The Lions scored one of their more emphatic bonus-point wins on the road when they outplayed and whitewashed the Waratahs to the massive tune of 29-0 in their opening Super Rugby tour game on Friday in Sydney.
The win has ensured that the Lions go again top of the overall log after their sixth win in nine starts, while their gap on the South African conference has widened to 16 points.
Based their territorial dominance on a powerful scrum and a superb performance at the breakdowns, the Lions led 7-0 at halftime and scored three more tries in the second half to run up a 22-0 lead by the 70th minute mark, while their great scrambling defence kept the home team scoreless.
It was a historic first win for the Lions in Sydney, but their sixth straight on Aussie soil, while they have now won 10 of their last 11 encounters against Aussie opposition.
Key Player of the Game
Lions hooker Malcolm Marx was a menace on the ground and the Waratahs found it difficult to contain his brute strength around the rucks, and even though he lost the ball a few times in contact after being targeted by the Waratahs, who tried all game in vain to rip the ball from his iron claws, he was a big stand-out.
Key Moments of the Game
- A scrappy first half marred by numerous handling mistakes on both sides saw the Lions score the only points of the half in the 22ndminute after flying winger Madosh Tambwe dotted down after a chip by hooker Malcolm Marx was superbly collected by wing Ruan Combrinck and taken further by flank Kwagga Smith.
- Tambwe was in an excellent position to score his second try in the 25th minute when he chipped forward only to be taken out late by Waratahs wing Alex Newsome, who clearly changed his line but referee Mike Fraser in a shocking decision decided to take no further action.
- Marx unceremoniously dropped two balls in contact in the first half, but showed just what immense power he possesses by bumping off 128kg monster Waratahs wing Taqele Naiyaravoro, but unfortunately spilled the ball forward with Tambwe next to him in open space.
- The Waratahs had an ideal opportunity to score their first try in the 34th minute only to go abegging when Newsome spilled the ball forward with the tryline there, but it was due to a superb despairing tackle from Combrinck that saved the moment for the Lions.
Lions: Tries: Madosh Tambwe, Kwagga Smith, Harold Vorster, Marnus Schoeman, conversions: Elton Jantjies (3), penalty: Jantjies.