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Lions 24 (3) vs Reds 24 (0)

Lions unable to hang on for win

Reds draw match with Latham try at end of match

The Lions drew 24 all with the Reds at Ellis Park on Saturday, but once again the would feel that they probably should have won this one, they were leading 24-17 with no time left on the clock, and then were unable to defend against the sustained Reds attack at the end, letting in the try that let the Reds draw the match.

Even though he practised his kick-off for a while before the match, Jaco van Schalkwyk started with a big mistake when his kick went straight into touch, giving the Reds a scrum in the middle of the field.

The Lions did go on the early attack, and then deep inside the Reds 22 meter area, the backline hit left, where Schifcofske intercepted and looked like he was away, but luckily for the Lions he was offside and they were awarded a penalty instead of a Reds try. Jano Vermaak kicked the penalty to put the Lions in an early 3-0 lead.

The Lions had a lucky break 12 minutes into the match, when a clearance from his line by Jaco van Schalkwyk did not go out, Latham caught it on the halfway line, drew his man and passed to Turinui on his left, who was in space, he passed inside to other Reds players in support, one of them got the ball but lost the ball in the tackle as he went over the line for the try.

The next chance for the Lions came only 12 minutes later, with the Reds going offside at a ruck just outside their 10 meter line, but Jano Vermaak pushed the kick to the right off the poles.

Both teams ran the ball but could not finish promising moves, and the halftime score was 3-0 for the Lions.

Franco van der Merwe replaced Gerhard Mostert during the break for the Lions.

The Lions had the first chance in the second half, when the Reds were penalised at a scrum just inside their 10 meter line. This time Jano Vermaak didn't miss and the Lions were ahead 6-0 after 2 minutes of the second half.

Straight away at the kick off the Lions conceded a penalty of their own, just inside their 22 meter line, and Schifcofske kicked it to reduce the Lions lead to 6-3.

7 minutes into the 2nd half the Reds scored the 1st try of the match, when Peter Hynes broke a tackle on about the halfway line and then ran in the try from there, scoring to the right of the poles. Schifcofske added the conversion and the Reds now in a 10-6 lead.

11 minutes into the 2nd half the Reds went offside at a ruck deep inside their 22 again, and Vermaak added the 3 points with a penalty, the Reds still leading 10-9.

Then 4 minutes later, a geat try by Joe van Niekerk, it came from a Lions scrum just inside the Reds 10 meter line, Vermaak passed to Van Schalkwyk on his left, who broke the defensive line, and passed to Joe, who ran the 40 meters for the try, great try from first phase by the Lions. Vermaak added the conversion to put the Lions in a 16-10 lead.

21 minutes into the 2nd half the Lions scored another, from a ruck in the Reds half the ball went left from Vermaak to Van Schalkwyk, who passed to Benjamin, he handed of the 1st tackle and then ran to the left corner to score the try. Vermaak missed the conversion, the Lions now in a 21-10 lead.

Four minutes later the Reds pulled one back, when reserve hooker Stephen Moore picked the ball up at a ruck and beat a weak tackle, he ran about 40 meters and was tackled just short of the Lions try-line, but at the Ruck Rodney Blake picked up and powered over for the try. Schifcofske converted and the score now 21-17.

Two minutes later Jaco van Schalkwyk kicked a drop goal from broken play to increase the Lions lead to 24-17, and Reynecke and Jonck came on for the Lions after this. Boshoff was also on for Venter, and Alberts for Van Zyl.

34 minutes into the 2nd half the Lions went offside just outside their 22, but the Reds opted for the line-out instead of taking the 3 points. Unfortunately for them the move from their line-out broke down.

The Reds were now camping in the Lions 22 meter area, and eventually they were able to score with Latham going over for the try. Schifcofske added the conversion as the hooter went, and the final score was a 24-all draw.

The scorers:

For the Lions:
Joe van Niekerk, Rayno Benjamin  
Cons: Jano Vermaak              
Jano Vermaak(3)         
Drops: Jaco van Schalkwyk          

For the Reds:
Peter Hynes, Rodney Blake, Chris Latham                  
Cons: Schifcofske(3)           
Pens: Schifcofske            

Yellow card: none
Red card: none 

Lions: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Dusty Noble, 13 Jaco Pretorius, 12 Walter Venter, 11 Rayno Benjamin, 10 Jaco van Schalkwyk, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Joe van Niekerk, 7 Ernst Joubert(c), 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Anton Van Zyl, 4 Gerhard Mostert, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Franco van der Merwe, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Chris Jonck, 21 Rudi Vogt, 22 Jannie Boshoff.

Reds: 15. Chris Latham, 14. Clinton Schifcofske, 13. Morgan Tirinui, 12. Berrick Barnes, 11. Peter Hynes, 10. Quade Cooper, 9. Sam Cordingley(c), 8. Leroy Houston, 7. Poutasi Luafutu, 6. John Roe, 5. James Horwill, 4. Van Humphries, 3. Dayna Edwards, 2. Sean Hardman, 1. Greg Holmes.
Replacements: 16. Stephen Moore, 17. Rodney Blake, 18. Ed O'Donoghue, 19. David Croft, 20. Ben Lucas, 21. Brando Va'aulu, 22. Scott Higginbotham.  

Referee: Bryce Lawrence (NZ) 
Touch judges: Chris Pollock (NZ) and Marius Jonker (SA)
TV Match Official:
Johan Meuwesen (SA)

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