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Super Rugby | Johannesburg
17:10 (GMT) | 13-02-2015
  • 81
Beauden Barrett can't add the extras, but the hooter for FULL-TIME here at Ellis Park and the nHurricanes win 22-8. There is no doubt the Lions were in this game for a long while, but they were too frantic and lacked control. The Hurricanes defended very well, while their halfbacks - Beauden Barrett and TJ Perenara controlled the game. Join us tomorrow when we have plenty more Super Rugby and Six Nations drama!
  • 80
TRY - Hurricanes scrum demolish the Lions' scrum and quick hands see Matt Proctor over in the left corner. Lions paid the price for playing too much rugby inside their 22
  • 79
Lions try to play deep inside their 22, but under pressure they can't control the ball. There was an erlier knock-on and they have a scrum feed 5m from their line
  • 78
Pick-'n-go by the Hurricanes, 10 phases later and they win another scrum feed - just 10m from the Lions' line
  • 76
Coy Janes chasing a kick ahead and winning the ball back. A Lions hand gets in the way and the Hurricanes have an attacking scrum inside the Lions 22
  • 74
Beauden Barrett, from 30m on the angle, slots the PENALTY and the Hurricanes lead 17-8
  • 73
Hurricanes flood the breakdown with numbers and win a penalty. The Lions are paying the price for being too frantic and wanting to play without securing the ball first
  • 72
Now the Lion are penalised at the scrum - Corne Fourie the culprit
  • 70
Lions again taking the ball through the phases and working their way towards the Hurricanes 22 - only for a knock-on to endthe move. Still too frantic by the hosts
  • 68
Lions wina scrum free-kik, but Warwick Tecklenburg gets isolated and the Hurricanes win a turnover. The Hurricanes quickly return the favour
  • 66
Lions still forced to scramble on defence.
  • 65
Elton Jantjies doesn't find touch nd the Hurricanes are on the attack inside the Lions half
  • 64
Beauden Barrett turns Courtnal Skosaan and drives the Lions back into their 22
  • 63
Plenty of changes to both teams now. The benches arbe going to be crucial. Scrum reset
  • 62
The Lions counter from inside their 22 and then, inside the Hurricanes half, a knock-on at a ruck. The Lions are still far too frantic
  • 60
Another string maul and this time it is Kriel's hands that lets him down
  • 58
Lions get a powerful maul going and the Hurricanes concede another penaalty for collapsing a maul illegally
  • 57
Barrett chips and Jantjies kicks back downfield. The Lions still look uncertain and panicky. The Hurricanes are the more assured team
  • 55
This time the Lions are called back for a line-out throw that was not straight. Another questionable call.
  • 54
Beauden Barrett slots an easy PENALTY and the Hurricanes lead 14-8
  • 53
Referee penalise the Lions for not releasing, but that was a maul. Weird call by the Aussie
  • 52
Lions penalised at a tackle and TJ Perenara taps-'n-go. Lions defence holds firm, but there's a hand in the way and the Hurricanes win a scrum feed near the Lions'10m line
  • 50
TJ Perenara kicks high and Cory Janes is penalised for taking Courtnal Skosaan out in the aiq. But Janties kicks tohe ball too long. They come back for a scrum just inside the Lions half.
  • 48
Elton jantjies finds a gap and it is beginning to look promising, but just outside the Hurricanes 22 Warren Whteley's hands let him down. Scrum Hurricanes
  • 46
Marnitz Boshoff hoiks that kick towards the touchline - the Bok flyhalf not habing a grea game. And he is subbed as we speak - Jantjies is back on!
  • 45
And now the Lions win a turnover. These two teams are contesting everything and it is making for a great and exciting game!
  • 43
Another line-out lost by the Lions. Hurricanes taking it through the phases now
  • 42
Scrum penalty to the Lions! Anotgher powerful shove
  • 41
Beauden Barrett gets the second half underway! The half-time message from the Lions dressing room: Just keep calm! And that is exactly what they didn't do from that restart ... throwing the ball around metres from thei line

