Lions still in playoff race

Henry

Two tries in the last ten minutes – thanks to Emmanuel Tshituka – saw the Lions secure a 34 – 13 bonus point victory against Cardiff at Ellis Park.

The Johannesburgers therefore still have a place in the play-offs in their sights. They are currently tenth in the table with 44 points, but within striking distance of Connacht (ninth with 44 points), Benetton (eighth with 48 points), Edinburgh (seventh with 48 points) and Ulster (sixth with 49 points).

Marius Louw’s team made good use of their opportunities in the first half to enjoy a half-time lead of 17 – 3.

Ruan Venter provided the first points of the game when he literally pulled Ruan Dreyer over the Cardiff goal line.

Afterwards, the promising Quan Horn showed his heels for the Welsh visitors when he followed up a kick excellently.

In the second half, Cardiff played better, but Tshituka’s efforts put the match result out of their reach.

JC Pretorius was deservedly named the player of the match.

The former Blitsbok player achieved reverse ball possession for his team several times, while he also ran well with the ball a few times.

“One of JC’s great strengths is his acceleration. In my own playing days, or as a coach, I have never seen a player who can accelerate off the mark so quickly,” said his former coach at HTS Middelburg, Coené Nolte.

And Pretorius was definitely at his best again on Saturday night.

  • Scorers:

Lions: Tries: Emmanuel Tshituka (2), Ruan Venter and Quan Horn. Goal kicks: Sanele Nohamba (2) and Gianni Lombaard (2). Penalty kicks: Nohamba (2).

Cardiff: Three: Corey Domachowski. Goal kick: Tinus de Beer. Penalty kicks: De Beer (2).

HRK standings (after 16 matches):

  1. Glasgow Warriors: 60 points
  2. Leinster: 59 points
  3. Munster: 58 points
  4. Bulls: 56 points
  5. Stormers: 50 points
  6. Ulster: 49 points
  7. Edinburgh: 48 points
  8. Benetton: 48 points
  9. Connacht: 44 points
  10. Lions: 44 points
  11. Ospreys: 40 points
  12. Sharks: 25 points
  13. Cardiff: 25 points
  14. Scarlets: 17 points
  15. Dragons: 16 points
  16. Zebra: 15 points