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Lions

FULL-TIME
17     25

Crusaders

Super Rugby | Ellis Park
14:00 (GMT) | 05-08-2017
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Stay with us as we go to our live coverage of the Bulls vs the Lions
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FULL TIME
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Penalty to the Crusaders and the ball is kicked into touch as the siren sounds
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Scrum to the Crusaders inside their half. They take it and move it out to the wing
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Jantjies kicks into touch at the 22. Whitelock reads the throw and wins the ball
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Romano steals the ball from the line-out. The Crusaders have it. The ruck is formed but the ball is not released and the Lions have a penalty
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The Lions win a penalty and the ball is kicked into touch around the 10 of the away team
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The Crusaders doing a good job holding the Lions in their half now
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The restart kick is taken and the Lions have it inside their 22 now
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Jantjies adds the extras
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They make it to the 5 of the away team and Fourie bombards the defence with his brute strength to put it between the sticks
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The Lions showing spirit now as they turnover in their half and carry forward with speed
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Scrum to the Crusaders at their 5. The away team win a penalty and kick into touch
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Mostert gets it at the 22 and shows incredible strength to power through 3 players and make it to the 5 of the away team
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Scrum to the Lions. They win a penalty from the scrum and kick into touch outside the 22
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The Crusaders make their way forward after the clearance but lose it forward
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The restart kick is gathered by the Lions and sent back
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Jantjies adds the extras
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The Lions move the ball back and forth along the 5 and finally find some space after De Klerk orchestrates the entire play. TRY
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The lions win a penalty from the scrum and kick into touch at the 5
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Scrum reset
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The Crusaders win a penalty after the line-out. Scrum to the away team outside their 22
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The Lions win a penalty around the half way and kick into touch outside the 5
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The ball lost in the line-out and cleared. Line-out to the Lions around their 10
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The ball is kicked into touch at the 5
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The Lions make some ground in the maul. They send it down to Mapoe but he loses it in the contest. The referee calls play back for an earlier penalty
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The Lions win a penalty around the half way and kick into touch at the 22
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Crusaders take their throw and move the ball to the Lions 10 before losing possession
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The send it wide to Skosan along the wing who tries to sneak through but he is tackled into touch
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The Lions give away a penalty and Mo'unga puts over for 3 points
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Scrum reset
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Scrum to the hosts
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The referee blows for a penalty to the Lions at their 5
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Crotty runs it forward to the 5 of the Lions before giving it off in the ruck
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The Lions make their wait into the Crusaders' half but the ball is turned over
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Jantjies gets it and boots it forward. It's sent back into touch at the Lions 22
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They move the ball along the wing but it goes into touch for a Lions throw
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The Crusaders win a penalty after the restart and send it into touch at the 10 of the hosts
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Mo'unga adds the extras
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The Crusaders on the attack early in the second half with the one-man advantage. They move the ball along the 5 looking for a gap to exploit. The ball lands in the hands Read who dives over the line to score the TRY
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The second half is underway