Half Time

  • 40
Powerful Lions scrum and they win a penalty. Marnitz Boshoff, from just over 30m on the angle, slots the PENALTY and the HALF-TIME score is 11-8 in favour of the Hurricanes. It has been an exciting first half, although there's been a lot of errors. Who will crack in the second 40? Join us in 10 minutes to find out.
  • 39
Lions' line-out is a mess, but Perenara knocks on and the home team has an attacking scrum about 10m outside the Hurricanes 22
  • 38
Another penaty against the Hurricanes - tackling the scrumhalf without the ball
  • 37
Beauden Barritt can't addthe extras - 11-5
  • 36
TRY - TJ Perenara is over, but they go to the TMO to look for a forward pass. He says it is not clear and obvious and the crowd roars their disapproval, as they saw the same replays which looked very dodgy
  • 35
Lions penalised for holding on in the tackle. The home team is a bit too frantic at present - they need to slow their game down just a touch
  • 34
Beauden barritt clears his lines. Lions have a line-out deep inside the Hurricanes half. Good hands, but poor control allows Barrett to hack it upfield and it rolls into touch near halfway
  • 33
The Lions got a bit over-excited and derrick Minnie knocks on 5m out
  • 32
Hurricanes forced to make plenty of tackkles - that's 20 phases now and the Lions are 10m away
  • 29
Another penalty to the Lions, this time for collapsing a maul. What happened to the warning Mr Referee?
  • 27
Beauden barritt kicks the a PENALTY and the Hurricanes lead 6-5
  • 26
Penalty to the Hurricanes - hinging at the scrum
  • 25
Another Lions attack is stopped by a timely intercept near halfway. It is clear the Lions want to play up-tempo rugby
  • 23
TRY - Ruan Combrink gets the five-pointer, but that was a team try. Classic Lions. Good hands, nultiple phases and high-tempo rugby as the Lions attacked reletnlesly.
  • 23
Elton Jantjies pushes the conversion attempt wide.
  • 20
Beauden barritt, from 35m out, slots the PENALTY and the Hurricanes take the lead - 3-0
  • 19
Now Boshoff stays down after colliding with the shoulder of Ardie Savea. He goes off for a concussion test. Elton jantjies is on. Lions penalised for coming closer than 10m to a line-out
  • 19
Now Boshoff stays down after colliding with the shoulder of Ardie Savea
  • 18
Marnitz Boshoff hits the upright - that's the third miss
  • 17
Another penalty against the Hurricanes, this time for playing the scrumhaklf - finally the chat from the referee about repeate infringements
  • 16
Knock-on by the Hurrcanes - the line-out was under pressure and the receiver had several Lions arriving with the ball - scrum just inside the Hurricaes half
  • 15
Quick throw by the Lions, but they concede a turnover inside the Hurricanes 22 and then get penalised for offside
  • 13
This time a knock-on ends the Lions' attack.
  • 12
Another penalty to the Lions, this time for illegally collapsing te maul. The warning can't be too far away - thee's been a rush of penalties conceded by the Hurricanes
  • 11
Scrum is reset and then the Lions win a penalty p Franks just can't stay on his feet
  • 10
Two great chips by Andries Coetzee and the Lions are just metres from the line. The ball is held up and the referee rules that it was a 'maul
  • 8
Marnitz Boshoff, from about 40m out, pushs this one wide ... well wide
  • 7
Lions again taking it through the phases, a powerful burst by Mnisis and there is another penalty at the tackle - this time on the 10m line, almost rigt in front
  • 5
Marnitz Boshoff, from near halfway, is well short with his shot at goal
  • 4
Lions win a penalty for a high tackle - the coathanger could be costly. The line-out becomes another penalty to the Lions - playing the man in the air.
  • 3
Hurricanes make their intentions clear, but their first attack is wasted as a grubber goes into touch inside the Lions'half.
  • 2
Some good early phase-play by the Lions, but near the Hurricanes 22 they are penalised for holding on in the tackle. Ardie Savea did well to get over the all.
  • 0
Marnitz Boshoff gets the game underway at Ellis Park!
  • -5
The teams are going through their final pre-matchy routines - we are minutes away from the action!
  • -10
Will altitude be a factor? Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith doesn't seem to think so... the other fact is that the Lions did not lose at home last year.
  • -15
The Hurricanes are without two of their most influential players - All Black lock Jeremy Thrush and centre Maá Nonu. The Lions, in contrast, have opted to start with young Malcolm Marx at hooker. The Lions enjoy playing a high-octane game , but Marx brings with him some great physical attributes.
  • -20
The Lions surprised all and sundry with heir seven wins last year. The challenge is to improve on that. At least they will have some addtional expereince.
  • -25
There's growing cloud cover and an increasing chance of rain - as much as 50 percent by kick-off.
  • -30
Welcome to Ellis Park in Johannesburg, where we are gearing up for the third match on day one of Super Rugby 2015. The Lions will host the Hurricanes.
Mc lions logo 85
Mc hurricanes logo 80x50
  • 15 Andries Coetzee
  • 14 Ruan Combrinck
  • 13 Lionel Mapoe
  • 12 Harold Voster
  • 11 Madosh Tambwe
  • 10 Elton Jantjies
  • 9 Dillon Smit
  • 8 Hacjivah Dayimani
  • 7 Franco Mostert
  • 6 Albertus Smith
  • 5 Marvin Orie
  • 4 Andries Ferreira
  • 3 Ruan Dreyer
  • 2 Malcolm Marx
  • 1 Jacques van Rooyen
  • 23 Sylvian Mahuza
  • 22 Rohan Janse van Rensburg
  • 21 Nic Groom
  • 20 Marnus Schoeman
  • 19 Lourens Erasmus
  • 18 Jacobie Adriaanse
  • 17 Dylan Smith
  • 16 Robbie Coetzee
  • 15 Jordie Barrett
  • 14 Vince Tavae –Aso
  • 13 Matt Proctor
  • 12 Ngani Laumape
  • 11 Ben Lam
  • 10 Beauden Barrett
  • 9 Jamie Booth
  • 8 Gareth Evans
  • 7 Sam Henwood
  • 6 Brad Shields
  • 5 Michael Fatialofa
  • 4 Vaea Fifita
  • 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen
  • 2 Ricky Riccitelli
  • 1 Toby Smith
  • 23 Wes Goosen
  • 22 Ihaia West
  • 21 Richard Judd
  • 20 Reed Prinsep
  • 19 Murray Douglas
  • 18 Ben May
  • 17 Chris Eves
  • 16 James O’Reilly
Mc article israel dagg archery

