Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
2 minute read
14 Feb 2015
7:08 am

Hurricanes leave Lions in a spin

Rudolph Jacobs

It wasn’t the way the Lions wanted to open their Super Rugby campaign. After a lack of execution the Lions made heavy weather of their opening Super Rugby game at Ellis Park on Friday night as they went down 22-8 to the Hurricanes.

Image credit: SanzarRugby.com

It was the Hurricanes first opening win in five years, while the Lions have lost eight of their last nine games against Kiwi opposition.

With the Hurricanes holding a 17-8 lead with time almost finished on the clock the visitors rubbed the nail in the Lions coffin even deeper as they scored the third try of the match through Matt Proctor and their second against  the out-of-their-feet Lions homeside.

The ‘Canes had the least of the territory and possession but with seven All Blacks in their side they remained calm when it mattered and handled the pressure situations just that much better.

After the Lions made most of the play in the first half however it was the Hurricanes who went into a halftime lead of 11-8.

The Lions didn’t start in the best way possible as Lions No 10 Marnitz Boshoff missed three penalties in the fifth, eighth and 18th minutes, while also missing an attempted drop goal in the 17th.

Boshoff then took a knock and was replaced by the Japan returning former Bok pivot Elton Jantjies.

Lock Franco Mostert also spilled the ball over the line after a promising drive in the 12th minute and while the Hurricanes did most of the defending the Lions sold themselves short with their lack of execution.

Instead it was Barrett who opened the score in the 23rd minute with his first penalty attempt to have the Hurricanes leading 3-0.

Eventually the Lions scored the first try of the game through wing Ruan Combrinck in the 23rd minute but with Jantjies also pulling the conversion wide it was left 5-3 to the Lions.

And then Boshoff after passing a concussion test, returned as Jantjies left proceedings again.

But only five minutes later it was Barrett who slotted his second penalty from so many attempts and the Kiwis surged back into the lead at 6-5.

In the 37th minute the Hurricanes surged further ahead by 11-5 after a suspect forward pass from fullback Jason Woodward to scrumhalf  TJ Perenara and with Barrett missing the conversion the Lions could breathe again.