Lions hammer Rebels in Melbourne
SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Lions bagged another bonus-point win on their Australian tour when they thrashed the Melbourne Rebels 47-10 in Melbourne on Saturday.
The Johannesburg-based Lions outscored the Rebels seven tries to one for their seventh straight win in this season's competition.
The Lions, losing finalists to the Hurricanes last year, further extended their lead at the top of the Africa Conference Two with their romp.
The injury-depleted Rebels, fighting to stay in next season's Super Rugby competition, trailed 7-14 late in the first half but were no match for the slick Lions steered by their classy halves combination of Elton Jantjies and Ross Cronje.
A highlight of the free-scoring victory was a sensational try by wing Sylvian Mahuza from his side of halfway in the 50th minute where he toyed with the Rebels defence.
"Momentum is building, but there is still a lot that needs to be worked on," skipper Warren Whiteley said.
"We still have some soft moments within the game. We're hard on ourselves, we want to keep on improving and this competition keeps you on your toes.
"It will get no easier next week against the Brumbies in Canberra."
Lions flank Albertus Smith opened the scoring after 20 minutes following sustained pressure and Cronje crossed five minutes later.
The scrumhalf swept on to an inside ball from hooker Malcolm Marx and beat two defenders to open up a 14-0 lead.
The Rebels worked hard and grabbed their only try of the match when a grubber kick from scrumhalf behind the Lions line was pounced on by Tom English.
The home side, watched by a small crowd, trailed by seven points but nearing half-time Lions wing Courtnal Skosan dashed over to lead 19-7 at half-time.
It was one-way traffic in the second half with four Lions tries, including Mahuza's scintillating effort, bouncing off five Rebels players to score under the crossbar.
The Lions were awarded a penalty try midway through the half with Rebels lock Cullum Retallick yellow-carded for intentional offside as he tried to prevent a try-bound rolling maul.
Further tries from Anthony Volmink and Whiteley completed the Rebels misery.
The Rebels remain anchored at the bottom of the Australian conference with just one win.
Man of the match: The Lions forward pack again dominated their opponents with Franco Mostert starring. However, the award goes to wing Courtnall Skosan who rattled the Rebels' defence a number of times and for scoring one of his team's tries as well.
For Melbourne Rebels:
Tries: Smith, Cronje, Skosan, Mahuza, Penalty Try, Volmink, Whiteley
Cons: Jantjies 5
Yellow card: Culum Retallick (Melbourne Rebels, 62 - cynical play, offside)
Melbourne Rebels: 15 Reece Hodge, 14 Sefa Naivalu, 13 Tom English, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Ben Volavola, 9 Ben Meehan, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Colby Fainga'a (captain), 6 Hugh Sinclair, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Steve Cummins, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 James Hanson, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Fereti Sa'aga, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Culum Retallick, 20 Will Miller, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23 Jack Maddocks.s.
Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Albertus Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Lourens Erasmus, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Ruan Ackermann, 20 Robert Kruger, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Jacques Nel, 23 Anthony Volmink.
Referee: Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
Assistant referees: Ed Martin (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)