Preview: S15 Round One, Part One

Wed, 11 Feb 2015 23:48

The pre-season is over and now the real games start. Jan de Koning looks at Friday's games in Round One of Super Rugby.

The final year of a 15-team Super Rugby competition will get underway when the seven-time champion Crusaders host the Rebels in Christchurch on Friday.

And they are teams at the opposite end of the Super Rugby landscape - the Rebels having propped up the table last year and with a best-ever finish of 12th; the Crusaders having a record seven titles to their credit and finishing second in 2014.

After the trans-Tasman opener to the season, we have the first all-Australian derby - the to-time champion Brumbies hosting the Reds, who can also lay claim to a Super Rugby title.

The opening day of the season completes with two of the most exciting teams and a promise of a try-feast, when the Lions host the Hurricanes in Johannesburg.

We look at all Friday's matches!

Friday, February 13

 Crusaders v Rebels
(AMI Stadium, Christchurch - Kick-off: 19.35; 06.35 GMT; 21.35 AEDT)

The Rebels had an impressive pre-season, with two good wins - a solid 28-13 victory over the Reds in Cairns and a 25-24 come-from-behind victory over the Highlanders in Melbourne.

In contrast the Crusaders lost all three warm-up games - 26-29 against a very willing Highlanders, the Hurricanes winning 41-31 and the reds thumping them 35-12 at Ballymore.

However, the Crusaders' mantra now - given their well-documented slow starts to the season - is that it is best they get the losing streak out the way first up and then click into gear in the season proper.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said there is something special about this season.

