Lions 9 vs Crusaders 3
Crusaders in low scoring match
Crusaders last lost to the Cats in 2001
The Lions did what the Cats struggled to do, beat the Crusaders
at Ellis Park. Both teams defended well, and sometimes also failed to finish
promising attacks, and in the end no tries were scored, just three penalties
from the Lions to the one from the Crusaders.
Crusaders started very well, receiving the kickoff from Strydom, and then
keeping the ball in hand, putting it through phases, and slowly advancing to the
try-line of the Lions, and eventually the Lions conceded a penalty at a ruck
under the pressure. Fortunately Stephen Brett hit the upright with his attempt
at goal, a lucky let off for the Lions.
Louis Strydom also looked
a bit unsettled early in the match, spilling two balls in the first five
The Lions first line break came after 11 minutes, with
Vermaak running at outside centre and being put in a gap, but unfortunately his
pass to his left went forward, a great scoring chance spoilt.
teams kept on keeping the ball in hand, trying to break the defense with running
rugby rather than kicking for position, but both were turning over too much ball
with knocks at the contact points and forward passes.
In the 16th
minute the Crusaders looked like they must score, when they ran a ball from deep
inside their half, hitting right where the Lions defense was thin, and making
ground all the way deep inside the Lions 22 meter area, where a player was clean
through, and only a desperate three man tackle stopped him meters away from the
In the 25th minute the Crusaders were penalised for
collapsing a scrum just outside their 22, and Strydom made no mistake with the
kick to put the Lions in a 3-0 lead.
Three minutes later the
Lions committed a similar offence, about 10 meters outside their 22, and this
time Brett didn't miss, and the scores were level at 3-3.
game was deadlocked at this stage, neither team giving an inch. Strydom missed a
kickable penalty with just one minute to go before the break, and that was it,
3-3 at halftime.
Wylie Human replaced Jannie Boshoff on the right
wing during the break.
The Lions put themselves under pressure
early in the 2nd half, Cobus Grobler joining a ruck from the side in the first
minute, and conceding a penalty. The Crusaders spurned the chance of three
points and went for the line-out, which they won and drove up to the Lions line,
and came very close to scoring, with the forwards keeping the drive going, but
eventually the Lions managed to tackle one of the props backwards, and when the
ball came out on the Crusaders side, Stephen Brett at flyhalf knocked it on,
getting the Lions out of jail.
8 minutes into the second half the
Crusaders again looked like scoring, hitting right with their backline deep
inside the Lions 22, the pass then came to the inside and created a huge gap for
Tipoki, but the move broke down with a forward pass.
into the second half Reynecke and Smit replaced Wepener and Mujati.
minutes into the second half the Lions were awarded another ruck penalty, just
outside the Crusaders 22, 15 meters infield on the left. Strydom kicked it over
to put the Lions in a 6-3 lead.
Three minutes later Franco van
der Merwe replaced Grobler, and another three minutes later Januarie came on for
Vermaak, and Rose for Ludik, who was injured.
25 minutes into the
second half the Lions were awarded another penalty, just outside the Crusaders
22. Strydom kicked it to make the lead 9-3.
The Crusaders then
started to threaten, and were awarded another penalty inside the Lions 22 when
the Lions collapsed a maul. The Crusaders again decided to go for touch, and the
Lions managed to counter the drive and stop the attack.
best move for the Lions of the night, from just outside their 22, Louis Strydom
got the ball from Januarie, he chipped it over the advancing defense and
gathered, and passed to Jaque Fourie on his outside, who found Pretorius to his
right, at this time deep inside the Crusaders 22. He passed to Wylie Human on
his right, but he was too close to the touchline, and went into touch in the
process of diving for the try in the corner.
The Crusaders had a
breakout from their 22 down the right hand touchline, and looked like scoring
until Jaque Fourie made a telling tackle on Ellis on the Lions 22 and took him
With just three minutes to go, it started to look
like the Lions might pull off a surprise victory. The Crusaders kicked another
penalty into touch on the Lions 22, but the Lions again defended the maul well,
forcing a kick from the Crusaders, but Rose was waiting for it, and caught it
and kicked a line kick to take the pressure of. The Lions won the resulting
line-out, and kicked the ball out to get the final whistle and win the game,
They then did a victory lap to great cheers from the 17153
For the Lions:
For the Crusaders:
Yellow card: none
Red card: none
Lions: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 Jaco Pretorius, 12
Jaque Fourie, 11 Jaco van Schalkwyk, 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 Franco
van der Merwe, 19 Jacques Cronje, 20 Enrico Januarie, 21 Wylie Human, 22
Crusaders: 15. Scott Hamilton, 14. Rico Gear, 13. Casey Laulala,
12. Rua Tipoki, 11. Caleb Ralph, 10. Stephen Brett, 9. Andrew Ellis, 8. Mose
Tuiali`i, 7. Johnny Leo`o, 6. Kieran Read, 5. Kevin O'Neill, 4. Ross Filipo, 3.
Campbell Johnstone, 2. Corey Flynn(c), 1. Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16. Ti`i Paulo, 17. Wyatt Crockett, 18. Michael Paterson,
19. Jake Paringatai , 20. Kevin Senio, 21. Tusi Pisi, 22. Brent Ward.
Referee: Brett Bowden (Aus)
Touch judges: Paul Marks (Aus) and Mark Lawrence (SA)
TV Match Official: Johann Meuwesen (SA)