Lions secure first victory over Blues since 2006

The Lions held on to beat the Blues 39-36 at Ellis Park on Saturday to secure their first victory over the Aucklanders since 2006.

The Lions led the Blues 17-0 at half time but the Blues mounted a late comeback which saw them win the second half 22-36.

The Lions were outscored by three tries to five but Marnitz Boshoff’s boot was the difference.

The result was however not without controversy as the Lions were awarded a try from a knock forward which was remarkably similar to a try that was disallowed yesterday in the match between the Chiefs and Stormers.

The hosts scored all the first-half points with two tries in the first 40 minutes
before the New Zealand franchise came back with a vengeance in the second half.

The Lions showed true grit in the opening exchanges as they had to keep the
Blues’ colossal tight forwards and dangerous backline at bay.

It was tireless stuff as the Lions had to defend wave after wave of brutal
attacks from the visiting team.

The Lions finally had a brief respite when one of the Blues players had to
receive medical attention before the home side made a surprising tactical decision.

On the half-hour mark captain Warren Whiteley opted for a corner kick instead
of an almost guaranteed three points from a penalty conversion.

The resultant driving maul from the lineout paid dividends when Blues prop
Charlie Faumuina was shown a yellow card for an infringement.

Three scrums later the Lions’ tenacity bore fruit as pint-sized scrumhalf Faf
de Klerk sold a dummy to Blues prop Tony Woodcock from a ruck metres from the
line to score in the 33rd minute.

Lions flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff converted the try and six minutes later the sharpshooting
kicker slotted over a drop just inside the Blues’ half.

On the 40 minute mark the Blues conceded a penalty and instead of going for
the points on offer the Lions took a quick tap and sent the ball to the other
end where wing Courtnall Skosan ran a beautiful line to score in the left-hand
corner, with Boshoff converting.

Two minutes after the restart Boshoff slotted his second drop goal with the
greatest of ease to extend their lead to 20 points.

The visitors’ ill-discipline again earned them a yellow card in the 45th minute
with Tom Donnelly this time the guilty party for charging into the ruck on two
occasions with his shoulder.

The Blues nevertheless went on to score their first points of the match with
flyhalf Chris Noakes succeeding with a penalty conversion a minute later before
Boshoff kicked his first penalty of the match in the 52nd minute.

The tourists then demonstrated why they are regarded as a dangerous attacking
side when they crossed the whitewash within two minutes.

Fleet-footed Blues wing Charles Piutau first got over the tryline after some
quick hands to score in the corner, with Noakes missing the conversion.

The Blues went on attack from the restart out of their 22 with Bryn Hall the
last receiver after an initial Piutau break and grubber kick.

Noakes converted to bring his side within eight points of the hosts before
match referee Stuart Berry awarded a the controversial try in the 60th minute.

On route to the tryline Deon van Rensburg lost the ball in a tackle and then
the ball rolled forward over and into the goal area with Coenie van Wyk falling
on the loose ball.

Fans in the stadium, the players and the TV commentators were all confused
as to why Berry wanted the TMO to see the replay as it looked to be a clear
knock forward.

Berry however said it looked as if a Blues player knocked the ball out of Van
Rensburg’s hands and was not a knock on so he awarded the try which Boshoff
converted.

The Blues responded five minutes later when Frank Halai d

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