"With it being our 20th Crusade and a World Cup year, there is a real buzz within the team at the moment," Blackadder said.

"They are fired up for this season and ready to get it started."

History suggests the Crusaders will not have it their own way.

"The Rebels have always been a tough challenge for us, so we know we're going to have a real battle on Friday," the coach said.

"It should be a good spectacle and a great way to kick this season off."

The return of All Black captain Richie McCaw, albeit as a blindside flank, is certain to add spice to the occasion and hand the Crusaders that calming influence they will surely need against a team know for its frenzied approach to the game.

Forwards coach Dave Hewett welcomed the injection of McCaw, after a tepid effort by the pack in the loss to the Reds.

"I was a bit disappointed with the set piece," Hewitt said, adding: "The accuracy of what we did wasn't to the level that we needed to be at."

Previous results:
2014: Crusaders won 25-19, Melbourne
2013: Crusaders won 30-26, Christchurch
2012: Rebels won 28-19, Melbourne

Prediction: The Crusaders boast an 86 percent win rate when playing Australia representatives at home. The three meetings between these sides have all been tight affairs, with each having a single figure final margin. The Crusaders are unbeaten in 23 home games against Australia opposition, winning 22 and drawn one. Their last home defeat by a trans-Tasman rival was in February 2004 (19-43 against Waratahs). The Melbourne-based side has also lost on all eight visits to New Zealand since their inclusion to the competition in 2011. The Rebels have won their opening fixtures of the season in each of the last two years. In contrast, the Crusaders lost their opening games in 2013 and 2014. History makes for interesting reading, but it is the quality of the players that matter most and that is where the Crusaders have a clear edge - which should see them win by about 10 points.


Crusaders: 15 Colin Slade, 14 Robbie Fruean, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd (captain), 6 Richie McCaw, 5 Dominic Bird, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Wyatt Crockett, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Ryan Crotty, 23 Nathaniel Apa.

Rebels: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Nic Stirzaker, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Colby Fainga'a, 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Lopeti Timani, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Ben Whittaker, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Paul Alo-Emile, 19 Sam Jeffries, 20 Scott Fuglistaller, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Sefanaia Naivalu.

Referee: Briant Nick (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Shane McDermott (New Zealand), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)

Brumbies v Reds
(GIO Stadium, Canberra - Kick-off: 19.40; 08.40 GMT)

Australian derbies are notoriously tedious affairs - not because of a lack of effort or skill, but because teams are so determined to upstage each other that it inevitable turn into an arm wrestle.

Add to that the Brumbies' propensity to kick the leather off the ball - a legacy of Jake White's two years in Canberra - and you would expect another snorefest.

However, there are a couple of individuals that will make this match worth watching.

Firstly there is Karmichael Hunt, who will start at flyhalf for the Reds.

The code-hopper is a skilful player, but even Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham felt he may need time to adjust to the intricacies of Rugby Union.

Of course the return of Wallaby stalwart David Pocock, who is also the Brumbies' stand-in captain, will ensure the breakdown is entertaining.

Having had last weekend off - following two trial matches against the Western Force and Highlanders over the previous two weekends - the Brumbies will be fresh.

In contrast the Reds will enter the first round full of confidence having beaten the Crusaders in Cairns last Friday - after the Reds produced an explosive first half in which they scored four converted tries.

While conditions promise to be testing in Canberra, Reds coach Richard Graham said his side always looked forward to the traditional derby.

"We have begun the last four or five seasons down in Canberra,"Graham said.

"It has become a traditional fixture and all are comparable in nature - forward orientated, physical, strong field position games with close results.

"We have prepared for a similar contest and looking at the expected weather conditions may not be disappointed.

"We are very much looking forward to the start of Super Rugby. I've thrown a lot of change and challenges at the collective squad and the response has been fantastic.

"They have all contributed to a strong pre-season, the trials provided us with a clear reference of where we are at and now we move into the competition phase."

