2nd half.
Ten minutes into the 2nd half, the
Highlanders had a defending scrum close to their try-line, the Lions demolished
their scrum, but somehow they kept possession, and kicked ahead, where Jaco
Pretorius jumped to take the ball in the air, and Mulipola took his feet from
under him, and was rightly yellow carded by the referee.
minutes into the 2nd half, Earl Rose replaced Wylie Human, who in the play just
before he was replaced, did very well to run back and pick up a ball that was
kicked ahead by the Highlanders, probably stopping a try in the process.
minutes into the 2nd half, Franco van der Merwe replaced Alberts, who had a
great game at number eight up till then, and Jaco van Schalkwyk replaced Doppies.
minutes into the 2nd half the Lions came close, Vermaak kicked an up and under
from the base of a scrum in his 22 onto Mulipola, who caught the ball but was
flattened by Jaque Fourie at the same time. The Lions won the ball at this ruck,
and hit right with the backline, Jaco van Schalkwyk looping a skip pass to Ludik,
operating on the right wing. Ludik ran strong, but was tackled in the corner,
where he lost the ball forward trying to dot it down.
into the 2nd half Gilfillan replaced Alberts, so just Januarie from the bench
not used at this stage.
28 minutes into the 2nd half the Lions
made an early tackle on a player just inside their 10 meter line, and
replacement Charlie Hore kicked the penalty, the first points of the second
half, and the score now 11-6 for the Lions.
30 minutes into the
2nd half Januarie replaced Vermaak, so the whole Lions bench now on.
minutes into the 2nd half, Jaco van Schalkwyk kicked a monster line kick after
fielding the ball inside his 22, it went out halfway into the Highlanders 22.
the last 5 minutes the Highlanders threw everything at the Lions, and it was
highly entertaining rugby from both sides, but the Lions managed to keep them
out and win their first Super 14 match.
For the Lions:
Pens: Bruce(1), Hore (1)
Yellow card: Mulipola (50)
Red card: none
Lions: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Wylie Human, 13 Jaque
Fourie, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Jaco Pretorius, 10 Louis Strydom, 9 Jano
Vermaak, 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 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Bertus Smit, 18 Gordon
Gilfillan, 19 Franco van der Merwe, 20 Enrico Januarie, 21 Jaco van Schalkwyk, 22
Highlanders: 15. Craig Clare, 14. Lucky Mulipola, 13. Matt
12. Jason Kawau, 11. Greg Zampach, 10. Callum Bruce, 9. Jimmy Cowan, 8. Craig
Newby, 7. Josh Blackie(c), 6. Hoani MacDonald, 5. James Ryan, 4. Filipo Levi, 3.
Clarke Dermody, 2. Jason MacDonald, 1. Chris King.
Replacements: 16. David Hall, 17. Keith Cameron, 18. Ezra Taylor,
19. Alando Soakai, 20. Toby Morland, 21. Charlie Hore, 22. Willie Rickards.
Referee: Paul Marks (Aus)
Touch judges: Brett Bowden (Aus) and Jaco Peyper (SA)
TV Match Official: Johann Meuwesen (SA)