ad link


57     21


Super Rugby | Johannesburg
17:00 (GMT) | 08-07-2016
  • 82
Final score 57 - 21 to the Lions. Thanks for joining us tonight, we look forward to provide all the action from the Crusaders vs Rebels game.
  • 81
Louise Fouche has the final say of the match, as he adds the two point conversion.
  • 81
Kings are awarded a late penalty deep in Lions territory. They decide to run the ball, and gets rewarded with a Schalk Ferreira try in the left-hand corner.
  • 79
The conversion is missed by Ruan Combrinck, but that would not bother the Lions at all.
  • 77
With three minutes to go, Courtnall Skosan blasts down the touchline for yet another score.
  • 74
Lions should see the game out from here, and get maximum points from the clash.
  • 72
Ruan Combrinck slots an easy conversion.
  • 71
Sylvian Mahuza runs in for an good try, after an awesome break from Armand van der Merwe.
  • 68
Ruan Combrinck add the extra two points.
  • 68
Rohan Janse van Rensburg intercepts to run in for his second of the game.
  • 64
Elton on song with another conversion.
  • 63
Malcolm Marx wins a penalty for his team on the Kings ten meter line. They go for the lineout, and Malcolm Marx end-up scoring via a maul drive.
  • 61
Lions loses the ball on the drive from the lineout, which allows Fouche to boot the ball downfield for some much needed relief.
  • 59
Lions in search of the bonus point try, and goes hard at the Kings defense.Edgard Marutlulle receives his side's second yellow for repeated infringements.
  • 57
Conversion successful from Elton.
  • 56
With 14 guys on the park, Lions settles for the scrum, and Franco Mostert dives over for his team's 4 try.
  • 55
Lions tries to hit back immediately. Shane Gates sees yellow for playing on the offside line, mere meters away from their try line.
  • 53
Fouche adds the easy two points. Score up to 24-14 to the home team.
  • 52
What a break, against the run of play, by Stefan Watermeyer, he runs through to dot under the sticks.
  • 50
After a few knocks by both teams in midfield, Lions is awarded a scrum on the halfway line.
  • 48
Elton again successful with the conversion.
  • 47
Lions runs the ball out of their own half, and after a few phases, Faf de Klerk breaks the line for a great try.
  • 44
Kings scrum 5 meters from their own half, and kicks deep from the base of the scrum.
  • 43
Jaco Kriel goes on a impressive run, but knock the ball in the tackle.
  • 41
The fast pace that was played in the first half continues, as the Lions immediately goes on the attack.