Recent results:
2014: Brumbies won 23-20, Brisbane
2014: Reds won 27-17, Canberra
2013: Brumbies and Reds drew 19-19, Brisbane
2013: Brumbies won 24-6, Canberra
2012: Reds won 13-12, Canberra
2012: Reds won 20-13, Brisbane

Prediction: The Reds have won just one of their last four games against the Brumbies, losing two and drawing the other. At home the Canberra side has won its last eight games. However, their last defeat at home was against the Reds. The ACT-based franchise has won 11 of their last 13 at home against fellow Australian teams - the two exceptions having both been defeats to the Reds. The Reds have lost just three of their last 10 away home nation derbies, winning six an drawn one. These sides have met on the opening weekend of the season on four occasions, with the Brumbies triumphant in each of these games. The Reds have had an impressive pre-season, but if you look at their teamsheet you are not really inspired - some great individuals, but also a few weak links and a lack of depth. The Brumbies have one of Australia's most inspirations players, David Pocock, in their line-up and should win - by less than 10 points.


Brumbies: 15 Robbie Coleman, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Jarrad Butler, 7 David Pocock (captain), 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 JP Smith, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Ita Vaea, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 James Dargaville, 23 Lausii Taliauli.

Reds: 15 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi, 14 Chris Kuridrani, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Lachie Turner, 10 Karmichael Hunt, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Curtis Browning, 5 Marco Kotze, 4 James Horwill, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Saia Fainga'a, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Sef Faagase, 19 Ed O'Donoghue, 20 Adam Korczyk, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Duncan Paia'aua, 23 Campbell Magnay.

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: James Leckie (Australia), Will Houston (Australia)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)

 Lions v Hurricanes
(Ellis Park, Johannesburg - Kick-off: 19.10; 17.10 GMT; 06.10 Saturday, February 14 NZ time)

The Hurricanes, with a preference to get their South African tour out the way first up, will meet a far more settled Lions team than the one that made its return to Super Rugby last year.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann have been able to name a settled starting XV for his side's opening Super Rugby match in Johannesburg on Friday.

The Ellis Park clash is the first of two games in South Africa for the Hurricanes - who also meet the Bulls in Pretoria next week.

They will be without two key All Blacks - lock Jeremy Thrush (calf injury) and centre Ma'a Nonu (paternity leave).

However, it is more the quality of the Lions team than the absence of some of their own stars that pose the biggest threat.

The Lions' starting XV closely mirror the team which featured in last year's Currie Cup Final - with only two changes.

"It is nice to have that core and that balance going into a second Super Rugby campaign," told a media briefing.

"There was stiff competition in quite a few of the positions and it was tough to select the 23."

Ackermann's resources at loose forward, hooker and flyhalf is more than just satisfactory and even with a couple of injuries in the front row his team's set pieces should again be a powerful weapon.

Last year the Lions' strengths were centred around those set pieces.

Statistically their 91 percent scrum success was the best in Super Rugby, and the 206 line-outs they won was the third best of the competition.

Their No.8 and captain Warren Whitely earned a Springbok call-up.

Marnitz Boshoff, another Bok vintage from 2014, kicked goals at 87 percent, including several whoppers from 50 metres plus - while he also slotted eight drop-goals.

His match-up with Beauden Barrett in this season opener could be a telling factor.

Barrett starts this season with 594 career Super Rugby points, closing in on becoming the 17th player to pass 600 career points.
If Boshoff has an off day, as he did in the Currie Cup Final the Lions can call on another Bok flyhalf - 2012 vintage Elton Jantjies, who will be playing off the bench. Jantjies is back from his stint with Japanese club Shining Arcs, after missing the Currie Cup season.

Lions captain Warren Whiteley said they could build on the momentum gained in last year's Currie Cup, and the entire squad had grown in experience.

"We've been together long enough now, we've all been through a Super Rugby campaign," Whiteley said.

"Our biggest challenge will be mentally this year and to just keep our feet on the ground.

"We know the threat the Hurricanes pose, they are a fantastic side with dangerous players all over the park."

