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Lions 27 vs Blue Bulls 22

Lions win to stay in semi-final hunt

Blue Bulls get one bonus point only. 

The Lions beat the Blue Bulls 27-22 at Ellis Park on Saturday, scoring 2 tries to 1 and managing to stay in the hunt for one of the four semi-final spots.

The Blue Bulls started the match, and made the first mistake by kicking the ball straight into touch, giving the Lions a scrum on the center spot. 

2 minutes into the match they also conceded the 1st penalty of the match by holding onto the ball just inside their own half, and Louis Strydom kicked the penalty for the Lions for a 3-0 lead.  

Almost straight away the Blue Bulls hit back with a drop goal by Hougaard from about the Lions 10 meter line to even the score at 3-3.

The Blue Bulls had a great chance to score a try after nine minutes into the game when Julies kicked a clever grubber into open space in the Lions 22 meter area, but luckily for the Lions the ball was knocked on by Lobberts trying to regather.

13 minutes into the game the Lions had a chance for a try with Strydom also putting a grubber in behind the Blue Bulls backline, Molefe regathered and the Lions took the ball up deep inside the Blue Bulls 22, and then from the ruck the ball came right, where Human on the wing dived for the corner trying to beat 2 defenders. The TMO gave the try, with Strydom missing the difficult conversion, the Lions back in a 8-3 lead. 

17 minutes into the game Hougaard tried another drop from just outside the Lions 22 meter line, but pushed it just wide.

Just a minute later Vermaak went offside at a ruck inside his 22, trying to pressure JP Joubert, and Hougaard didn't miss the sitter of a penalty, the score now 8-6 for the Lions.

28 minutes into the game Hougaard kicked another penalty for the Blue Bulls from inside the Lions 22 meter area, where the Lions were blown up for not rolling away after a tackle. This put the Blue Bulls in the lead for the first time in the match, 9-8 the score.        

35 minutes into the game the Blue Bulls went offside at a ruck on their 10 meter line, and Strydom kicked the penalty to put the Lions back in a 11-9 lead.

Just two minutes later the Lions went offside again, just outside their 22, and Hougaard got the penalty to put the Blue Bulls ahead again, 12-11 the score.

Then some magic after the hooter from the Lions, from a ruck on the Blue Bulls 10 meter line, Vermaak paased to Strydom who was deep and he attempted a drop goal from just inside the Blue Bulls half, and amazingly it went over, the Lions in the lead 14-12 at the break.

Three minutes into the second half Vermaak put the Lions in a great position when he stole a ball from a Blue Bulls scrum on the halfway line, he kicked the ball ahead and chased, and even though he didn't get there first, forced the Blue Bulls to kick the ball out close to their try-line. Unfortunately the Lions couldn't capatalise on this great attacking position.

8 minutes into the second half the Lions were penalised for hands in a ruck, halfway between their 10 meter and 22 meter lines, and Hougaard kicked the penalty to put the Blue Bulls back in a 15-14 lead. 

Two minutes later the Lions were on the attack again, and were awarded a penalty for a high tackle on Jannie Boshoff just outside the Blue Bulls 22 meter line, the Lions back in front 17-15.

19 minutes into the second half the Lions had a scrum deep inside the Blue Bulls 22, Vermaak passed left to Strydom who passed to Boshoff, who beat his defender on the inside and dotted down behind the poles. Strydom converted to make it 24-15 for the Lions.

3 minutes later the Blue Bulls were awarded a penalty for Benjamin being in front of the kicker, but Hougaard this time pushed the difficult penalty to the right. 

With 14 minutes left in the game Reynecke and Alberts replaced Wepener and Cronje.

The next seven minutes saw sustained attack from the Blue Bulls, and eventually they burst over the line, although it looked like the player lost the ball, but the TMO awarded it after looking at it a million times. Hougaard converted to make the score 24-22 for the Lions.

4 minutes from time Strydom kicked another penalty from just inside the Blue Bulls 10 meter line to make it 27-22 for the Lions.

The Lions managed to defend their line for the next 4 minutes and take a great win...27-22.

The scorers:

For the Lions:
Wylie Human, Jannie Boshoff       
Cons: Louis Strydom           
Louis Strydom(4)      
Drops: Louis Strydom         

For the Blue Bulls:
Ruan Vermeulen              
Cons: Derick Hougaard        
Pens: Derick Hougaard(4)         
Derick Hougaard       

Yellow card: none
Red card: none 

Lions: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Wylie Human, 13 Jannie Boshoff, 12 Thabang Molefe, 11 Ryno Benjamin, 10 Louis Strydom, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Jacques Cronje, 7 Ernst Joubert(c), 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Anton van Zyl, 3 Lawrence Sephaka, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Cobus Grobler, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Freddie van Zyl, 21 Walter Venter, 22 Earl Rose.

Blue Bulls: 15. Johan Roets, 14. John Mametsa, 13. JP Nel, 12. Wayne Julies, 11. Marius Delport, 10. Derick Hougaard, 9. JP Joubert, 8. Deon Stegmann, 7. Hilton Lobberts, 6. Hottie Louw, 5. Francois van Schouwenburg, 4. Cliffie Milton, 3. Rayno Gerber, 2. Derick Kuun, 1. Jaco Engels.
Replacements: 16. James van der Walt, 17. Werner Kruger, 18. Ruan Vermeulen, 19. Gerhard Human, 20. Neil Powell, 21. Morne Steyn, 22. Danwel Demas..  

Referee: Deon van Blommestein (SARU) 
Touch judges: Lourens van der Merwe (FS) and Peet Badenhorst (Lions)
TV Match Official:
Michael Cupido (Lions)

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