Tshituka stars as Lions stun Munster
REPORT: The Lions made a huge statement with an impressive 23-21 win over Munster at Ellis Park on Saturday.
*To recap all the action CLICK HERE!!!
The win marked their second in a row in the competition and will certainly boost their confidence as they look forward to a few more home games after a disappointing start to the season.
Munster scored three first-half tries to only one try and a penalty goal by the Lions for a handy 21-10 halftime lead.
However, the hosts fought back with intent in the second half, denying the visitors a single point, while they scored a try and two penalty goals to edge to the victory in the dying minutes.
Munster broke out of the blocks quickly scoring two converted tries within six minutes by props John Ryan and Josh Wycherley following several phases on attack to build up a 14-0 lead by the 13th minute.
The Lions hit back with some determined play and worked their way close to the try line on a few occasions. Their efforts eventually paid off in the 31st minute as wing Edwill van der Merwe gathered a stunning offload and used his pace to dash to the try line and score their first points of the match.
Jordan Hendrikse (flyhalf) added the extra two and a subsequent penalty goal to see the hosts trail 10-14.
Munster, however, had the last say in the half as Fineen Wycherley (lock) scored a try from a great break close to the tryline and he used his power to force his way over the chalk for an encouraging 21-10 halftime lead.
Munster threatened to score again minutes after the restart with No.8 Alex Kendellen being denied a try due to a forward pass in the build-up.
The Lions had a golden opportunity to score their second try in the 63rd minute, but a crucial handling error cost them.
Instead, Hendrikse added his second penalty goal two minutes later to reduce their deficit to eight points.
Wandisile Simelane (centre) closed the gap further minutes later as the Johannesburg side took advantage of a loose ball and spread it wide, and the speedster dashed to the try line from the corner with minutes to play. Hendrikse’s conversion saw the hosts trail by one point with 12 minutes to play.
Hendrikse pushed the hosts into the lead for the first time in the game as he slammed over in his third penalty which nudged the team 23-21 ahead.
The Lions held on until the final whistle to seal the stunning win.
Man of the match: The Lions players were incredible in the second half, however, our nod goes to Lions flank Vincent Tshituka, who was an absolute beast not only in open play but he dominated the breakdown, won a couple of turnovers and also attack with intent.
TRies: Van Der Merwe, Simelani
Cons: Hendrikse 2
Pens: Hendrikse 3
Tries: Ryan, F Wycherley, J Wycherley
Cons: Crowley 3
Lions: 15 Quan Horn, 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Burger Odendaal (Captain), 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Morne van den Berg, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Sibusiso Sangweni, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole,
Replacements: 16 PJ Botha, 17 JP Smith, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Ruan Venter, 20 Emmanuel Tshituka, 21 Nico Steyn /Ginter Smuts, 22 Manuel Rass, 23 Tiaan Swanepoel.
Munster: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Calvin Nash, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Shane Daly, 10 Jack Crowley, 9 Neil Cronin, 8 Alex Kendellen, 7 John Hodnett, 6 Jack O’Donoghue (captain), 5 Fineen Wycherley, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 John Ryan, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Josh Wycherley
Replacements: 16 Scott Buckley, 17 Mark Donnelly, 18 Keynan Knox, 19 Eoin O’Connor, 20 Chris Cloete, 21 Paddy Patterson, 22 Ben Healy, 23 Liam Coombes
Referee: Adam Jones
Assistant Referees: Cwengile Jadezweni, Paul Mentte
TMO: Chris Busby