Lions win Ellis Park try-fest
SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Lions earned a bonus-point 55-36 win over the Waratahs in a 13-try feast at Ellis Park on Saturday.
It was NOT a match for the purists.
Tackling was certainly not at a premium and the error rate on both sides was shockingly high.
However, it was entertaining, very entertaining and the Lions got themselves a valuable win that saw them move to the top of the Africa Two conference.
Lions centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg dedicated his two tries to his late mother.
His mother died three days ago after a long illness and the Springbok fulfilled her wish that he play for the 2016 runners-up at Ellis Park stadium.
"It was the wish of my mother that I carry on playing and I dedicate my tries to her," said the centre who took his season try tally to four from two matches.
While some tries stemmed from excellent attacking play, others came after poor defending during a match played in perfect conditions.
The Lions were particularly deadly from driving mauls after line-outs, using the tactic to score three times.
Ahead within four minutes, the Lions should have led by more than 33-24 at half-time given two Waratahs were yellow-carded.
An Elton Jantjies drop goal followed by the second Janse van Rensburg try stretched the lead to 19 points and the South Africans never looked like being overtaken.
Even when the Johannesburg outfit were reduced to 14 men by a second-half sin-binning, they did not lose control of an often scrappy encounter.
Skipper Warren Whiteley, Ruan Ackermann, Andries Coetzee, Ross Cronje, Sylvian Mahuza and Malcolm Marx were the other Lions try scorers.
Jantjies succeeded with six of his eight conversion attempts and slotted a drop goal for a 15-point haul.
Rob Horne, Michael Hooper, Bryce Hegarty, David McDuling and Israel Folau crossed the try-line for the Sydney outfit.
Reece Robinson kicked three conversions and a penalty and Hegarty a conversion.
The Lions face the Jaguares in Argentina next weekend, while the Waratahs complete a tour of South Africa by playing the Sharks in Durban.
Man of the match: Waratahs: Israel Folau showed some good skill towards the end, Bryce Hegarty did well as a stand-in flyhalf, while Michael Hooper Tolu Latu caused the Lions plenty of problems at the breakdown. The Lions' backs were disappointing, given the amount of quality possession they got. The real heroes were the forwards - Ruan Ackermann, Jaco Kriel, Andries Ferreira and our man of the match Franco Mostert.
For the Lions:
Tries: Whiteley, Ackermann, Janse van Rensburg 2, Coetzee, Cronje, Mahuza, Marx
Cons: Jantjies 6
For the Waratahs:
Tries: Horne, Hooper, Hegarty, McDuling, Folau
Cons: Robinson 2, Hegarty
Yellow card: Reece Robinson (Waratahs, 10 - foul play, spear tackle), Sekope Kepu (Waratahs, 30 - repeated infringements, illegally collapsing a maul), Franco Mostert (Lions, 57 -0 repeated infringements, not rolling away at breakdown)
Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 Harold Vorster, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Ruan Ackermann, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Albertus Smith, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Sylvian Mahuza, 23 Jaco van der Walt.
Waratahs: 15 Andrew Kellaway 14 Reece Robinson, 13 Israel Folau, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Matt Lucas, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Tom Robertson.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 David Lolohea, 19 David McDuling, 20 MacLean Jones, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 David Horwitz, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro
Referee: Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)