Half Time

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The Crusaders win a penalty from the scrum and Mo'unga sets up for a kick at goal. He takes his shot and adds 3. HALF TIME
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The referee blows for a penalty to the Lions as the Crusaders make their way inside the home team 10. Scrum to the Lions
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The referee confers with the TMO and decides for a straight red to Smith
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Scrum reset. The Crusaders win a penalty from the scrum and kick into touch. The ball booted forward and Smith contests Havili who was hanging in the air
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The Lions make their way to the 22 of the visitors at the wing looking for space. They knock on and the away team have a scrum
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Scrum reset
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Scrum to the Lions inside the away team 10
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Mo'unga kicks it into touch. Line-out to the Crusaders. They take it and lose it forward
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They take the throw and look for the maul. The Crusaders with a strong counter push but the Lions take it out the maul and plant themselves in the 5 but give away a penalty
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They win a penalty and kick into touch a the 5
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The ball goes into touch after the Lions clear. The Lions have a throw shortly after and move towards the 22
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Scrum to the Lions at their 5
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Line-out for the Crusaders at the 5 and they look fora maul. It collapses and they move it along the 5. They make it over the line and the referee says held up
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The Crusaders aggressive on the attack after the restart kick. They make it to the 5 of the Lions before it's turned over and cleared
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He takes his kick from the half way and puts on 3
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The Crusaders give away a penalty and Jantjies steps up for a kick at goal
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The distance is there but the angle is off
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Jantjies gives away a penalty inside the Crusaders' half and Havili steps up for a long range kick
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Scrum to the visitors
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The referee blows for a knock-on as the Lions make it to the 10 of the Crusaders
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The Lions turnover and clear. They win the ball at the half way and carry forward
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The ball is kicked into touch at the 22 of the Lions
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The Lions kick forward after the scrum. They have it at the half way but give away a penalty around the half way
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Scrum reset
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Scrum to the Lions at their 5
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They take their throw and make it to the 5 and seem certain to add another. The ball moved out wide to Dagg who pops it inside before going into touch but it's forward
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Line-out for the visitors at the 22 of the hosts
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The Lions at the away team 22 now after the restart. They lose it as they edge inside the 22 and the ball is cleared
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The conversion is sent wide
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The Crusaders move forward with intense pace and the ball sent to the wing where Goodhue is waiting to dive over. He does so and scores the TRY
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Scrum reset
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Scrum at the half way after the restart kick goes out of play
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Mo'unga adds the extras
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The Lions make their way forward to the 22 and lose it forward. Tamanivalu picks it up and runs from his half to the try line opening the scoring. TRY
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The referee blows for a scrum to the hosts around in the midfield
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The reset kick is booted forward by Jantjies. The referee blows as Skosan and Mo’unga clash contest the falling ball.
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The hosts moving towards the 22. The ball is handed to Jantjies who looks for a drop goal but sends it wide
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The ball being kicked back and forth before Dagg sends it into touch around the half way
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The Lions win a penalty early in the half and they kick into touch at the 22 of the Crusaders
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The referee blows and we're off!
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The players readying themselves to leave the locker rooms now
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Three of the previous four Grand Finals to be contested by a side from New Zealand and a side from South Africa have been won by the New Zealand outfit
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The Christchurch-based side has lost each of their last two finals, only the Sharks have lost more than two in a row when reaching the Grand Final
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The Crusaders have been crowned Super Rugby champions on seven occasions previously and featured in 11 finals in total, both records in the competition
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The last time a team won a Super Rugby final played outside their own home country was the Crusaders in 2000, who did so after travelling to Australia to face the Brumbies in the big dance
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The Lions ran out to a 42-25 win when they last met the Crusaders (2016 quarterfinal), snapping a seven-game losing streak against the Christchurch franchise
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Welcome to Ellis Park for the Super Rugby final. Lions will be hosting the Crusaders
Mc lions logo 85
Lions
Mc crusaders logo 80x50
Crusaders
START LINE UP
  • 15 Andries Coetzee
  • 14 Ruan Combrinck
  • 13 Lionel Mapoe
  • 12 Harold Vorster
  • 11 Courtnall Skosan
  • 10 Elton Jantjies
  • 9 Ross Cronje
  • 8 Ruan Ackermann
  • 7 Albertus Smith
  • 6 Jaco Kriel
  • 5 Franco Mostert
  • 4 Andries Ferreira
  • 3 Ruan Dreyer
  • 2 Malcolm Marx
  • 1 Jacques van Rooyen
RESERVES
  • 23 Sylvian Mahuza
  • 22 Rohan Janse van Rensburg
  • 21 Francois de Klerk
  • 20 Cyle Brink
  • 19 Lourens Erasmus
  • 18 Johannes Jonker
  • 17 Corne Fourie
  • 16 Armand van der Merwe
START LINE UP
  • 15 David Havili
  • 14 Israel Dagg
  • 13 Jack Goodhue
  • 12 Ryan Crotty
  • 11 Seta Tamanivalu
  • 10 Richie Mo’unga
  • 9 Bryn Hall
  • 8 Kieran Read
  • 7 Matt Todd
  • 6 Jordan Taufua
  • 5 Sam Whitelock
  • 4 Scott Barrett
  • 3 Owen Franks
  • 2 Codie Taylor
  • 1 Joe Moody
RESERVES
  • 23 George Bridge
  • 22 Mitchell Hunt
  • 21 Mitchell Drummond
  • 20 Pete Samu
  • 19 Luke Romano
  • 18 Michael Alaalatoa
  • 17 Wyatt Crockett
  • 16 Ben Funnell
Mc article preview   lions v crusaders 800

