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Super Rugby | Johannesburg
14:30 (GMT) | 23-07-2016
  • 81
Stay with us a we head straight to Cape Town where the Stormers take on the Cheifs
  • 80
Mo'unga misses the conversion. The reset kick is there and the Lions just looking to clear as soon as possible. The horn sounds and the dead ball signals to the referee to end the game. FULL TIME
  • 79
Romano looking to squeeze through but to no avail. Read trying the same after his team mate was driven back but he doesn't make it through. Dagg moves the ball up field and Volavola sees an opportunity along the wing and takes it. He slips through the open space and scores the TRY
  • 78
Scrum collapses and the Crusaders get the advantage. The referee calls for play to go on and the Crusaders move forward immediately. They make it inside the 22 and power through a tire Lions defence to make it into the 5.
  • 77
Scrum inside the Lions' half
  • 76
The Crusaders out of it now with 5 minutes left, but they keep pushing onward. McNicholl carrying forward but brought down. The ball cleared and the Lions have no issue waiting out the clock
  • 75
Jantjies adds the extras
  • 73
Line-out for the Crusaders inside the Lions half after the reset kick. Mo'unga in possession twisting and turning but not making any ground. The away team desperately looking for space but the Lions not showing them any. The turnover comes and Mostert carries forward. The Lions' attacking play pays off as Mapoe again showing his worth with a kick forward for Cronje to chase down. He makes it over the line to score the TRY
  • 72
He takes his time as he has done this fixture. He fails to get the 3 points this time
  • 71
The referee blows for a penalty after the throw and Jantjies sets up for another possible 3 points.
  • 70
The restart kick shows both teams set off with high intensity again. McNicholl letting a ball drop into touch, a crucial error at this stage in the game.
  • 69
Jantjies secures the extras
  • 68
Mapoe gets a ball from Jantjies. He takes a look around and does a quick step and change of pace before coolly sliding the ball to Combrinck who shrugs off one tackler to score the TRY
  • 67
Both teams so eager to get forward they seem to be neglecting the ball on some occasions. Line-out to the Lions in their own half
  • 66
Havili getting brought down after he tries to power through. The ball is cleared but the Crusaders come forward again. The turnover is there by the Lions but they lose it again.
  • 65
The Crusaders on the attack again and Drummond with a poor pass back but the Lions seem to tried to capitalize.
  • 64
The lions on the attack after conceding in the final quarter. They move forward with Janse Van Rensburg but the turnover is there. The Crusaders feel they can take the game now, their resolution growing
  • 63
Mo'unga secures the extras
  • 62
Both teams kicking forward after the reset kick. Dagg kicks forward and chases. The Lions left in disarray after the Crusaders pounce on the ball. Drummond finding the final pass to score the TRY
  • 61
He sets up and assumes his prayer position, not rushing. He secures the 3 points
  • 59
The Lions patiently building up along their right wing. They move the ball down field but the Crusaders are firmly packed and organized in their defense. The referee blows for a penalty to the Lions and Jantjies prepares himself
  • 58
Jantjies kicks into touch inside the 10 of the away team
  • 57
The Lions take the scrum after the referee decides the Crusaders were scrummaging illegally
  • 56
Scrum for the Crusaders inside the Lions' half. McNicholl finds the ball and almost breaks through the Lions defensive line but he slips and is caught. The ball is lost forward after a poor pass by Dagg. Scrum outside the 22 of the Lions
  • 55
The Lions looking to relieve some pressure after the reset kick with a clearance from Jantjies. The Crusaders finding their feet again and start to move forward from the half way. The ball is kicked forward and Jantjies returns the favour but Dagg ensures it doesn't reach touch. The referee blows for an injury and the game is halted
  • 53
The tension rising among the players as both teams attempt to assert their dominance in the second half. The Lions just outside the 22 of the Crusaders and Jantjies finds a second and goes for the sticks with a DG and gets it
  • 51
Jantjies clears after he gets it from Whiteley. The ball goes into the dead ball zone. A restart kick is there and the Lions in possession now
  • 50
The Lions take the scrum and Skosan doesn't reach his pass and the Lions have to reorganize themselves. The referee stops play again fro a penalty to the Lions after the ball is lost forward. Scrum at the 22 of the hosts
  • 49
The ball reaches touch at the 22 of the Lions. Jantjies sending it to Janse Van Rensburg who carries with two opposition players hanging on to him as he usually does. The referee blows fro a scrum at the half way
  • 47
The Crusaders allowing none of the leniencies they permitted in the first half and the Lions feeling the pressure now. Both teams kicking forward trying to make some territory
  • 46
He takes his time and secures the 3 points
  • 45
Mo'unga sets up for a kick from inside the 22
  • 44
Macilai-Tori making good ground after the scrum and his team assisting him forward. The Crusaders showing a new-found determination in the second half, similar to the start the Lions have in the first half. The referee blows for a kick to the visitors
  • 42
Kriel in possession being bullied by Taylor. The referee blows to halt play. Penalty to the hosts and Combrinck kicks it deep into touch at the 22 of the Crusaders. Whiteley takes it down from the throw and they move the ball up field but the turnover is there. Havili making a short carry before giving the ball to his team mate Ellis. The referee blows for a scrum at the half way
  • 41
The Crusaders start the second half off with a short kick

