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, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10