Half Time

  • 39
Kings knock the ball on in the line-out. Lions decides to keep attacking from the base of the scrum deep in their own half. Faf de Klerk knocks the ball, and the Ref blows his whistle to end the first half. Lions goes into the break with a 17-7 lead.
  • 38
Kings wins a penalty, and goes for touch.
  • 36
Lions is now in the mood to add to their tally, as they go all out attack.
  • 32
Elton add the extras to bring the score to 17-7 for the Lions
  • 32
Lions on the attack from the kick-off, Andries Coetzee goes on a brilliant run down the touchline to score an easy try.
  • 30
Lions wins penalty 10 meters from the Kings try line. Elton Jantjies collects the easy three points.
  • 28
Lions are over-eager on attack, and knocks the ball 10 meter from the Kings try line.
  • 27
Kings steals the ball at the line-out five meters from their own try line, and boots the ball downfield.
  • 25
Lions goes on the attack, shifting the ball from side to side, trying to get their backline players in play. Kings defense holds firm, but they concede a penalty in their own half.
  • 24
The Lions are really coming up against a motivated Kings team tonight.
  • 22
Kings wins a penalty within kicking range.Louise Fouche takes aim at the poles, but the shot goes wide.
  • 20
Kings get some much needed relief, as Courtnall Skosan fumbles the ball into touch 10 meters from the Lions try line. Kings on the attack.
  • 19
Lions comes close to scoring, but concedes a penalty 2 meters from the Kings try line.
  • 17
Lions wins a penalty as Kings holds onto the ball the ground.
  • 15
Lions goes on the charge from the restart, and Lionel Mapoe crosses the try line from a splendid Ruan Combrinck offload. Referee refers to the TMO who adjudges Ruan Combrinck's foot went into touch.
  • 14
Louise Fouche adds the additional two point.
  • 13
Wave after wave Kings attack end in a James Hall try.
  • 11
Kings attack is really motivated, and is going hard at the Lions defense.
  • 9
Ball goes into touch on the halfway line, after some frantic to-and-fro from both teams. Kings wins the line-out, and is back on the attack.
  • 4
Kings are taking the game to the Lions with some aggressive attack. Ruan Combrinck knocks the ball inside Lions 22 meter line. But lions get the advantage.
  • 2
Elton add two easy point.
  • 2
Rohan Janse van Rensburg cuts through the defense to score under the sticks.
  • 1
Elton Jantjies gets the game on the way with a deep kick.
  • -2
As the team run onto the park, both teams look up for it tonight.
  • -10
The man with the whistle tonight is Jaco van Heerden. He will be assisted by Jaco Peyper and Ben Crouse. The TMO is Johann Greeff.
  • -15
With the Lions regular captain (Warren Whitely) still out injured, Jaco Kriel will again lead the Lions charges. Will the Kings be able to use the "underdog" title to their advantage tonight?
  • -20
The Lions will be clear favorites as they run out tonight. Conditions on the field looks good under foot, so expect a fast-paced running game.
  • -30
Welcome to the Super Rugby clash between the Lions and Southern Kings at Ellis Park.
Mc lions logo 85
Mc copy of southernkingslogo
  • 1 Dylan Smith
  • 2 Malcolm Marx
  • 3 Julian Redelinghuys
  • 4 Andries Ferreira
  • 5 Franco Mostert
  • 6 Jaco Kriel
  • 7 Warwick Tecklenburg
  • 8 Ruan Ackermann
  • 9 Francois de Klerk
  • 10 Elton Jantjies
  • 11 Courtnall Skosan
  • 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg
  • 13 Lionel Mapoe
  • 14 Ruan Combrinck
  • 15 Andries Coetzee
  • 16 Armand van der Merwe
  • 17 Corne Fourie
  • 18 Jacques van Rooyen
  • 19 Lourens Erasmus
  • 20 Cyle Brink
  • 21 Ross Cronje
  • 22 Howard Mnisi
  • 23 Sylvian Mahuza
  • 1 Sithembiso Sithole
  • 2 Edgard Marutlulle
  • 3 Jacobie Adriaanse
  • 4 Schalk Oelofse
  • 5 John-Charles Astle
  • 6 Anidisa Ntsila
  • 7 Stefan Willemse
  • 8 Aidon Davis
  • 9 James Hall
  • 10 Louise Fouche
  • 11 Wandile Mjekevu
  • 12 Shane Gates
  • 13 Stefan Watermeyer
  • 14 Lukhanyo Am
  • 15 Malcolm Jaer
  • 16 Martin Bezuidenhout
  • 17 Schalk Ferreira
  • 18 Tom Botha
  • 19 Sintu Manjezi
  • 20 Jacques Engelbrecht
  • 21 Ntando Kebe
  • 22 Dewald Human
  • 23 Jeremy Ward
Mc article lions team with lions in background 800

S18 Preview: ROUND 16, PART ONE

Wed, 06 Jul 2016 20:55

IN THE SPOTLIGHT. Jan de Koning looks at the Friday matches in Part One of Super Rugby's Round 16.

There is not a single game where the result will not have an impact on the standings and influence the play-off positions.

The Blues may not have a snowball's hope of reaching the play-offs, but they can certainly put a huge dent in the Brumbies' prospects and leave the front door wide open for the Waratahs to claim pole position in the Australian conference.

The Reds are in the same position. Out of the running for some time, but in a position to have a major impact on the most hotly contested conference in the competition - the Chiefs (first in the New Zealand conference), Crusaders, Hurricanes and Highlanders, who are all separated by three points on the standings.

The table-topping Lions have the most to lose in the Friday matches when they host the hapless (or some would claim the hopeless) Southern Kings. The Lions would hope to take a full-house of five points from the match and go into the final round of league matches in a commanding position.

Their biggest threat, it seems is overconfidence - underestimating a Kings team sans seasoned campaigners like Steven Sykes and Schalk Ferreira, not to mention injured players like Cyril-John Velleman and Martin Ferreira.