Half Time

  • 40
Jantjies sets up for his kick and last contribution of the first half. He takes his time and it pays off as he gets the 2 points. HALF TIME
  • 39
The maul is there after the throw and they force themselves over the line. TRY to the Lions and there appears to be a tussle among the players Marx awarded the TRY
  • 38
The Lions take the scrum with one big push after the "Set!" call. Whiteley decides to have Jantjies kick it into touch
  • 38
The Lions take the scrum with one big push after the "Set!" call. Whiteley decides to have Jantjies kick it
  • 37
Scrum reset
  • 36
Scrum outside the 5 of the Crusaders as the Lions look to attack after 10 minutes of hectic defending.
  • 35
Janse van Rensburg gets it from Faf and he bombs forward before the ball is moved up field. The referee blows to halt play
  • 34
The restart kick is deep but Dagg takes care of it with a huge clearance. Line-out for the Lions
  • 33
Mo’unga secures the extras
  • 32
McNicholl making a good carry after the scrum and the Crusaders doing well with their bursts after the scrums. The visitors make it to the 5 of the Lions. Mo’unga shifting and turning inside the 5 and he hands it to Crotty who secures their first TRY of the game
  • 31
Scrum reset
  • 30
De Klerk almost making an interception and then Dagg losing out after trying to be to clever with a pass. Scrum outside the 22 of the Lions
  • 29
The Lions moving forward in a maul from their own 22. The Crusaders get possession and move the ball down field then up again. Todd powering through with three defenders hanging on for dear life. The away team showing no signs of letting up until they manage to get some points but the Lions holding strong for now
  • 27
Both teams kicking forward. The Crusaders find touch and the Lions have a throw at their 22
  • 26
The Lions get the ball in the line-out and the ball is moved up field then cleared by De Klerk. Jantjies finds it and tries to wiggle though a sea of bodies
  • 25
Dagg watching the ball stealthily from a distance and the Crusaders break from the scrum quickly and look to surprise the Lions but they are prepared. Tecklenburg making a try saving tackle on Todd and the Lions turnover and clear
  • 24
The Crusaders burst forward right after the scrum and make it to the try line but the referee blows for a penalty to the visitors. Scrum at the 5 of the hosts
  • 23
Scrum just outside the 5 of the Lions. The referee taking care to ensure the players form properly.
  • 22
Line-out for the visitors and Whitelock takes it down and sends it to Ellis. The ball is moved to the center field then back up again. The referee blows as the Crusaders find themselves in a ruck 5 meters out
  • 21
The referee blows for a penalty to the Crusaders. Mo’unga kicks into touch at the Lions 22
  • 20
The restart kick is deep and Dagg boots it back. The Crusaders in possession now at their own 10 trying to work their way forward
  • 19
Mo’unga ensures his team gets on the scoreboard with 3 points
  • 18
The Crusaders edge closer to the try line making it to the 5 before they receive a penalty from about 10 meters out.
  • 17
The Crusaders finding their form and powering through, looking present in this fixture at last. Ellis directing play as he tries to create space for his wide men
  • 16
Line-out at the 5 of the Lions. The Crusaders in a good position to get some points back but a poor pass sees the ball go into touch at the 22 of the Lions
  • 15
The restart kick is much deeper this time around and the ball is cleared by the Lions. Mo’unga returns the ball with a kick into touch
  • 14
He secures the 3 points from just inside the 10
  • 13
The referee blows for a penalty to the hosts and Jantjies sets up for his spot kick
