The Lions had been stuffed with operating. (Photograph by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Pictures)
The Lions proved their upward curve within the Rainbow Cup is not any fluke by ending the Bulls’ unbeaten run with a superb 34-33 victory at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Because it occurred | Rainbow Cup – Lions v Bulls
For the fourth successive time, Jake White’s troops had been significantly discomforted by their neighbours and, belatedly, translated that into one thing tangible.
The Lions had been usually aggressive on the breakdowns, scrummed solidly and, vitally, stood up brilliantly within the collisions, which is a feather of their cap given how the Bulls are famend as the ability specialists within the native recreation at the moment.
That was evident as early because the fifth minute, when the Lions constructed some good momentum on the again of efficient part play, resulting in lock Ruben Schoeman barging over from shut vary.
The dearth of focus that plagued them beforehand threatened to hang-out them once more because the Bulls struck again via tries by blindsider Elrigh Louw and fullback David Kriel.
However the hosts discovered inspiration within the notably hasty winger Rabz Maxwane, who scored a sensational strive, brilliantly serving previous the hulking Duane Vermeulen earlier than chipping over Kriel and re-gathering.
Once more, the Bulls perceived composure appeared to shine as Vermeulen made up with a thumping hit on Lions pivot Jordan Hendrikse, a turnover that noticed wing and former Lion Madosh Tambwe gallop in the direction of the try-line.
Hendrikse’s second penalty handed the house facet a slim 20-19 lead at half-time although their probabilities appeared to have evaporated by a four-minute Bulls blitz, the place Tambwe’s twinkle toes proved instrumental in tries for Kriel and flyhalf Chris Smith.
Nevertheless, these scores had been truly a microcosm for the lads from Loftus’ efficiency.
It lacked cohesion and advised that they relied on fleeting moments of brilliance as an alternative of creating their acquainted platform.
In distinction, the Lions took management within the ultimate quarter, getting again into the body via a strive from a line-out for nippy flanker MJ Pelser, earlier than they tightened the screws via their highly effective scrum, permitting alternative flyhalf Fred Zeilinga to attain the clincher.
It was a minimum of the hosts deserved.
Lions – 34 (20)
Tries: Ruben Schoeman, Rabz Maxwane, MJ Pelser, Fred Zeilinga
Conversions: Jordan Hendrikse (3)
Penalties: Hendrikse (2)
Bulls – 33 (19)
Tries: David Kriel (2), Elrigh Louw, Madosh Tambwe, Chris Smith
Conversions: Smith (4)
15 EW Viljoen, 14 Rabz Maxwane, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 MJ Pelser, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel, 4 Ruben Schoeman , 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole
Substitutes: 16 PJ Botha, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Emmanuel Tshituka, 21 Morne van den Berg, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Manuel Rass
15 David Kriel, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 James Verity-Amm, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Elrigh Louw, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Substitutes: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Mornay Smith, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Zak Burger, 22 Clinton Swart, 23 Stravino Jacobs