Preview: Lions v Crusaders

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 22:16

SUPER RUGBY FINAL: There are shades of the 1995 World Cup Final - the fancied and in-form New Zealand outfit against a resilient South African team.

Home ground advantage may well be the only thing that separates the two gladiators in the arena.

The drama of the 2017 Final will be played out in front of a sell-out (62,000 spectators) Ellis Park.

Ask any player what he thinks of the occasion and the answer is simply: "It is going to be awesome."

But there is a sideshow that adds to the drama.

The hour glass is running out for Lions coach Johan Ackermann, who will head to English Premiership side Gloucester after the Final.

Ackermann said it has been his "dream" to finish his stint at the Lions in a Final at a full Ellis Park.

"I have been embracing everything," he told a media briefing, adding that he was "treasuring every minute" with the players.

He said he will have "no regrets" after Saturday, win or lose.

He instructed his team to "play with freedom and enjoy the moment".

The Lions, rated the most entertaining team in the competition, face a Crusaders outfit with a defence that has been rather stingy in recent weeks.

However, Crusaders hooker Codie Taylor said the Lions' attack - 90 tries in 17 matches this season - pose a massive threat.

"They are a good team," Taylor said in a teleconference from the team's base in Johannesburg.

"They kept the Hurricanes guessing and it paid off for them," he said of the Lions' six-try (44-29) demolition of the team that beat them in the Final last year.

The hooker, who signed on with the Crusaders to 2021, said the key for the Crusaders at Ellis Park this coming Saturday is to play the game they have been playing all year and which got them into the Final.

"We will have to apply pressure in different areas and exploit a few of their weaknesses," the 26-year-old Taylor said.

"We have to be ready for anything and be prepared to work really hard."

They are also coming out of two matches - the quarterfinal and semifinal - that were played in a very wet and cold Christchurch.

On Saturday they will enjoy much warmer conditions, with the temperature likely to peak in the lower 20s.

The Crusaders will most likely be a bit more expansive, although they will not neglect their defence.

"In wet weather, you look to kick a bit more and control it with your forwards," the hooker said, adding: "On a dry track you will be looking to play and throw the ball around.

"We have done that throughout the main part of the season.

"On the dry track, it is going to be a pretty good and entertaining game."

The other big adjustment for the Crusaders is to go from just over 10,000 spectators to a jam-packed stadium with over 60,000.

"It is going to be awesome. We have spoken about it all week, what to expect and prepare for it as best we can.

"We are excited to play in front of such an awesome crowd in an awesome stadium."

Players to watch:

For the Lions: There is the excitement of Sevens specialist Albertus Smith, with deceptive strength and outstanding pace. There is captain Jaco Kriel's amazing workrate, matched only by star lock Francois Mostert. There is the strength of hooker Malcolm Marx. Most of all there is the halfback combination of flyhalf Elton Jantjies and scrumhalf Ross Cronje.

For the Crusaders: From David Havili at fullback to Joe Moody at prop there is class all over the park. The all-All Black tight forwards, ably lead by lock Sam Whitelock, holds the key. The playmakers like Ryan Crotty and Richie Mo'unga will keep the Lions' defence honest.

Head to head: There are plenty intriguing battles across the park, but the most import is in the halfback channels - Elton Jantjies and Ross Cronje (Lions) against Richie Mo'unga and Bryn Hall (Crusaders). However, they can't function without quality ball. That brings the tight forwards into the frame, where you have plenty of Springbok versus All Black battles - FrancoisMostert (Lions) versus Sam Whitelock (Crusaders) and Malcolm Marx (Lions) versus Codie Taylor (Crusaders) to name but a few.