  • 12
Crusaders take their scrum and clear into touch, buying some time to regroup and organize themselves. Line-out at the 10 of the away team. Kriel gets it after the throw and he makes a short carry forward
  • 11
Scrum reset
  • 10
The Lions destroying the Crusaders scrum and the ball is moved up to Rohan Janse van Rensburg who powers forward with intense pace for a man his size. The referee blows for a scrum inside the Crusaders 22
  • 9
Scrum reset
  • 8
The restart kick is not deep and the Lions hold their line at their 10. The ball is kicked forward but the referee blows as the ball is lost forward by Macilai-Tori. Scrum at the Lions' 10
  • 7
Jantjies lines up his second kick of the game from a similar angle. He gets it this time around
  • 6
The Lions keep the pressure going after the penalty and the Crusaders struggling to hold them off. The hosts make it over the line but the referee refers to the TMO for a potential knock on by Mostert. The referee awards the TRY to Janse van Rensburg
  • 5
Line-out for the Lions at the 5 of the Crusaders. The away team feeling immense pressure early on. The Lions push forward in the driving maul now. The referee blows for a penalty to the Lions. Luke Romano gets sent to the bin for coming up from the side of the maul
  • 4
The restart is there and the Crusaders look fro a quick reply but the Lions holding firm at their 10. The Lions find a gap and Skosan finds another gap to break through after De Klerk intercepts and makes a good few meters. He runs to the 5 with the support of De Klerk before the referee halts play
  • 2
Jantjies fails to secure the extras
  • 1
Jantjies kicks just into the 22 of the visitors and Read takes it down. The ball is cleared into touch. Line-out for the Lions at the half way. The hosts take it down field and then up again. Skosan finds the ball from Jantjies and beats his man to go all the way in the opening minutes
  • 0
Craig Joubert blows and the game is underway off the boot of Jantjies
  • -2
The players exiting the tunnel to the fans delight
  • -5
Both teams host a number of international players for their respective countries, including Israel Dagg, Ryan Crotty and Andy Ellis for the Crusaders. The Lions international all stars include Ruan Combrinck, Lionel Mapoe, Elton Jantjies and Francois de Klerk
  • -12
Lions Captain Warren Whiteley has made it back into the starting lineup after a minor injury scare
  • -14
The Lions have made 15 changes since last weeks lineup. The first team had the opportunity to rest up for the playoff fixture.
  • -15
The Lions and Crusaders have faced off 10 time dating back to 1996. The Lions have not won against the Crusaders since 2007
  • -30
Welcome to Ellis Park in Johannesburg, where we are gearing up for the third Super Rugby quarterfinal of the weekend - the Lions against the seven-time champion Crusaders.
Mc lions logo 85
Mc crusaders logo 80x50
  • 1 Dylan Smith
  • 2 Malcolm Marx
  • 3 Julian Redelinghuys
  • 4 Andries Ferreira
  • 5 Franco Mostert
  • 6 Jaco Kriel
  • 7 Warwick Tecklenburg
  • 8 Warren Whiteley
  • 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 Ruan Ackermann
  • 20 Cyle Brink
  • 21 Ross Cronje
  • 22 Howard Mnisi
  • 23 Jaco van der Walt
  • 1 Wyatt Crockett
  • 2 Codie Taylor
  • 3 Owen Franks
  • 4 Luke Romano
  • 5 Sam Whitelock
  • 6 Jordan Taufua
  • 7 Matt Todd
  • 8 Kieran Read
  • 9 Andrew Ellis
  • 10 Richie Mo’unga
  • 11 Jone Macilai-Tori
  • 12 David Kaetau Havili
  • 13 Ryan Crotty
  • 14 Johnny McNicholl
  • 15 Israel Dagg
  • 16 Ben Funnell
  • 17 Alex Hodgman
  • 18 Michael Alaalatoa
  • 19 Scott Barrett
  • 20 Jimmy Tupou
  • 21 Mitchell Drummond
  • 22 Ben Volavola
  • 23 Kieron Fonotia
Mc article whiteley v read 800

