Lions 29 (5) vs Highlanders 22 (19)
Lions stage big come-back in second half to beat
Highlanders run out of steam
The Lions got the early break in the match when Willem Alberts
picked up from a Lions scrum on the halfway line and managed to break clear of
the defenders, and chipped ahead when he had players in front of him, Fullaback
Israel Dagg carried the ball into his in-goal area and was caught by Vermaak,
forcing a 5 meter scrum for the Lions. From the scrum the Lions got a free-kick,
which they quickly sent down the left and Killian took the final pass to dive
over for a try in the corner. Pretorius failed with the conversion attempt from
the touch line, but the Lions in the lead 5-0 after just seven minutes.
Unfortunately for the Lions Earl Rose then had one of his bright ideas again,
the ball was kicked deep into the Lions 22 and went out, Rose chased the ball
and took a quick throw to himself, but he had no support and got caught by
Thompson, who took the ball off him and passed to the Hooker, who passed to
Soakai who dived over for the try with Ludik too late with the tackle. Again the
conversion was missed, so the score 5-5 after 18 minutes.
12 minutes later the Highlanders took the lead for the first time, after some
poor defense from the Lions yet again. The Highlanders shifted the ball down the
backline to the left, but the Flyhalf was caught, he passed to Ben Smith in
support just inside the Lions 22, and he beat a few tackles and eventually went
over the line with Killian, but the TMO ruled that he scored. This time Dagg
kicked the conversion to make it 12-5 for the Highlanders.
The Highlanders upped the tempo just before the break, and eventually after a
number of phases the Lions defense was found wanting and Cowan scored the third
try for the Highlanders, again converted by Dagg to make the score 19-5 at the
The Highlanders opened the scoring in the second half as well, this from a
penalty kicked by Dagg from the Lions 10 meter line after 5 minutes into the
second half, making the score 22-5.
The Lions then lifted their game a bit, with the forwards looking a bit more
urgent, and eventually Willem Alberts drove over the line for a try after a
number of phases. Andre Pretorius converted to make it 22-12 for the
18 minutes into the second half the Lions scored a great try, it started when
Rose passed the ball to Alberts on the halfway line, Alberts broke the first
attempted tackle on him and put in a strong run, Vermaak ran with him in support
on his left, and took the pass on the 22 meter line, and used his speed to
get in for the try. Pretorius converted to make it 22-19 for the Highlanders.
Six minutes later the Lions could have leveled the score, but Pretorius missed
what looked like a fairly easy penalty from the 22 meter line.
32 minutes into the second half the Lions grabbed the lead, they took a quick
free kick on the halfway line, and Ludik suddenly found some space that he ran
into, and then on the 22 he passed to Rose, who managed to run in the try.
Pretorius converted to make it 26-22 for the Lions.
Just three minutes later Andre Pretorius put the Lions further ahead when he got
a quick ball from a ruck and he slotted a drop goal from just inside the
Highlanders half, making the score 29-22 and making sure the Lions couldn't lose
The Highlanders threw everything they had at the Lions in the final six minutes,
but the Lions defense held, with Walter Venter making a few telling tackles, and
eventually time ran out and the Lions picked up a great win.
For the Lions:
Tries: Michael Killian, Willem Alberts, Jano Vermaak, Earl Rose
Cons: Andre Pretorius(3)
Drops: Andre Pretorius
For the Highlanders:
Tries: Alando Soakai, Ben Smith, Jimmy Cowan
Cons: Israel Dagg(2)
Pens: Israel Dagg
Yellow card: None
Red card: None
Lions: 15 Earl Rose, 14 Louis Ludik, 13 Deon van Rensburg, 12 Doppies
la Grange, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Andre Pretorius(c), 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Willem Alberts, 7 Robert Kruger, 6 Johan van Deventer, 5 Anton van Zyl, 4
Jannes Labuschagne, 3 Lawrence Sephaka, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Hans van Dyk, 17 Gert Muller, 18
Franco van der Merwe, 19 Todd Clever, 20 Chris Jonck, 21 Walter Venter, 22
Highlanders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Jason Shoemark,
12 Johnny Leota, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Matthew Berquist, 9 Jimmy Cowan(c), 8 Steven Setephano,
7 Alando Soakai, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Hayden Triggs, 3. Clint Newland / Chris King, 2
David Hall, 1 Jamie MacKintosh.
Replacements: 16 Jason Rutledge, 17 Anthony Perenise, 18 Josh Bekhuis,
19 Tim Boys, 20 Sean Romans, 21 Jayden Hayward, 22 Kenny Lynn.
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Touch judges: Craig Joubert and Cobus Wessels
TV Match Official: Shaun Veldsman