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Lions 33 (13) vs Waratahs 38 (28)

Lions lose in gutsy performance

Waratahs get the five points to stay in the hunt

The Lions went down 38-33 to the Waratahs at Ellis Park on Friday, after trailing 28-13 at the break. The Lions were still leading with less than 10 minutes to go, but then let in the try that lost the match and on the hooter it looked like they snatched it back, but the last pass to Van Rensburg was ruled forward.

The Waratahs enjoyed a perfect start to the match when they established an overlap on the right where Willem Alberts couldn't match the pace of the backs, and the ball first went outside to the wing, and then inside again to Turner who ran in the try unopposed. Halangahu converted to make it 7-0 for the Waratahs after just three minutes.

Nine minutes later the Waratahs scored again, Burgess pounced on a loose ball in the Lions 22 meter area and passed to Dean Mumm, who went over for the try in the tackle. Halangahu added the conversion to make it 14-0 after 12 minutes.

Shortly afterwards the Lions were awarded a penalty after a visit to the Waratahs 22, which Andre Pretorius kicked to make it 14-3.

The Lions then clawed their way further back when Jano Vermaak scored a spectacular try, it came from a ruck on the Waratahs try-line, the ball came out to Jano and he hit to the blindside on the right and dove over for the try. Pretorius converted to make it 14-10 for the Waratahs.

23 minutes into the game the Lions were in the Waratahs 22 meter area again, and on on advantage for a high tackle by Tuqiri on Ludik, Pretorius kicked a drop goal to make the score 14-13.

With 10 minutes to go in the first half the Lions conceded a very soft try, Ludik tackled Turner into touch in the left corner so the Lions had a line-out on their try-line, Wepener went deep with the throw, only to find Phil Waugh, who scored what must have been one of his easiest tries ever. Halangahu converted to make it 21-13.

Unfortunately for the Lions their defense let them down straight away, and they let in another softish try by Peter Playford, again converted by Halangahu to make the score 28-13 for the Tahs with 5 minutes left in the first half, which also turned out to be the score at the break.

The Lions scored first in the second half, it came from a free kick quickly taken by Pretorius just outside the Waratahs 22, on the 22 he was tackled but he offloaded in the tackle to Vermaak on his inside, who ran in the try unopposed. Pretorius converted to make it 28-20 for the Tahs.

Pretorius added his second drop goal of the match 10 minutes into the second half to make it 28-23.

Two minutes later it was Pretorius again, this time from a penalty on the halfway line and 5 meters from touch, the penalty coming from a Waratah player playing Noble in the air. The score was now 28-26 for the Tahs.

21 minutes into the 2nd half the Lions went ahead for the first time in the match, Willem Alberts powered over the try-line from a ruck close to the Tahs line. Pretorius converted to put the Lions in the lead, 33-28, that's 20 unanswered points in the second half by the Lions.

29 minutes into the second half the Waratahs pulled a bit closer when Daniel Halangahu kicked his first penalty of the match after the Lions went offside just outside their 22, the score now 33-31 for the Lions.

With just four minutes left the Tahs scored their 5th try, getting a huge overlap on the left and Carter scored, Halangahu added the conversion to make it 38-33 for the Tahs.

The Lions thought they scored the winning try in the dying seconds of the match when Deon van Rensburg went over the line, but ref Marius Jonker ruled that the pass to him went forward. The final score was  38-33 for the Tahs.

The scorers:

For the Lions:
 Jano Vermaak(2), Willem Alberts
Cons: Andre Pretorius(3)
Pens: Andre Pretorius(2)
Drops: Andre Pretorius(2)

For the Waratahs:
 Lachlan Turner, Dean Mumm, Phil Waugh, Peter Playford, Tom Carter
Cons: Daniel Halangahu(5)
Pens: Daniel Halangahu

Yellow card: Timana Tahu(54) 
Red card: None 

Lions: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Dusty Noble, 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 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Anton van Zyl, 3 Gert Muller, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Lawrence Sephaka.
Replacements: 16 Hans van Dyk, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Ernst Joubert, 19 Todd Clever, 20 Chris Jonck, 21 Earl Rose, 22 Walter Venter.

Waratahs: 15 Lachlan Turner, 14 Peter Playford, 13 Timana Tahu, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Lote Tuqiri, 10 Daniel Halangahu, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Phil Waugh(c), 6 Ben Mowen, 5 William Caldwell, 4 Dean Mumm, 3. Al Baxter, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Damian Fitzpatrick, 17 Sekope Kepu, 18 Chris Thomson, 19 Luke Doherty, 20 Brett Sheehan, 21 Sam Norton-Knight, 22 Tom Carter.

Referee: Marius Jonker
Touch judges: Jaco Peyper and Pro Legoete
TV Match Official: Johan Meuwesen

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