Preview: Lions v Crusaders

Thu, 21 Jul 2016 22:53

SUPER RUGBY QUARTERFINAL: The Lions are undoubtedly the most-improved team of the past three years, the Crusaders the most successful in the competition's history.

It makes for an entertaining, if not very intriguing, encounter at Ellis Park on Saturday.

History will tell you the Lions (or Transvaal) as a stand-alone franchise has only beaten the Crusaders twice - 1997 and 2007.

If you're the superstitious kind, 2017 should be their next win.

However, the remarkable growth they have shown in the last few years - or even just since that horrible loss to the Hurricanes (17-50) back in April - suggests the Lions could even be slight favourites.

They did lose to the Crusaders (37-43) at Ellis Park, about four weeks before the Hurricanes disaster.

However, the lessons they learnt from those defeats - lessons they certainly took to heart - has seen them score five bonus-point victories over teams such as the Blues, Jaguares, Bulls, Sharks and Kings. They scored an amazing 35 tries - an average of seven per game in those games.

There was only one defeat - their B-team losing to the Jaguares in Buenos Aires last week, while the A-team was resting up in Johannesburg in anticipation of the play-offs.

In contrast the Crusaders' run-in to the play-offs has been a lot more erratic - three defeats (to the Highlanders, Chiefs and Hurricanes) and three victories (over the Rebels, Blues and Waratahs).

Apart from the 13-try (85-26) rout of the Rebels, the Crusaders scored just 10 tries in the other five matches and surprisingly leaked 22.

However, the most significant point of reference is the Crusaders' win at Ellis Park back in April.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann believes his team has grown enough since that game to ensure their remarkable journey doesn't end this week.

"Out of that game and the loss to the Hurricanes we learnt some valuable lessons about playing under pressure and what to do if things don't go your way ," Ackermann told rugby365.

He felt slow starts and sloppy play have been their most costly mistakes this season - especially some intercept tries they conceded against the Crusaders and Hurricanes.

"The key against New Zealand teams is that you can't afford to fall behind [give them a lead]," Ackermann said, adding: "You have to keep them under pressure and stay in the game.

"If you look back to our games [victories] against the Blues and Chiefs you will see that we started well and gave ourselves a chance.

"Against the Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders they managed to build up a big lead far too quickly . With the quality of those teams you won't easily close such a gap."

The Lions mentor pointed to the set pieces as among the Crusaders' considerable strengths.

Discipline will also be key.

"If I look back to this past weekend, we conceded 17 penalties," he said of the B-team's loss to the Jaguares.

"We gave the Jaguares free points in the first half - they went three, six, nine and 12. That is something you can't afford in a knock-out game.

"Then, also, our defence. In the last game against the Crusaders [Ryan] Crotty scored three tries.

