2019 Lions Super Rugby Preview
April 19, 2019 - The match was played in Hamilton on Friday 19 April 2019, and kicked off at 9:35pm SA Time.
The Lions started the match in impressive fashion, keeping ball in hand and making ground and putting pressure on the Chiefs, pressure that eventually lead to the Chiefs conceding a scrum penalty in front of their poles, where Elton Jantjies kicked the penalty to put the Lions in a 3-0 lead after 10 minutes.
The Chiefs then gradually came back in the game, and pinned the Lions in their own 22 for a while, but the defence of the Lions was solid and they managed to weather the storm.
It was only after 28 minutes when the Chiefs conceded another scrum penalty on their 10 metre line that Jantjies increased the lead to 6-0 with another penalty.
5 minutes before half time the Lions had a penalty line-out close to the Chiefs try-line, where the Lions put the ball through a couple of phases, and eventually Carlu Sadie scored from a pick and go. Jantjies converted to make it 13-0.
Just before the break the Lions increased their lead when they stole a ball on the halfway line, the ball was moved down the backline to the left, and Warren Whiteley then kicked a grubber on the 10 metre line that evaded the Chiefs defenders and Aphiwe Dyantyi gathered the ball and ran in the try. Janjies kicked the conversion to put the Lions in a 20-0 lead at the break.
Midway through the second half the Chiefs scored their 1st try, this came from a Chiefs scrum on the halfway line, Weber attacked the unguarded blind side and was stopped on the Lions 22, where he got the pass away to McKenzie, he passed to Lienert-Brown who beat the tackle of Dyantyi, and the ball went wide to Wainui who scored in the right hand corner, a brilliant try by the home team.
The second Chiefs try came shortly thereafter, when Dyantyi kicked a weak clearance kick under pressure, McKenzie fielded the kick and passed to Wainui, who linked up with Jacobson on the right hand touch line and on the Lions 22 metre line, he was brought down just 5 metres from the Lions try-line, and from the ruck Weber found Laulala who crashed over for the try. With 17 minutes to play the score was 20-10 for the Lions.
The next try also came from the Chiefs, McKenzie put in a kick behind the Lions backline into the Lions 22, where Jantjies failed to gather and the ball was picked up by Lienert-Brown, who popped the pass to Manu who scored.
With time almost up in the match, Jantjies sealed it with a drop goal to give the Lions a 23-17 win.
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
AR1: Mike Fraser
AR2: Rasta Rasivhenge
TMO: Shane McDermott
Chiefs: 15 Jack Debreczeni, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Alex Nankivell, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Ataata Moeakiola, 10 Marty McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber (captain), 8 Taleni Seu, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Mitchell Brown, 4 Tyler Ardron, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Liam Polwart, 1 Angus Ta'avao.
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei'aho, 17 Atu Moli, 18 Sosefo Kautai, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Pita Gus Sowakula, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Tumua Manu, 23 Shaun Stevenson
Lions: 15. Andries Coetzee; 14. Sylvian Mahuza, 13. Lionel Mapoe, 12. Elton Jantjies, 11. Aphiwe Dyantyi; 10. Gianni Lombard, 9. Ross Cronje; 8. Warren Whiteley (Capt), 7. Cyle Brink, 6. Kwagga Smith, 5. Marvin Orie, 4. Stephan Lewies, 3. Carlu Sadie, 2. Malcolm Marx, 1. Sti Sithole.
Replacements: 16. Robbie Coetzee, 17. Frans Van Wyk, 18. Johannes Jonker, 19. Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20. Marnus Schoeman, 21. Nic Groom, 22. Franco Naude, 23. Ruan Combrinck.
Chiefs: 17 (0): Tries: Sean Wainui, Nepo Laulala, Tumua Manu. Conversions: Marty McKenzie. Penalties:
Lions: 23 (20): Tries: Carlu Sadie, Aphiwe Dyantyi. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (2). Penalties: Elton Jantjies (2). Drop Goals: Elton Jantjies.