Bulls beat Lions in Soweto try-fest
PRE-SEASON REPORT: A late Cornal Hendricks try helped the Bulls edge the Lions 40-35 in an entertaining pre-season encounter in Soweto on Sunday.
There were 11 tries scored in the match with the Bulls outscoring their opponents by six tries to five during the 80 minutes.
The Lions got on the board in the eighth minute when the ball was spread wide from a scrum to centre Dan Kriel who ran straight through the Bulls’ defence for an easy try.
Captain Elton Jantjies added the two points with the conversion.
The Bulls hit back in the 14th minute with Abongile Nonkontwana crossing the Lions’ tryline after a powerful driving maul.
Morne Steyn made no mistake with the conversion to level the scores.
However, the Lions regained the lead in the 23rd minute after Duncan Matthews intercepted Ivan van Zyl’s pass before racing away for a try, which was converted by Jantjies.
The Bulls were then given an advantage when Lions hooker Pieter Jansen received a yellow card for some cynical play at a ruck.
Instead, it was the Lions who added to their tally with Matthews scoring his second try after some enterprising play from the Johannesburg team out wide.
A few minutes later the Bulls were back in it with Johnny Kotze going over the whitewash in the 37th minute after some excellent passing in the Lions’ 22.
Steyn added the two points and at half-time it was 21-14 to the Lions.
— Emirates Lions (@LionsRugbyCo) January 19, 2020
The scores were level two minutes into the second half after Manie Libbok pounced on a loose ball in the Lions’ 22 before sprinting in for an easy converted try.
The Bulls found themselves in front in the 49th minute after some more sloppy play by the Lions in their 22 resulted in a loose ball being picked up by the Bulls. The ball was spread wide to Rossouw, who ran in for a score.
The Lions needed to be the next to score and they did just that when Courtnall Skosan collected pin-point kick from Elton Jantjies in the Bulls’ in-goal area to score a fantastic try in the 56th minute.
Jantjies gave the Lions a two-point lead with the conversion.
That lead was extended in the 60th minute when Morné van der Berg evaded several defenders to power his way to the tryline for Lions’ fifth try.
Another Rossouw try brought the Bulls closer before the Pretoria team took the lead with just three minutes left on clock when Cornal Hendricks picked up the ball from a loose pass to dive over for a try, which Chris Smith converted.
That was enough for the Bulls to secure the win
Tries: Kriel, Matthews 2, Skosan, Van der Berg
Cons: Jantjies 5
Tries: Nonkontwana, Kotze, Libbok, Rossouw 2, Hendricks
Cons: Steyn 2, Smith 3
Yellow card: Pieter Jansen (Lions, 28 – cynical play, hands in the ruck)
Lions: 15 Tiaan Swanepoel, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Duncan Matthews, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 Andre Warner, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Pieter Jansen, 1 Dylan Smith.
Replacements – from: Jan-Henning Campher, Sti Sithole, Frans van Wyk, Roelof Smith, Cyle Brink, Morné van der Berg, Manuel Rass, Tyrone Green, Jo-Hanko de Villiers, Wilhelm van der Sluys, Jan-Louis La Grange, Wandisile Simelane.
Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Cornal Hendricks, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Muller Uys, 6 Wian Vosloo, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Simphiwe Matanzima.
Replacements: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Mornay Smith, 19 Ryno Pieterse, 20 Ruan Nortje/Jean Droste, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Divan Rossouw, 24 Dylan Sage, 25 Manie Libbok, 26 Jeandré Rudolph, 27 Abongile Nonkontwana, 28 Tim Agaba.
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant referees: Divan Uys, Aimee Barrett-Theron
TMO: Willie Vos
Mian picture: @LionsRugbyCo