Recent results:
2012: Hurricanes won 30-28, Johannesburg
2011: Hurricanes won 38-27, Wellington
2010: Hurricanes won 33-18, Wellington
2009: Hurricanes won 38-32, Johannesburg
2008: Hurricanes won 38-12, Wellington
2007: Lions won 30-7, Johannesburg

Prediction: The Hurricanes have won five straight against the Lions and their all-time record against them away from home reads positively - won four, lost three. The Lions ended 2014 with three straight victories, a feat they hadn't managed since winning four in a row in the early part of the 2007 season. The Lions have lost seven of their last eight home games against New Zealand opposition. The Canes have lost five of their last seven games in South Africa, as well as nine of their last 12. The Lions have won their last two opening weekend fixtures (2012 and 2014) in Super Rugby, but lost the two previous to that (2010 and 2011), won the two prior to that (2008 & 2009) and lost the two before that (2004 & 2007). The Hurricanes lost their opening fixture of the 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons. The Lions had the best discipline in the league last season, conceding just 9.6 penalties per game. The South African side also boasted the best scrummaging unit in Super Rugby, winning 91 percent of scrums on their own feed. If the Lions can remain as disciplined as last year, especially on defence, and their set pieces function at optimal level, they should sneak a win - by less than 10 points.


Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Robert Kruger, 20 Warwick Tecklenburg, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Nicolaas Hanekom

Hurricanes: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Rey Le-Lo, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dan Coles, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Brayden Mitchell, 17 Reggie Goodes, 18 Chris Eves, 19 Callum Gibbins, 20 Victor Vito, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 James Marshall, 23 Matt Proctor.

Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Lesego Legoete (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

By Jan de Koning

Mc article lions v hurricanes

Hurricanes give Lions a wake-up call

Fri, 13 Feb 2015 19:13

MATCH REPORT: The Hurricanes gave the Lions' an early wake-up call, as they beat them 22-8 in their Super Rugby season-opener.

The Hurricanes gave the Lions' an early wake-up call, as they beat them 22-8 in their Super Rugby season-opener at Ellis Park on Friday.

Let's start by stating the obvious. The first sentence of the Laws of the Game says that 'the team scoring the greater number of points [is] the winner of the match'.

That's obvious, but do we always know it? Did the Lions know it? 

It's not the team with more possession that wins or the team with more territory. It's the team with more points..

The Lions had more than 60percent of the possession and more than 60 percent of the territory, but the Hurricanes won because they scored more than 70 percent of the points.

The Hurricanes took their chances. They had eight chances to score and scored six times.

The Lions had far more chances. Apart from missing four kicks at goal, they also eschewed chances to kick at goal in search of tries, but they were out-thought (out-Plumtreed?) in this match.

It may just be that John Plumtree, after many years in South African rugby till recently, knew exactly how to beat the Lions.

Where the Lions were rushing about in the expectation of plenty, the Hurricanes were conservative, careful and calculating. And they were determined. They had to make twice as many tackles as the Lions, but they made them as robustly as they could. They attacked the tackle and won turnovers in the post-tackle contest, won it well.

The Lions have a famous scrum, but the Hurricanes matched them and then scored a try by winning a tighthead. They were better controlled than the Lions and so they put the ball into 13 scrums to the Lions' seven.

The Hurricanes had better possession at the line-outs, even twice winning the Lions' throw.

And - surprise - playing at altitude against a team that lives at altitude, the Hurricanes ended stronger, scoring 11 points to nil in the second half, eight of those points in the last six minutes.

The Hurricanes just seemed better prepared and more intent.

The Lions' first-half goal-kicking was sad. Marnus Boshoff missed three penalty kicks at goal, two of them straightforward and a conversion from a handy position. Then he got one over just on half-time and in the second half they did not kick at goal again.

Possession and territory notwithstanding, the Hurricanes thoroughly deserved this Friday-night victory.

Boshoff kicked off deep and the Hurricanes cleared to touch. That was the way of all Lions' kick-offs, unvarying in execution of kick and in exit.

