Lions shine in the wet
The Lions put in a master class performance at a rainy Emirates Airline Park on Saturday evening. The Lions pack and a masterful Elton Jantjies led the home side to a dominant, one side 43-5 victory.
Few better displays of rugby in terrible conditions one will not see. Having surely given his young chargers an ear full for the last two weeks Johann Ackermann must be one of the proudest men in South Africa tonight as his side ran in 7 tries (to 1 from the Blues) in conditions that one would never associate with the running approach of the men from Johannesburg.
Warren Whitely would put the Blues on the back foot with an early strike and after that it was over to the little general to pull the Lions comfortably clear after a mere ten minutes of play. Janjties launched a pin-point cross kick which saw Courtnall Skosan slide over. Shortly after this the flyhalf implemented the little chip over the top from just outside their opponents’ 22m area that found Rohan Janse van Rensburg beautifully running onto the telegraphed option for a crafty try.
There would be an arm wrestle for the remainder of the first half as the Blues tried all avenues to get back into the contest. Yet the forward grunt and solid defensive lines of the Lions ensured they were able to cope with anything and everything the visitors could come up with. The South Africans were near perfect with their tactical game during this period.
If the first half was impressive the second forty was something epic. The rain had not let up but neither did the men in red. Lionel Mapoe would run in three tries and the big boys upfront also got over for a couple of scores as the Lions ran riot on a night to be remembered.
The Lions had something to prove after their humiliating defeat to the Hurricanes a fortnight ago. This performance proved that that result was merely a blip on the radar of what has been an impressive season thus far. This showing, in wet conditions to boot, was a step up from anything we’ve seen from a South African side and one of the most complete showings of total rugby seen thus far in Super Rugby 2016.