Lions make history against Rebels
Fri, 04 Jul 2014 18:58
Bagging their sixth victory of this year's Super Rugby competition with a 34-17 defeat of the Rebels at Ellis Park on Friday, the Lions turned in their best season in the competition.
It may have been a disjointed affair but Lions mentor Johann Ackermann would have taken the victory on any day.
Like his players, Ackermann emerged as an unlikely saviour to an embattled team that only a year ago found themselves in the rugby wilderness.
With one more match left in the regular season, the fairy tale has not quite reached its final chapter.
However, the match was anything but bedtime reading as it had more bad patches than good ones.
The hosts opened the scores with a try two minutes into the match when winger Anthony Volmink received a beautifully floating pass from flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff.
Boshoff missed the conversion kick but he did not have to wait long to take aim again for a penalty conversion in the ninth minute.
The tourists got onto the scoresheet in the 22nd minute when Tom English finished a counter attack from a turnover deep inside their own half, with Jack Debreczeni converting.
On the half-hour mark Boshoff pulled back three points for his side through a penalty conversion before Debreczeni responded with his own three pointer.
With only a point separating the sides, Boshoff extended their lead to four points with a penalty goal in the 38th minute.
The Rebels made an encouraging start to the second half as flanker Colby Faingaa scored his side's second try through a driving maul from a lineout metres from the line, with Debreczeni adding the two extra points.
The Lions' persistent attack on the Rebels' line finally paid off on the hour mark when Boshoff gave an under arm pass to flanker Warwick Tecklenburg for the try.
Boshoff added the conversion and continued to play a leading role as he added some cushioning to the score with two penalty goals.
The Rebels' chances of launching a fightback were dealt a serious blow in the 69th minute when Scott Higginbotham copped a yellow card for a dangerous tackle.
The visitors were made to pay for their indiscretion as Lions captain Warren Whiteley scored the final try of the match, with Boshoff adding the two-pointer for a flattering 17-point victory.
Man of the Match: The Rebels had some impressive players, especially in the first half, Colby Fainga'a was all over the place and all over the ball, Scott Higginbotham almost got two tries but his yellow card did not help his cause. For the Lions there were also plenty of stand-out players. All of the loose forwards were impressive from Warren Whiteley, Warwick Tecklenburg, Jaco Kriel to Willie Britz and Derick Minnie. Boshoff was also solid and contributed plenty of points but we think Warren Whiteley deserves the prize!
For the Lions:
Tries: Volmink, Tecklenburg, Whiteley
Cons: Boshoff 2
Pens: Boshoff 5
For the Rebels:
Tries: English, Faingaa
Yellow card: Scott Higginbotham (Rebels, 70 - illegal tackle)
Lions: 15 Coenie van Wyk, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Nicolaas Hanekom, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Franco Mostert, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Jacques van Rooyen/Corne Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Willie Britz, 20 Derick Minnie, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Lionel Mapoe.
Rebels: 15 Jack Debreczeni, 14 Tom Kingston, 13 Tamati Ellison,12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Colby Fainga'a, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Pat Leafa,17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Paul Alo-Emile, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Jordy Reid, 21 Nic Stirzaker, 22 Jason Woodward, 23 Telusa Veainu.
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Stuart Berry, Cobus Wessels
TMO: Johan Greeff
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