"We have the advantage that we are playing at home, but in these games you can't afford that your set pieces, discipline and defence slips below acceptable standards."

Crusaders captain Kieran Read is expecting another high-paced, high-scoring game.

"Looking at the way they've played this year, they're not going to go down wondering," Read said of the Lions.

"They'll come out and really attack.

"We just have to be nice and controlled as much as we can."

Players to watch:

For the Lions: The backline strike power will come in the form of Springboks Ruan Combrinck, Lionel Mapoe, Elton Jantjies and Francois de Klerk - while Rohan Janse van Rensburg could be the 'secret weapon' in midfield. The Lions would hope that captain Warren Whiteley's shoulder lasts the full 80 minutes, with Jaco Kriel, Franco Mostert and Julian Redelinghuys other key forwards.

For the Crusaders: The Crusaders have plenty of international class in their backline as well Israel Dagg, Ryan Crotty and Andy Ellis, while Johnny McNicholl and Richie Mo'unga good enough to wear the famous black jersey with a silver fern. Then, of course, there is All Black captain Kieran Read and probably the most underrated loose forward Jordan Taufua, All Black locks Sam Whitelock and Luke Romano, as well as an all-All Black front row of Owen Franks, Codie Taylor and Wyatt Crockett.

Head to head: You start with the captains and No.8s - Warren Whiteley (Lions) versus Kieran Read (Crusaders). There are plenty of those battles across the park - Lionel Mapoe (Lions) versus Ryan Crotty (Crusaders) at outside centre; Elton Jantjies (Lions) against Richie Mo'unga (Crusaders) at flyhalf) Jaco Kriel (Lions) versus Jordan Taufua (Crusaders) on the flank. And there are many others.

Prediction: The Crusaders have won their last seven games against the Lions, scoring 28 points or more on all but one occasion. The Lions have won their last four games on home soil, a fifth straight win would be their longest home winning streak in a single Super Rugby season. The Crusaders have won 19 of their last 23 games against South African opposition, including victories in each of their last four play-off games against them. The Lions have won an average of 8.7 turnovers per game so far in Super Rugby 2016, the most of any team and 1.2 per game more than the Crusaders. Only one player this season (Matt Faddes - 29) has made more clean breaks than the Crusaders duo Nemani Nadolo (28) and Johnny McNicholl (27). It is going to be exciting, hair-raising and entertaining. It is also a tough call to make. We feel a slightly more mature Lions will sneak a late winner - five points or less.

By Jan de Koning

* Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article lions v crusaders match 800

Lions just too good for Crusaders

Sat, 23 Jul 2016 13:14

MATCH REPORT: The Lions put on display a sublime attacking performance to outplay the Crusaders and win 42-25 - advancing to the Super Rugby semifinals for the first time in their history.

The Lions outscored the Crusaders by five tries to two, but the visitors scored a consolation try right on the full-time hooter.

There were two blitzkrieg periods that set up the win for the home team - the first 10 minutes and five minutes round about the 70-minute mark.

Relegated in 2013, the Johannesburg outfit have transformed from also-rans to title contenders within three seasons under coach and former Springbok lock Johan Ackermann.

A great start saw the hosts put 12 points on the scoreboard within eight minutes and a late first-half try from hooker Malcolm Marx earned a 22-10 advantage at the break.

Substitute scrumhalf Mitchell Drummond scored a converted try 17 minutes from time for record seven-time champions Crusaders to leave just eight points between the sides at Ellis Park stadium.

But the South Africans finished strongly with wing Ruan Combrinck and substitute scrumhalf Ross Cronje dotting down to seal a last-four place.

"We started and finished fantastically," said Lions skipper and No.8 Warren Whiteley, back in action after a three-week shoulder injury lay-off.

"I am so proud of the boys and also our supporters - never underestimate the impact they have on matches at Ellis Park.

