HRK series: Lions see red against Dragons

Henry

It is not in any team’s pants to win a match in the United Rugby Championship with 25 points, even if he plays for a large part of the match with only 14 players.

It hit the Lions on Saturday in front of only a thousand or so spectators at Ellis Park when they beat the Welsh Dragons 49 – 24.

The Lions’ lock Ruben Schoeman already got the go-ahead in the 25th minute, but they stayed calm, kept fighting and were 18 – 10 ahead at halftime.

Schoeman’s red card was very severe, because he tried to rush a kick and hit an opponent.

Unfortunately, Italian referee Andrea Piardi and TV referee Gianluca Gnecchi didn’t think so.

But luckily for the Lions, the Dragons forgot their discipline in Newport as two yellow cards to Rhodri Williams and Bradley Roberts cost the team dearly.

Roberts, who went to school at Michaelhouse in Kwazulu-Natal, can be very lucky that he didn’t get a red card, because his offense (blatant pawing) was very dangerous.

The Lions scored quite a few long-range threes. Two of them were almost from their own goal line when the Dragons were on the attack and on their way to scoring tries.

These tries brought back memories of the glorious days under coaches Johan Ackermann and Swys de Bruin, when the Lions were almost unstoppable.

The Lions temporarily moved up to sixth position with their victory over the Dragons, which is a true measure of their abilities.

With Edwill van der Merwe and Henco van Wyk at the helm, they ran the Dragons clean drunk.

With the hard-working Francke Horne stoking the fire up front, the visitors had no chance in the heat.

Scorers: Lions 49 (18): Tries: Henco van Wyk, Quan Horn, Edwill van der Merwe (2), Morné van den Berg, Francke Horn. Goals: Sanele Nohamba (5). Penalty goals: Nohamba (3).

Dragons 24 (10): Tries: Harri Keddie, Ashton Hewitt, Bradley Roberts. Goals: Will Reed (3). Penalty goal: Reed.