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Lions score five times to dispose of the Falcons

MATCH REPORT: The Lions showed they can score tries by doing so five times in their 35-13 victory over Newcastle Falcons in the EPCR Challenge Cup at Ellis Park on Saturday.

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In a complete turn-around from last weekend, when they beat Perpignan with the boot. This time round they managed to cross five times with Emmanuel Tshituka grabbing two tries.

The Lions had a good start with some excellent long distance kicks but the first points went to the visitors after a penalty against captain Marius Louw as he failed to release the ball carrier on the ground.

The Falcon’s Brett Connon lined it up for a goal and got his team on the scoreboard.

Repeated infringements by the Lions put them under extreme pressure as it allowed the Falcons to kick for touch and play within the Lions’ 22.

The home-side managed to snatch a Falcons line-out ball and a clearance kick by Morne van den Berg brought them some well-needed relief.

The Lions finally got some momentum and swung it wide, but a pass by Francke Horn went astray. But they won a penalty advantage and Nohamba found touch five metres out from goal.

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Some big hits went in by the Falcons and then a Lions pass was sent out of the field of play.

The Lions regrouped through a maul and hooker PJ Botha got over for the first try after 18 minutes of play.

The Falcon’s discipline started slipping and the Lions managed to find some momentum, resulting in prop JP Smith forcing his way over. Nohamba added the extras and the Lions extended their lead to 14-3.

The Falcons got a bit of respite with another successful penalty kick, closing the gap to 6-14.

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The Lions put multiple phases together and eventually the pressure was too much for the Falcons and their captain Josh Bainbridge was shown a yellow card four minutes before halftime.

Moments after the hooter went for halftime, a TMO decision went against the Falcon’s Phillip van der Walt for a high tackle and he was sent off for the visitor’s second yellow card of the day.

The first half ended with a bit of argy-bargy even after the referee blew the whistle for halftime.

The Lions started the second half while two Falcons players were still in the sin-bin.

The Falcons were stuck in their own 22 for the first ten minutes of the second half, but the Lion’s efforts did not yield any points.

After their captain returned, the Falcons managed to sustain the attacking onslaught of the Lions through hardy defence.

But eventually Emmanuel Tshtituka managed to drive his way over with deliberate straight running as the holes finally started appearing.

Just before an hour’s play the Falcons, back to their full contingent of 15 players, finally managed to cross the whitewash right under the uprights, converted by Connon.

Trailing by eight points, the game was on.

Marius Louw then scored the bonus point try for his side in the 70th minute after the Lions recycled the ball, kept the continuity and the captain managed to stay on his feet and get over the whitewash. It wasn’t clinical but it was effective.

Nohamba converted and the home-side stretched their lead to 28-13 with ten minutes left on the clock.

This gave the Lions the momentum they needed and from there they dominated proceedings. Tshituka scored his second on the night to help the Lions to a comfortable win at home.

Man of the Match: Darrien Landsberg earned this award with his complete dominance in the line-outs, while he was also huge in taking the ball up as well in defence.

Scorers:

For Lions:
Tries: Botha, Smith, Tshituka 2, Louw
Cons: Nohamba 5

For Newcastle:
Tries: Lockwood
Cons: Connon
Pens: Connon 2

Yellow card: Josh Bainbridge (Falcons – 36’ off the feet), Philip van der Walt (Falcons – 40’ for a high tackle)

Teams:

Lions: 15 Quan Horn, 14 Richard Kriel, 13 Rynhardt Jonker, 12 Marius Louw (captain), 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 Sanele Nohamba, 9 Morne Van den Berg, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Ruan Venter, 6 Emmanuel Tshituka 5 Darrien Landsberg, 4 Williem Alberts, 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 2 PJ Botha, 1 JP Smith.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Morgan Naude, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Raynard Roets, 20 Hanry Sirgel, 21 JC Pretorius, 22 Jordan Hendrikse, 23 Gianni Lombard.

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Elliott Obatoyinbo, 14 Nathan Greenwood, 13 Ben Stevenson, 12 Cameron Hutchison, 11 Louis Brown, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Josh Barton, 8 John Kelly, 7 Josh Bainbridge (captain), 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Kiran McDonald, 4 Tim Cardall, 3 Mark Tampin, 2 Charlie Maddison, 1 Adam Brocklebank
Replacements: 16 Michael van Vuuren, 17 Mark Dormer, 18 Murray McCallum, 19 Adam Scott, 20 Freddie Lockwood, 21 Ben Douglas, 22 Josh Thomas, 23 George Wacokecoke

Referee: Benoit Rousselet
Assistant referees: Morne Ferreira & Filippo Russo
TMO: Eric Gauzins

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