Friday, June 7

Conditions are going to play a crucial role - as pre-match predictions suggest it will be wet and windy - with the Brumbies readily admitting that they may be forced to put boot to ball a bit more than usual.

The  Brumbies, who are looking to turn a four-game winning streak into a five-game victory run, have struggled against New Zealand teams in the last two seasons.

They are currently on a three-game losing streak against New Zealand teams - the Brumbies' only positive result in their last six games against their cousins from across the Tasman Sea a 52-10 demolition of the Hurricanes in the opening round of the 2016 campaign.

The ACT team have conceded 111 points in their last three encounters with teams from across the ditch. Of those points, 53 were conceded in the opening half of fixtures to which they replied with only 23 points of their own.

However, the Brumbies are determined to ignore the historical data and solidify control of the Australian Conference with a win over the Blues.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham admitted conditions will "dictate how they play" on Friday.

"We are expecting a bit of rain and Eden Park can get a bit windy as well," Larkham told a media gathering in Canberra.

He said they expect the Blues to kick a bit more, but also bring their usual physical game.

"They do like their forward play, mauls and scrums, and we have to step up and make sure we are nice and physical in those contests."

He added that they spoke a lot this week about their defence.

Midfield playmaker Matt Toomua also spoke of the testing conditions and how the Brumbies will cope with it.

"We have to ensure we are nice and structured, and not run around like a bunch of scallywags," Toomua said.

"Our defence and discipline will need to be good and we also need to play down their end of the field."

Recent results:
2015: Blues won 16-14, Auckland
2014: Brumbies won 26-9, Canberra
2013: Brumbies won 20-13, Auckland
2012: Blues won 30-16, Canberra
2010: Blues won 39-34, Auckland
2009: Brumbies won 37-15, Canberra

Prediction: The Blues won the last meeting between the two sides. However, they lost four of their previous six against the Brumbies before that. The Auckland side have won six of their last eight at home against the Brumbies; the last four meetings in that run have seen the defeated side pick up a losing bonus point. The last three meetings between the Blues and the Brumbies have seen just 33 points scored per game on average; the three games prior to that had yielded an average of 57 points in total. The Blues' last six home games have all been won by margins of eight points or fewer with the Auckland side winning four of those fixtures. The Brumbies have won four away games this season, including three of their last four; a fifth away victory would be their most in the regular season since 2012. However the Canberra side have lost on each of their last four regular season trips to New Zealand, this after winning four in a row on their trips across the Tasman before that. The Blues have won 12 of their last 14 when hosting Australian sides, including each of the last five in a row; the last time they went on a longer winning streak at home to teams from Australia was between 2002 and 2007 when they won 11 on the bounce. The Blues enjoy exactly 18 minutes of possession per game this season, the most of any team in the competition and almost half a minute more than the second highest team in the competition, the Brumbies. Christian Lealiifano has kicked 77 percent of his attempts at goal, the most of any player who has made more than 50 attempts so far this season. David Pocock (23) and Scott Fardy (19) lead the tournament in turnovers won, having won significantly more than Blues best Blake Gibson (nine). It won't be pretty and will be close, but the Brumbies should squeeze out a win - by eight points or less.


Blues: 15 Melani Nanai, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 Male Sa'u/Matt Vaega, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Kara Pryor, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Josh Bekhuis/Scott Scrafton, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Sam Prattley.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Blake Gibson, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Matt Vaega/Michael Little, 23 Lolagi Visinia.

Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Nigel Ah Wong, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Tom Staniforth, 21 Joe Powell, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Lausii Taliauli.

Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
TMO: Shane McDermott (New Zealand)

The Chiefs are well aware that, as one of the competition favourites, they have a target on their collective backs.

And they are up against a Reds team that already caused one boilover of the season - when they edged the defending champions Highlanders 28-27 in April.

The Chiefs, who have opted to rest All Black star Brodie Retallick because of his heavy workload, will hope the return of Liam Messam will provide the inspiration.

Messam, who has missed out on Olympic selection with the national Sevens team, will look to unleash his frustrations on opponents in Super Rugby.

Reds interim head coach Matt O'Connor admitted they are up against a team "thinking about silverware".

"We are playing against the best team in the competition at home and for us it is a 'final'," O'Connor said.

"We will have to be at our very best to stay in the hunt."

