Bulls bulldozed by ruthless Lions
SUPER RUGBY PRE-SEASON REPORT: Lions produced a superb 66-22 win over the Bulls in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Lions head coach Swys de Bruyn sent a stern warning to the opposition as his side outscored the Bulls 10 tries to four in their pre-season match.
The Lions took a 26-15 lead at the break before second-half tries by Jo-Hanko De Villiers, Giani Lombard, Madosh Tabwe, Christiaan Meyer, Louritz van der Schyff and Shaun Reynolds eliminated any chances of a Bulls' victory.
The Lions began the match on the front foot and broke the deadlock after just five minutes of play thanks to Willie Engelbrecht. The No.8 crossed the chalk after a quick tap-and-go caught the Bulls' defence off-guard inside their five metre. Flyhalf Ashlon Davids failed to add the extras.
The Bulls had trouble finding their rhythm as silly handling errors and ill-discipline clouded their performance.
However, after 20 minutes of play, the Pretoria-based side levelled matters with their first points courtesy of Ginter Smuts. The scrumhalf picked up a loose ball inside the Lions' 22 and made his way to the try-line.
Flyhalf Tony Jantjies could not slot over the conversion and the score was locked at 5-all.
Minutes later, Bulls took the lead when Dries Swanepoel powered his way over in the corner. This time, Ulrich Breyers stepped up for the conversion and just like Janjties, he failed to add the extras. 10-5 after 26 minutes of play.
As the match progressed the lead swapped hands twice before the break.
Former Blue Bulls lock Marvin Orie crossed over the line for the Lions. Replacement, Shaun Reynolds slotted over the conversion for the narrow 12-10 lead.
However, the Bulls hit back with a try by wing Irvin Ali.
And with three minutes to go before the break Lions scored two tries. Centre Manual Rass burst through the middle to score while flank Hacjiva Dayimani also got his five-pointer from a turnover in the middle of the park.
Reynolds converted both tries for the 26-15 lead at the break.
In the second stanza, a Jo-Hanko de Villiers' try in the 42nd minute instigated the Lions' onslaught. They build momentum inside the Bulls' 22 which got De Villiers over for a perfect converted try.
33-15 soon became 40-15, as Lions captain Howard Mnisi showed great skill and offloaded to youngster Giani Lombard for the Lions' sixth try of the match.
Lions were not taking their foot off the gas and Wing Madosh Tambwe outpaced defenders for his five-pointer. Reynolds, who was sublime in front the posts, added another two points for the 47-15 in the 51st minute.
With their backs against the ropes, Bulls' efforts eventually reaped rewards when Rickert Korff crashed over for the five-pointer. Jantjies added the extras to trail 22-47.
However, every Bulls' positive action was eclipsed with Lions' perfection. And in the last minutes of the match, the hosts sealed the victory with three excellent tries by Christiaan Meyer, Louritz van der Schyff and Shaun Reynolds.
Tries: Engelbrecht,Orie, Rass, Dayimani, De Villiers, Lombard, Tabwe, Meyer, Van der Schyff, Reynolds
Cons: Reynolds 7, Lombard
TRies: Gunter, Swanepoel, Ali, Korff
Lions: 15 Giani Lombard, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Manuel Rass, 12 Howard Mnisi (captain), 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Ashlon Davids, 9 Marco Janse van Vuren, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Hacjiva Dayimani, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 PJ Steenkamp, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Corne Fourie, 1 Sti Sithole.
Replacements: Pieter Jansen, Cohen Kiewiet, Jaco Willemse, Jo-Hanko de Villiers, James Venter, Len Massyn, Christiaan Meyer, Shaun Reynolds, Louritz van der Schyff, Wandisile
Bulls: 15 Ulrich Beyers, 14 Irvin Ali, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Heino Bezuidenhout, 11 Andell Loubser, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Ginter Smuts, 8 Boom Prinsloo (captain), 7 Rickert Korff, 6 Shaun Adendorff, 5 Abongile Nonkontwana, 4 Ewan Coetzee, 3 Matthys Basson, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Dewald Maritz.
Replacements: Nqoba Mxoli, John-Roy Jenkinson, Simphiwe Matanzima, Thomas Meyer, Pieter Diergaardt, Adre Smit, Oderich Mouton, Vaughen Isaacs, Lian du Toit, Garrick Matthews, Jerome Bossr, Christiaan Strydom, Earll Douwrie, Gareth Heidtmann.
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen