Lions beat Cheetahs and knock Bulls off the top

Warwick Tecklenburg catches the ball for the Lions

The Lions knocked the Bulls off the top spot in the South African Super Rugby conference by beating the Cheetahs 17-40 in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

The Lions victory is their fourth straight win over the Cheetahs and makes it the second year running that the Lions have earned a cleansweep over the Cheetahs.

The match was the fourth time in Super Rugby that the Cheetahs have hosted the Lions in Bloemfontein and the home side have yet to win in their home city in these derby matches.

The Lions have matches against the Waratahs in Johannesburg and Stormers in Cape Town remaining as they have a bye in the final round of the regular season.

Next week the Cheetahs play the Stormers in Cape Town after which current coach Naka Drotske and assistant Os du Randt will step down.

The Cheetahs final two matches against the Waratahs and Bulls will be coached by incoming coach Franco Smith.

The match was therefore the Cheetahs final home match under Drotske as next week’s match is at Newlands in Cape Town.

A four-try victory at Free State Stadium kept alive the play-off hopes of a Johannesburg outfit who have exceeded expectations this season in the southern hemisphere inter-provincial championship.

Flawless goal-kicking by fly-half Elton Jantjies, good handling by backs and forwards, and powerful scrummaging were key factors in the comfortable success.

The Lions host the Australian Waratahs next weekend before visiting compatriots Western Stormers in their final league game and two victories could see them through to the knockout stages.

But there was no fairy-tale home ground finale for former Springbok hooker Drotske, who is stepping down this month after nine years guiding the Bloemfontein outfit.

Drotske will lead the Cheetahs for the last time next weekend away to the Stormers before starting a fire-extinguisher business.

The highlight of his long spell in charge was steering the Cheetahs to the Super 15 play-offs two years ago.

Flanker Jaco Kriel, centre Lionel Mapoe, winger Courtnall Skosan and scrum-half Faf de Klerk scored a try each for the Lions, who led 23-3 at half-time in perfect late South African autumn conditions.

And Jantjies was back to his best goal-kicking form, not missing a shot as he slotted four conversions and four penalties for a 20-point contribution.

Flanker Boom Prinsloo scored two tries for the Cheetahs and replacement back Coenie van Wyk converted both.

A penalty from fly-half Francois Brummer gave the hosts a seventh-minute lead that did not last long.

Jantjies kicked two penalties to give the visitors an advantage they never surrendered and Kriel claimed the opening try on 26 minutes after a driving maul off a line-out.

Another Jantjies penalty stretched the lead to 16-3 before the try of the match was scored in first-half stoppage time.

Numerous Lions handled the ball in a sweeping movement before a De Klerk dummy created space for Mapoe to burst through.

A Kriel off-load sent Skosan clear for the third try before the Lions were temporarily reduced to 14 men when hooker Robbie Coetzee was sin-binned for a late, dangerous tackle.

Prinsloo gave Cheetahs supporters a rare opportunity to cheer with the first of his two pushover tries before the Lions got their bonus-point fourth try on 66 minutes.

Powerful running and skilful handling brought the Lions close to the try-line and when De Klerk was held just short, he dotted the ball down with an outstretched hand.

Final Score Cheetahs 17 (3) Lions 40 (23)


Tries – B.Prinsloo 2
Pen – F.Brummer
Con – C.van Wyk 2
Drop – 
Cards –

Tries – J.Kriel, L.Mapoe, C.Skosan, Klerk
Pen – E.Jantjies 4
Con – E.Jantjies 4
Drop – 
Cards -R.Coetzee (48th min yellow)

Match Officials
Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant Ref 1:Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 2:Lourens van der Merwe
TMO :Marius Jonker



1. Danie Mienie,2. Torsten van Jaarsveld,3. Maks van Dyk,4. Carl Wegner,5. Francois Uys ( c ),6. Carel Greeff,7. Boom Prinsloo,8. Willie Britz,9. Tian Meyer,10. Francois Brummer,11.Raymond Rhule,12. Michael van der Spuy,13. Francois Venter ( vc),14. Cornal Hendricks,15. Clayton Blommetjies

Replacements :16.Stephan Coetzee,17.BG Uys,18.Ewald vd Westhuizen,19.Steven Sykes,20.Henco Venter,21.Shaun Venter,22.Coenie van Wyk,23.Ryno Benjamin


15. Andries Coetzee , 14. Ruan Combrinck , 13. Lionel Mapoe , 12. Howard Mnisi , 11. Courtnall Skosan , 10. Elton Jantjies , 9. Faf de Klerk , 8. Warren Whiteley (c) , 7. Warwick Tecklenburg , 6. Jaco Kriel , 5. Martin Muller , 4. Andries Ferreira , 3. Ruan Dreyer , 2. Robbie Coetzee , 1. Jacques van Rooyen

16. Armand van der Merwe , 17. Schalk van der Merwe , 18. Julian Redelinghuys , 19. Franco Mostert , 20. Robert Kruger , 21. Ross Cronje , 22. Jaco van der Walt , 23. Harold Vorster

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