The Reds expect the Chiefs challenge them in "every facet of the game".

"It is a daunting challenge because of the pace they play at and how solid their game is across the board," the coach said.

"Every facet of our game will have to be very accurate."

The Reds, stuck in 15th position after a poor season that has yielded just three wins from 13 starts, are still working hard to salvage something from the disastrous campaign that saw coach Richard Graham axed just two rounds into the competition.

"The desire in the environment to work hard is the most pleasing thing," said O'Connor - one of two interim coaches.

"That is how you get better, by working on your game," he said, adding: "The guys understand we've had deficiencies and have tried to be better.

"We understand that moving forward we don't deliver the same errors.

"From that aspect it has been pretty pleasing."

Recent results:
2015: Chiefs won 24-3, Brisbane
2013: Reds won 31-23, Hamilton
2012: Reds won 42-27, Brisbane
2011: Reds won 19-11, Hamilton
2010: Reds won 23-18, Hamilton
2009: Chiefs won 50-26, Brisbane

Prediction: The Reds lost the last meeting between these sides, in Round 17 last season. However, they won each of the four fixtures between the two before that. The Chiefs have won three of the last four meetings between the sides in Queensland, this after winning just once in five attempts away to the Reds in Super Rugby before that. The Reds have won their last three at home, but have not won four consecutive home matches in a single season since their last four regular season home games in 2012. The Chiefs have scored 23 more tries than they've conceded this year, the largest positive disparity of any team in the competition and 40 higher than the Reds disparity (-17). The Reds back rower Hendrik Tui has stolen five line-outs so far this season, the fifth most of any player and more than any other Australian-based player. Expect the Chiefs to pull clear in the final quarter and win by about 15 points.


Reds: 15 Jack Tuttle, 14 Chris Kuridrani, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Henry Taefu, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Duncan Paia'aua, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Curtis Browning, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Andrew Ready, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 Matt Mafi, 17 Sef Fa'agase, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Lukhan Tui, 20 Leroy Houston, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Anthony Fainga'a, 23 Campbell Magnay.

Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Seta Tamanivalu, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (co-captain), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Sam Cane (co-captain), 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Tom Sanders, 5 Taleni Seu, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Atu Moli, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Mitchell Brown, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Andrew Horrell, 23 Sam McNicol.

Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)

The biggest threat to the Lions is complacency not the Southern Kings.

Yes, the Kings will be willing and will throw everything (including the kitchen sink) at the Lions.

However, the chasm in the difference of the class of the two sides will mean that only if the Lions don't pitch mentally will the Kings win.

"The biggest threat is if the players believe the public talk [about the Kings being a weak team]," captain Jaco Kriel said, when asked about the favourites tag now attached to the table-topping Lions.

"The people are entitled to their opinions, but as a group we will not alter our preparation from any other week or team.

"It does not matter who we are facing, our preparation will be unchanged."

"We are always looking to improve ourselves, and we will continue doing that because we are not changing that routine.

"We will continue to work hard and prepare as we do every week - we certainly won't underestimate the Kings."

Kriel admitted that if the Lions are not mentally ready for the game, they will be in trouble.

"The big challenge for us is to be mentally up for this game and pitch up on the day."

Coach Johan Ackermann, who named his best available team, said it is important to get the win and retain their position at the top of the competition's totem pole.

"It is going to be tough for the Springboks, as we are asking for another game from them," Ackermann said.

"We believe mentally they are ready for that challenge.

"However, if I rest a player this week, it means I have to play him next week [against the Jaguares] and then it includes travelling  [to Buenos Aires].

"I would rather have that option [of resting key players] next week. Some of the games this weekend will give us an indication [what to do next week].

"We must first get a victory this week and after that we can look at Saturday's games and make a call on Sunday."

Previous result:
2016: Lions won 45-10, Port Elizabeth

Prediction: This will be just the second official meeting between these sides in Super Rugby (the 2013 promotion-relegation series excluded); the Lions defeated the Kings 45-10 in their first meeting, in April this year. The Kings are searching for their second away win in Super Rugby; they've lost each of their last 10 with those defeats coming by an average margin of 30 points. The Lions have won their last four Super Rugby games, a fifth straight win would equal the franchise record winning streak in the competition. The Lions have starved their opposition of possession so far this season, allowing their opponents only 13 minutes and 13 seconds with the ball in hand each game, the fewest of any team. Kings lock John-Charles Astle has won 60 line-outs so far this season, including three last week, the fourth most of any player after 15 rounds in 2016. The Kings might keep it close for the first half, but by the end the Lions should have a winning margin of 30 points or more.


Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse Van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Sylvian Mahuza.

Southern Kings: 15 Malcolm Jaer, 14 Lukhanyo Am, 13 Stefan Watermeyer, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Wandile Mjekevu, 10 Louis Fouche, 9 James Hall, 8 Aidon Davis, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 John-Charles Astle, 4 Schalk Oelofse, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Edgar Marutlulle (captain), 1 Sithembiso Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Ntando Kebe, 22 Dewald Human, 23 Jeremy Ward.

Referee: Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper(South Africa), Ben Crouse(South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

Compiled by Jan de Koning

* Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article franco mostert try 800

Lions see off plucky Kings

Fri, 08 Jul 2016 18:53

REPORT: The Lions returned to the top of the Super Rugby standings with a 57-21 bonus-point win against the Southern Kings at Ellis Park on Friday.

The Lions were already qualified for the Super Rugby quarterfinals, but they are more ambitious than that, wanting to end up with more points than anybody else to keep the homeground advantage. Top of the table, they were playing a team a long, long way from the top of the table with no pudding to look forward to.

Before a tiny crowd on a lovely evening, the Lions kicked off,  threw into a line-out, had a quick throw-in and scored a try after a minute and a half. It must have looked more of a formality than a match.

This may in some way explain their often sloppy performance and why they did not score another try till over a half an hour later.

At half-time coach Johan Ackermann said of his team's performance in the first half: "It was the worst rugby we've played for a long time." His recipe was a return to basics - above all catching and passing. In the second half the Lions scored 40 points- but then a late-match fade by the Kings is par for the course.

That first try promised a walk-over. They ran sharply, passes were in front and secure and Rohan Janse van Rensburg took a little popped pass from Elton Jantjies and burst through to score at the posts. 7-0.

After this the Kings attacked with zest. They won a turnover at a tackle and attacked. Shane Gates broke and they attacked more promisingly. Twice they were stopped right at the line. Louis Fouché chipped and Stefan Watermeyer gathered.  Janse van Rensburg knocked on and Fouché was close. The ball came back from a ruck thing on the Lions line and young James Hall dummied and scored. Fouché converted. 7-7 after 14 minutes.

From the kick-off the Lions attacked. They rushed down the right where Ruan Combrinck got a pass inside to Lionel Mapoe who forced his way over but the matter was referred to the TMO who saw Combrinck's lurid left boot touch the touchline.

Janse van Rensburg looked about to score on the left but Wandile Mjekevu stopped him. Franco Mostert and Courtnall Skosan were close. The defence was firm.

The Lions had a five-metre line-out but Aidon Davis won it for the Kings. The Lions worked a clever move at the front of a line-out and Jaco Kriel burst away but again the tackling was secure.

The Lions chose line-outs and scrums but eventually capitulated and Jantjies kicked a goal. 10-7 after 29 minutes.

From a line-out on the Lions right, about six metres inside their half, Jantjies broke and gave to Janse van Rensburg who immediately passed to Andries Coetzee and the speedy fullback raced the 40 metres to the try-line and then round to the posts. 17-7 after 32 minutes.

The Kings kicked off deep, as they always did, and the Lions ran. Prop Julian Redelinghuys passed to Combrinck who raced  ahead on the right and the Lions then went left and would have scored but for a forward pass.

At the start of the second half it seemed that the Kings would continue to compete as Watermeyer broke but as the half wore on their zeal for the contest waned somewhat.

The Lions won a Kings line-out in their own half and Kriel raced 40 metres downfield till Hall tackled him. The Kings were penalised and Coetzee tapped and then got the ball back from the ruck to give it to Faf de Klerk who scuttled over for the Lions' third try. 24-7 after 47 minutes.

For the bonus point they needed to be three tries ahead of the Kings. And now the count was 3-1.

The Lions were in another sloppy phase till Jantjies, running across the field, passed and Watermeyer intercepted. Away he ran through empty metres for a try at the posts. 24-14 after 53 minutes and the try count was 3-2.

