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Lions 10 (3) vs Blues 55 (31)

Lions blown away by Blues

Blues hopelessly too good for Lions

The Blues beat the Lions 55-10 at Ellis Park on Saturday after leading 31-3 at the break. The visitors scored 7 tries to the 1 from the Lions. The Blues were far too good for the Lions, breaking the midfield defense at will, and also capatalising on far too many balls kicked away by the Lions.

Nick Evans started the game with a kick that came down just outside the Lions 22 meter line, where Anton van Zyl and Jaco Pretorius were in each other's way and between them managed to knock the ball. The Blues quickly regathered and attacked but lucklily for the Lions conceded a free kick at the 1st breakdown.

One of the 1st line breaks came from Isaia Toeava, who slipped past 2 Lions defenders in midfield, but the 3rd tackler got him, and nothing came of it.

Just seconds later Nick Evans sliced through the midfield again, running all the way to deep inside the Lions 22 meter area where he passed to Rokocoko, who was tackled, but from the ruck the Blues hit left again, and Kurtis Haiu managed to power over in the corner with the help of number eight Nick Williams. Evans converted to put the Blues in a 7-0 lead after 8 minutes.

The Lions first chance came in the 10th minute when they stole the ball in midfield, and Jano Vermaak kicked the ball into a vacant area in the Blues 22. Nacewa got to the ball first, but Benjamin tackled him and forced a penalty, converted by Strydom, the score now 7-3 for the Blues.

The pace was frenetic in the next 10 minutes, but good defense from both sides kept the game in the midfield, and only in the 20th minute, the Lions were caught offside just outside their 22, Evans converted the penalty to make it 10-3 for the Blues.

Just 2 minutes later Evans slipped through a midfield gap again, passed for the support on the left, and then followed up to receive the pass again and score under the posts, also adding the easy conversion.

And three minutes more of the same, Jerome Kaino got the ball on the Lions 22 meter line, and ran right past all the defenders to score in the right corner. Evans converted to make it 24-3 for the Blues after 26 minutes.

Nine minutes later the Blues scored their bonus point try with a move down the left, the ball came down the backline to the right again and from a ruck on the Lions line, Nacewa dived over for the try next to the right hand post. Evans converted to make the score 31-3.

The Lions biggest cheer came in the 38th minute when Kurtis Haiu spear tackled Louis Ludik and was shown a yellow card by referee Stuart Dickenson.

The Lions had a great chance to score two minutes from half time, when they were deep inside the Blues 22 meter area and a two or three man overlap on the left, but Rayno Benjamin's final pass was knocked on and the chance gone. That was half time, the score 31-3 for the Blues.

It didn't take the Blues long in the 2nd half to get going again, a great break by Benson Stanley through the midfield, the ball came out to Nick Williams who handed off a weak tackle and ran in a try through some more tackles from about the Lions 22 meter line. Evans kicked his 5th conversion to make the score 38-3 for the Blues.

6 minutes into the second half the Lions conceded a penalty at a ruck just outside their 22, Nick Evans kicked it to make the score 41-3 for the Blues.

Joe van Niekerk, Earl Rose and Jaco van Schalkwyk joined the action at this stage, and almost immediatly the Blues scored again, save for a great cover tackle from what looked like Benjamin.

Alten Hulme also joined the action shortly there after.

The Blues set up an attacking line-out inside the Lions 22 meter area after a penalty conceded at a ruck by Earl Rose, but this time the Lions managed to steal the ball and they attacked and managed to get to their own 10 meter line before the move broke down where Benjamin where heavily tackled.

The Blues scored again in the 24th minute of the second half, again breaking the midfield defense too easily and creating an overlap on the right, the ball going through the hands and Rudi Wulf scoring in the right corner. Evans again converted to make it 48-3 for the Blues.

With 12 minutes to go in the game Williamson replaced Wepener.

Haiu scored his second in the match when he received the ball from a ruck close to the Lions try-line and stepped the defense on the inside to dive over for the try. Again Evans kicked the conversion, the score now 55-3 for the Blues.

I spotted Jonck and Gert Andries van der Merwe on the field at this stage as well.

Jaco van Schalkwyk scored a consolation try for the Lions at the end, the Lions were taking the ball up inside the Blues 22 meter area on the left, and all of a sudden Earl Rose changed the direction to the right were we had two Lions and two Blues defenders, Jaco van Schalkwyk took the pass after letting it bounce and then sliced through the two defenders to score under the poles. Chris Jonck converted to make the final score 55-10 for the Blues.

The scorers:

For the Lions:
Jaco van Schalkwyk
Cons: Chris Jonck             
Louis Strydom      

For the Blues:
Kurtis Haiu(2), Nick Evans, Jerome Kaino, Isa Nacewa, Nick Williams, Rudi Wulf               
Cons: Nick Evans(7)         
Pens: Nick Evans(2)         

Yellow card: Kurtis Haiu (38)
Red card: none 

Lions: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Dusty Noble, 13 Jaco Pretorius, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Ryno Benjamin, 10 Louis Strydom, 9 Janno Vermaak, 8 Willem Alberts, 7 Franco van der Merwe, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar(c), 5 Gerhard Mostert, 4 Anton van Zyl, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Gert-Andries van der Merwe, 17 Gavin Williamson, 18 Alten Hulme, 19 Joe van Niekerk, 20 Chris Jonck, 21 Earl Rose, 22 Jaco van Schalkwyk.

Blues: 15. Isa Nacewa, 14. Anthony Tuitavake, 13. Isaia Toeava, 12. Benson Stanley, 11. Joe Rokocoko, 10. Nick Evans, 9. Danny Lee, 8. Nick Williams, 7. Justin Collins, 6. Jerome Kaino, 5. Troy Flavell(c), 4. Kurtis Haiu, 3. John Afoa, 2. Keven Mealamu, 1. Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16. Tom McCartney, 17. Nick White, 18. Bryn Evans, 19. Onosai Tololima-Auva'a, 20. Taniela Moa, 21. Ben Atiga, 22. Rudi Wulf.  

Referee: Stuart Dickinson (Australia) 
Touch judges: Matt Goddard (Australia) and Jaco Peyper (SA)
TV Match Official:
Johan Meuwesen (SA)

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