"When we lost at home to Crusaders this season, we conceded early points and spent the rest of the match playing catch-up.

"In this match we reversed the situation, scoring two early tries, and that was crucial to us reaching the semifinals.".

Crusaders workhorse No.8 and skipper Kieran Read dismissed the 1,755-metre altitude and a 20-hour flight from Auckland as excuses for losing.

"We gave our all but it was just not enough," he said.

"The Lions made a flying start and we were always playing catch-up.

"I felt we had a chance of snatching a victory until Ruan [Combrinck] scored 10 minutes from time.

"This is a pretty young team and the future is bright," he said of a franchise whose last Super Rugby title came eight seasons ago.

It did not help Crusaders that lock Luke Romano was yellow-carded after six minutes with the South Africans scoring 10 points while he was sin-binned.

Wing Courtnall Skosan, centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Marx, Combrinck and Cronje scored a try each for the Lions.

Flyhalf Elton Jantjies missed two shots at goal, but contributed 17 points from four conversions, two penalties and a drop-goal.

Centre Ryan Crotty, Drummond and replacement back Ben Volavola crossed the try-line for Crusaders and fly-half Richie Mo'unga kicked two conversions and two penalties.

Man of the match: Johnny McNicholl caused all kinds of problems to the Lions' defensive lines, while Matt Todd and Jordan Taufua were monstrous all over the park. The Crusaders' best player was All Black fullback Israel Dagg - a rock in the last line of defence and some monstrous clearance kicks. Rohan Janse van Rensburg's powerful running, along with loose forwards Jaco Kriel, Warwick Tecklenburg and Warren Whiteley's workrate were crucial. Hooker Malcolm Marx was a monster as well. Then there was the unsung hero Franco Mostert, who certainly came close. They may not have been flawless, but Elton Jantjies and Francois de Klerk pulled the strings when it mattered most and they get our award.

Moment of the match: So many moments. here was a strong start that saw the Lions go up 12-0 inside the first six minutes and then the Elton Jantjies drop-goal in the 53rd minute. There was the call by the TMO that there was no 'clear and obvious' Crusaders hand to a ball from a contest which resulted in Mitchell Drummond's try. But, above all, the switch between Howard Mnisi and Lionel Mapoe that resulted in Ruan Combrinck's try in the 69th min - that forced the Crusaders into takings risks that ultimately sealed their fate.

Villain of the match: No villains, just heroes in both teams.

The scorers:

For the Lions:
Skosan, Janse van Rensburg, Marx, Combrinck, Cronje
Cons: Jantjies 4
Pens: Jantjies 3
DG: Jantjies

For the Crusaders:
Crotty, Drummond, Volavola
Cons: Mo'unga 2
Pens: Mo'unga 2

Yellow card: Luke Romano (Crusaders, 5 - cynical foul, offence at the maul)


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 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylon Smith.
Replacements: 16 Armand Van Der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Jacques Van Rooyen, 19 Ruan Ackermann, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Jaco Van Der Walt/Sylvian Mahuza.

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 David Havili, 11 Jone Macilai, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Mike Alaalatoa, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Jimmy Tupou, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Ben Volavola, 23 Kieron Fonotia.

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

Courtnall Skosan (1min), Rohan Janse van Rensburg (6min), Malcolm Marx (39min), Ruan Combrinck (68min), and Ross Cronje (73min)
Ryan Crotty (32min), Mitchell Drummond (62min), and Ben Volavola (79min)
Elton Jantjies (7min), Elton Jantjies (40min), Elton Jantjies (69min), and Elton Jantjies (75min)
Richie Mo’unga (33min) and Richie Mo’unga (63min)
Elton Jantjies (14min) and Elton Jantjies (61min)
Richie Mo’unga (19min) and Richie Mo’unga (46min)
Elton Jantjies (53min)
Luke Romano (5min)
VENUE Johannesburg
REFEREE Craig Joubert (South Africa)