Malcolm Marx burst away with the ball and Ackermann carried it on till the Kings got into serious trouble.

First Gates was sin-binned  after a series of offside offences. The Lions chose a five-metre scrum for the penalty and went left and then right where De Klerk gave Mostert a perfect pass and the energetic lock burst over for a try. 31-14 after 56 minutes.

The litany of tries had begun, helped when the Kings were reduced to just 13 men after captain Edgar Marutlulle was sent to the sin bin, again for repeated infringements. (In the match the penalty count was 14-7 in the favour of the Lions.)

The Lions kicked a penalty out for a line-out 10 metres from the goal-line. They mauled and rushed their maul over for a try credited to Marx. 38-14 after 63 minutes and the try count was 5-2. The Lions happily emptied their bench onto the field. Immediately there was an increase in the Lions' intensity.

The Kings were going through unpromising phases when Janse van Rensburg intercepted a pass and ran 48 unimpeded metres to the posts. Combrinck converted. 45-14 after 68 minutes.

The Lions were down in their own 22 indulging in messy play with passes going awry when suddenly Armand van der Merwe, quite possibly the most deceptive ball-carrier in Super Rugby, picked up the ball and ran with it. Off he went, legs pumping, from two metres inside his 22 to the Kings 10-metre line where he passed a long pass that reached Combrinck who passed inside to the young speedster from George, Sylvian Mahuza who raced away to score at the posts.  Combrinck converted. 52-14 after 72 minutes.

The last Lions try was an superb example of excellent handling, passes in front at waist height and suddenly Mahuza was speeding down the left touchline. He gave inside to Skosan who scored the Lions' eighth try. 57-14 with a minute to play.

The Lions did not score again but the Kings did and that was a good thing as they had certainly given of their best.

Howard Mnisi was penalised for intentionally  patting the ball into touch on the Kings right. They tapped and went on a sharp attack until the ball came to veteran prop Schalk Ferreira and he scored in the left corner. Fouché converted, and the final whistle sounded at 57-21,

Man of the Match: Much as you may have loved Shane Gates, James Hall, JC Astle and Edgar Marutlulle, the candidates were really several Lions, including Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Andries Coetzee, Courtnall Skosan, Warwick Tecklenburg, Dylan Smith, Malcolm Marx, Jaco Kriel and our choice, Franco Mostert, the all-action lock, who wins line-outs, shoves in scrums, cleans out at breakdowns, tackles and runs with the ball in hand. He was outstanding.

The scorers:

For Lions:
Tries: Janse van Rensburg 2, Coetzee, De Klerk, Mostert, Marx, Mahuza, Skosan
Cons: Jantjies 5, Combrinck 2
Pen: Jantjies

For Southern Kings:
Tries: Hall, Watermeyer, Ferreira
Cons: Fouche 3

Yellow cards: Shaun Gates (Kings, 56 - repeated infringements, offside);  Edgar Marutlulle (Kings, 61 - cynical play; slowing the ball down)


Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse Van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Sylvian Mahuza.

Southern Kings: 15 Malcolm Jaer, 14 Lukhanyo Am, 13 Stefan Watermeyer, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Wandile Mjekevu, 10 Louis Fouche, 9 James Hall, 8 Aidon Davis, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 John-Charles Astle, 4 Schalk Oelofse, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Edgar Marutlulle (captain), 1 Sithembiso Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Ntando Kebe, 22 Dewald Human, 23 Jeremy Ward.

Referee: Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)

Rohan Janse van Rensburg (2min), Andries Coetzee (32min), Francois de Klerk (47min), Franco Mostert (56min), Malcolm Marx (63min), Rohan Janse van Rensburg (68min), Sylvian Mahuza (71min), and Courtnall Skosan (77min)
James Hall (13min), Stefan Watermeyer (52min), and Schalk Ferreira (81min)
Elton Jantjies (2min), Elton Jantjies (32min), Elton Jantjies (48min), Elton Jantjies (57min), Elton Jantjies (64min), Ruan Combrinck (68min), and Ruan Combrinck (72min)
Louise Fouche (14min), Louise Fouche (53min), and Louise Fouche (81min)
Elton Jantjies (30min)
Shane Gates (55min) and Edgard Marutlulle (59min)
VENUE Johannesburg
REFEREE Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)