Recent results:
2016: Lions won 42-25, Johannesburg (quarterfinal)
2016: Crusaders won 43-37, Johannesburg
2015: Crusaders won 34-6, Christchurch
2014: Crusaders won 28-7, Johannesburg
2012: Crusaders won 23-13, Johannesburg
2010: Crusaders won 46-19, Christchurch
2009: Crusaders won 32-20, Johannesburg
2008: Crusaders won 31-6, Christchurch
2007: Lions won 9-3, Johannesburg
2006: Crusaders won 43-15, Christchurch

Prediction: The Lions ran out to a 42-25 win when they last met the Crusaders (2016 quarterfinal), snapping a seven-game losing streak against the Christchurch franchise. The last time a team won a Super Rugby final played outside their own home country was the Crusaders in 2000, who did so after travelling to Australia to face the Brumbies in the big dance. The Crusaders have been crowned Super Rugby champions on seven occasions previously and featured in 11 finals in total, both records in the competition. However, the Christchurch-based side has lost each of their last two finals, only the Sharks have lost more than two in a row when reaching the Grand Final. Three of the previous four Grand Finals to be contested by a side from New Zealand and a side from South Africa have been won by the New Zealand outfit. However, the one defeat in that run was the heaviest ever in a final (Bulls 61-17 Chiefs). Eight of the last 11 Super Rugby Grand Finals have been decided by margins of eight points or fewer, however, the three exceptions in that run were all games between a South African side and a team from New Zealand. The Lions head into this fixture on the back of a 14-game winning streak; the Crusaders are the only team in Super Rugby history to have won more games in succession, which they've done twice (15 straight in 2002-03; 16 straight in 2005-06). The Crusaders won each of their five games outside New Zealand this season, scoring an average of 43 points per game across those fixtures. South African teams have won nine of their last 12 play-off fixtures at home against New Zealand opposition; in fact, the Stormers are the only team in Super Rugby history to have lost such a fixture (four instances). Only once in Super Rugby history has a team contested consecutive plat-offs without winning at least one of them (Crusaders in 2003 & 2004). The Lions (572 metres) and Crusaders (513 metres) are two of only three teams (Hurricanes, 520 metres) to have gained an average of 500+ metres per game this season. The Lions have scored 30 tries in the final quarter of games so far this season, more than any other team, while they also conceded just five in the same time frame, fewer than any other team. Wyatt Crockett and Kieran Read are the only current Crusaders players to feature the last time the Canterbury side won the Grand Final, in 2008 against the Waratahs. Andries Coetzee gained 169 metres last week, the most of any player across either of the semifinals and has made a season total of 1,323 metres which is the third most of any player in
the entire competition. Ryan Crotty has crossed for five tries in his last four games against the Lions, all five of those tries coming at Ellis Park. There is unlike to be much more than a converted try between the two teams in the end. We feel the Lions will edge it - by seven points.

Teams:

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

Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Seta Tamanivalu, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 George Bridge.

Date: Saturday, August 5
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 16.00 (14.00 GMT; 02.00 NZ time, Sunday, August 6)
Expected weather: Some cloud cover, but fine and warm. High of 21°C and low of 7°C
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

By Jan de Koning
@kings365ed
@rugby365com

* Statistics provided by Opta Sports & sportguru.info

Malcolm Marx (63min) and Corne Fourie (71min)
TRIES
Seta Tamanivalu (6min), Jack Goodhue (11min), and Kieran Read (42min)
Elton Jantjies (64min) and Elton Jantjies (72min)
CONVERSIONS
Richie Mo’unga (8min) and Richie Mo’unga (43min)
Elton Jantjies (26min)
PENALTIES
Richie Mo’unga (40min) and Richie Mo’unga (52min)
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
 
Albertus Smith (38min)
 
VENUE Ellis Park
REFEREE Jaco Peyper (South Africa)