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Fourteen-man Lions blitz Glasgow Warriors; do Bulls a favour

MATCH REPORT: The Lions not only kept their United Rugby Championship play-off dream alive, but also did the Bulls a massive favour on Saturday.


Despite being reduced to 14 men for a large chunk of the game and 13 men for 10 minutes, they came from behind to score a deserved 44-21 win over an ambitious Glasgow Warriors.

Having started the weekend in first place on the standings, the Scottish outfit left Ellis Park without as much as a bonus point – slipping to third on the standings.

The Lions, despite sitting in ninth on a fluctuating table, could slip into the top eight with a few favourable results in the last round in a fortnight.

More significantly, it allowed the Bulls to overtake Glasgow in the standings.

The Lions, who had disciplinary issues earlier in the season, did not do themselves any favours by being reduced to 14 men for 54 minutes and 13 men for another 10 minutes.

Ruan was slapped with a yellow card in the 13th minute – after coming on as a replacement – when he pushed an opponent’s head into the ground.


In the 36th minute, he was issued a straight red card for making direct contact with an opponent’s head in a tackle.

Two minutes later the hosts were down to 13 men – No.8 Francke Horn yellow-carded for a cynical foul – slapping the ball away.

As they did against Connacht – in a similar situation earlier in the season – the Lions went dull-blow expansive and went from trailing 8-14 (when Horn returned) to taking a 36-14 lead.

They scored four tries in a 10-minute blitz.

* To recap all the drama, CLICK HERE!

(Article continues below …)


The Warriors, who saw their six-match winning run in the competition ended by the Bulls last weekend, were unable to capitalise on Ruan Venter’s first-half dismissal as they missed the chance to move back to the top of the table.

Gianni Lombard missed a brace of penalties on either side of the Lions losing Emmanuel Tshituka to a Head Injury Assessment inside the opening 11 minutes.

Glasgow then took the lead a minute later when Kyle Rowe crossed after running on to a kick through by George Horne, who added the extras, with Ruan Venter – a replacement for Tshituka – sin-binned for an infringement in the build-up to the try.

Jordan Hendrikse’s penalty got the Lions on the board and they moved in front when Rabz Maxwane went over after being sent in by Erich Cronje, although Hendrikse was unable to convert.

But the home side suffered a double blow prior to half-time as first Venter was sent off for contact to the head of Glasgow’s Tom Jordan and then Francke Horn was sent to the sin bin for a deliberate knock-on.

Glasgow took advantage six minutes into the second half when Euan Ferrie powered his way over the line, with Horne again converting.

However, four tries in a devastating 11-minute spell saw the Lions take control.

An outstanding individual try from Edwill van der Merwe, who ran on to his chip over the top to go over with Sanele Nohamba making no mistake from the tee, was followed by another free-flowing score which was finished off by Maxwane, with Nohamba again converting.

JC Pretorius and Nohamba added further scores, the latter converting on each occasion and also landing a penalty late on, before Josh McKay grabbed a third try for Glasgow and Duncan Weir kicked the extras.

But replacement Hanru Sirgel claimed the sixth and final try for the Lions as they registered a fifth win in seven URC matches.

The scorers

For the Lions
Tries: Maxwane 2, Van der Merwe, Pretorius, Nohamba, Sirgel
Cons: Nohamba 4
Pens: Hendrikse, Nohamba

For Glasgow Warriors
Tries: Rowe, Ferrie, McKay
Cons: Horne 2, Weir

Yellow card: Ruan Venter (Lions, 13 – foul play, pushing opponent’s head into the ground), Francke Horn (Lions, 39 – cynical foul, slapping the ball away)
Red card: Ruan Venter (Lions, 36 – foul play, head contact in tackle)


Lions: 15 Quan Horn, 14 Sibahle Maxwane, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Jordan Hendrikse, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Gianni Lombard, 9 Morné van den Berg, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Emmanuel Tshituka, 6 JC Pretorius, 5 Ruan Delport, 4 Willem Alberts (captain), 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 2 PJ Botha, 1 Morgan Naudé.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 JP Smith, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Ruan Venter, 21 Hanru Sirgel, 22 Sanele Nohamba, 23 Manuel Rass.

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Josh McKay, 14 Kyle Steyn (captain), 13 Stafford McDowall, 12 Sione Tuipulotu, 11 Kyle Rowe, 10 Tom Jordan, 9 George Horne, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Rory Darge, 6 Euan Ferrie, 5 Scott Cummings, 4 Gregor Brown, 3 Murphy Walker, 2 Angus Fraser, 1 Oli Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Johnny Matthews, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Max Williamson, 20 Matt Fagerson, 21 Jack Dempsey, 22 Jamie Dobie, 23 Duncan Weir.

Referee: Craig Evans (Wales)
Assistant referees: Morné Ferreira (South Africa) and Hanru Van Rooyen (South Africa)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)


* Additional reporting by @URCOfficial

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