The Hurricanes were penalised twice in quick succession and the second time Boshoff's kick was accurate but short. The Lions attacked with short passes, the Hurricanes were penalised and Boshoff's straightforward kick was wide. Two excellent chips by the Lions' fullback Andries Coetzee set the Lions attacking down the left. They went wide right and were stopped in a maul within five metres of the line. The scrum collapsed twice and the Hurricanes were penalised.

The Lions kicked out for a five-metre line-out but the Hurricanes easily repulsed their maul. The Hurricanes were penalised.

The Lions kicked put for a five-metre line-out but the Hurricanes easily repulsed their maul.

The Hurricanes were penalised in front of their posts and this time Boshoff kicked at goal, but he hit the upright and the ball stayed out.

Boshoff was hurt tackling and went off for a concussion test and Elton Jantjies, just back from Japan with  tattoos, a Mohican haircut, and fluff on his chin, replaced him but came up too soon at a line-out and Barrett goaled. 3-0 to the Hurricanes after 20 minutes of Lions' domination.

The Lions attacked again and massive Macome Marx was close on the left. They went wide right and slight Ruan Combrinck forced his way through three Hurricanes to score. 5-3 to the Lions after 23 minutes.

For four minutes the Lions led, for the Hurricanes got back in their territory Schalk van der Merwe was penalised for 'hinging' in a scrum and Barrett goaled. 6-5 after 27 minutes.

Just inside the Hurricanes' 22 the Hurricanes were penalties at a maul and again the Lions kicked out for a five-metre line-out. The Lions varied their attack with a quick maul and bash with Jaco Kriel and Howard Mnisi close but they went wide with long, slow passes that negated their overlaps, and lost out when Derick Minnie knocked on.

Just inside the Lions half, from a  line-out, Jason Woodward beat Courtnall Skosan on the outside and ;later on the inside before giving to TJ Perenara on his inside and the scrumhalf raced away to score. 11-5 after 35 minutes.

The Lions shoved the Hurricanes' pack away in a scrum and Boshoff goaled the resultant penalty to make it 11-8 at half-time.

The Hurricanes kicked off deep to start the second half and the Lions ran from near their line. Aware that they would, the Hurricanes tore into them and came close to scoring. But the lions got out of trouble and Jantjies followed up a clean break by kicking a penalty dead.

Kriel was penalised at a tackle. 15-8 after 53 minutes.

The Lions kicked out for an attacking line-out but Kriel lost the ball. The Hurricanes' were penalised near their line and the Lions tapped and attacked but knocked on and the next thing Julian Savea was racing down the left. He grubbered ahead into empty acres but miraculously Kriel  saved and the Lions countered. The Lions then lost the ball in a tackle and Minnie infringed. 17-8 after 54 minutes.

Right at the end the Hurricanes' attacked and bashed their way to close to the goal-line. Victor Vito was close but lost the ball at the line. The Lions had a five-metre scrum but the Hurricanes took a tighthead and went left for Matt Proctor to score in the left corner. The missed conversion ended the match, which was played in a fine spirit.

Man of the Match: Warren Whiteley, the Lions' captain was excellent but the ones deserving to be honoured were really Hurricanes, especially cool Beauden Barrett, energetic James Broadhurst, powerful Rey Le-Lo in the centre and our choice - ebullient scrumhalf TJ Perenara who has so much skill and who gets totally engrossed in the game.

The scorers:

For the Lions:
Pen: Boshoff

For the Hurricanes:
Perenara, Proctor
Pens: Barrett 4


Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Robert Kruger, 20 Warwick Tecklenburg, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Nicolaas Hanekom

Hurricanes: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Rey Le-Lo, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Ben Franks, 2 Dan Coles, 1 Reggie Goodes.
Replacements: 16 Brayden Mitchell, 17 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 18 Chris Eves, 19 Callum Gibbins, 20 Victor Vito, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 James Marshall, 23 Matt Proctor.

Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Lesego Legoete (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)


Ruan Combrinck (23min)
Matt Proctor (80min)
Beauden Barrett (20min), Beauden Barrett (27min), Beauden Barrett (54min), and Beauden Barrett (74min)
VENUE Johannesburg
REFEREE Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)