Lions just took what was theirs

Sat, 03 Aug 2013 20:25
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The Lions reclaimed what they felt was rightfully theirs, Super Rugby status.

The Lions reclaimed what they felt was rightfully theirs, Super Rugby status.

They were stripped of their right to play in the competition in the boardroom, but reclaimed it on the playing field.

This was the view of departing Lions captain JC Janse van Rensburg, after his team lost 18-23 to the Southern Kings in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Despite defeat the Lions won the two-match promotion-relegation series against the Southern Kings on aggregate, 44-42, after they took a seven-point lead with last week's 26-19 triumph in Port Elizabeth.

Janse van Rensburg ran out in front for the last time, before heading to French team Bayonne - where he signed a two-year deal.

"Not the result we were after [in this match], but we are back in Super Rugby," the likeable skipper said, adding: "We went and got back what belongs to the Lions."

The Kings needed to win by more than eight points to remain in Super Rugby, but the Lions held on despite being reduced to 14 men late in the game and claimed a vital losing bonus point.

While the Kings went into the match as overwhelming underdogs following last weekend's defeat in the Port Elizabeth, they came out firing.

"It was a helluva hard game here [at Ellis Park], but luckily for us it was within seven points - we got the bonus point and we are back in Super Rugby," Janse van Rensburg said.

The Lions again relied heavily on their scrum and won several penalties as the Kings' set piece faltered.

"We worked really hard and [World Cup-winning Springbok] Balie [Swart] has done an amazing job with the guys," the Lions skipper said.

He admitted to being "emotional" ahead of his departure for France and the fact that he will not be playing for the Lions when they return to Super Rugby next year.

"My lip is quivering and the tears are close," he said.

"However, I had eight great years at the Lions and the union really looked after me. I am just grateful to them."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 87 4 0 4 21
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 15
Reds 8 3 0 5 13
Sunwolves 8 0 0 8 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 6 0 2 29
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Blues 8 2 0 6 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 30
Bulls 8 4 0 4 19
Sharks 9 3 1 5 18
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 16
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14