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VIDEO: Bonus point kings on the losing end again

REACTION: The Lions have become the bonus point kings in the United Rugby Championship with the most of all the teams, despite losing five out of their nine outings.

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The Lions now have eight bonus points, the most on the log, and this can prove vital in the latter stages of the competition.

It was a dramatic end to the Lions’ effort against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday. With two minutes left on the clock, flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse stepped up for a penalty goal that could’ve won the game for coach Ivan van Rooyen’s charges.

The young Hendrikse went from hero to villain after he slotted a valuable kick to take the Lions into the lead by 28-27 a mere seven minutes earlier.

The kick was not over and yet again the Lions ended up losing within the seven-point margin.

Captain Marius Louw was clearly disappointed after the match, but indicated how important that bonus point will be.

“It is not great losing by less than seven points every time, but last year we saw what bonus points mean, so we’ll take it anytime of the day,” he said at the post-match press conference.

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“Obviously happy to come away with at least one point but not satisfied yet. I think there is a lot of potential in this team and we know that. So it’s not just about believing, we know we can,” Louw indicated.

Van Rooyen said he had so many emotions going through him after the game.

“Different smile, different feeling, different emotions.

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“I think the fact that we stuck into it for 80 minutes is something to be proud of. The character, the fight.

“I think we fronted up physically, we know with momentum and quick ball, the Bulls are probably the best in the world.

“It’s bittersweet, it could’ve gone the other way,” the coach shared.

The Lions moved up one position on the log from 11th to tenth spot with 24 points. The win meant the Bulls moved up from sixth to fourth on the table (30 points).

“Our next two games are Bulls and Sharks at home. I don’t want to say must wins, but it is must wins,” Van Rooyen said.

“If we can get eight to ten points out of those it will leave us in a position where we go on tour that you want to stay in the fight and get as many points as possible.

“If I’m really honest, I think we probably can be better at home as well. It’s a nice challenge for us to have the Bulls who are flying high and the Sharks that has drastically improved in the last four to six weeks, to have them at Ellis Park.

“Just again, the margins are so small, Jordan kicks it over or there was a penalty two phases before that, different kind of kick,” Van Rooyen said.

There was a controversial moment in the game when Bulls No. 8 Mpilo Gumede picked up the ball behind a scrum and raced to try-line for the Bull’s third try.

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Morné van den Berg, the Lion’s scrumhalf, ran into referee Cwengile Jadezweni which prevented him from getting to Gumede for a tackle.

Louw and Van Rooyen were indifferent about the scenario.

“He also has to occupy space and they capitalised well on that. If you look, New Zealand scored a very similar try, I don’t know exactly when it was,” Louw said.

“Sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it doesn’t and I think, hindsight, maybe if Krappie [Morne van den Berg] made the tackle on the ref ,we would’ve come back to that, so I think it was just a defensive error from our side,” the captain said.

 

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