Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
2 minute read
7 Mar 2015
11:06 am

Lions defeat the Blues

Rudolph Jacobs

Deserving plaudits for a passionate defensive system saw the heroic Lions scoring a sensational and historic 13-10 win on  Saturday morning over the Blues in Albany.

FILE PICTURE: Franco Mostert of the Lions wins the kick-in during the Super Rugby match between Lions and Toyota Cheetahs. Picture: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images

With Blues flyhalf Ihaia West missing a vital penalty in the 76th minute to level matters it was the Lions first win on Kiwi soil and the first time against the Blues since the former Cats won there in 2001.

For Blues hooker Keven Mealamu it was an anti-climax as he bettered the Super Rugby appearance record to 163 overtaken the previous record set by former Force lock Nathan Sharpe.

The introduction of Faf de Klerk as scrumhalf provide the Lions spark when he replaced Ross Cronje going into the final quarter of the game.

It was De Klerk’s sniping break in the 64th minute which set up their only try by wing Ruan Combrinck in the corner to see them take the unexpected lead for the first time in the game at 11-10.

Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies converted the valuable conversion and scored eight points with three successful attempts from four attempts.

They then relied on a powerful scrum to score a tighthead on the stroke of fulltime and resilient defence to keep the Blues out for their first win of the competition after three straight defeats.

For the Blues it was their fourth consecutive loss and will be a bitter one to swallow after dominating everything except the scoreboard.

The Blues lead 10-3 at the break after their captain Jerome Kaino crashed over from close range in the 31st minute for the only try of the opening half, with the Blues enjoying a monopoly of territory and possession.

The Blues however were held up over the line at least four times in the second half as they enjoyed a monopoly 81% of territory.

Jantjies however drew the Lions closer in the 49th minute with his second successful penalty to trail 10-6.

Earlier Blues flyhalf Ihaia West opened the scoring for the Blues in the 20th minute to take a 3-0 lead after Jantjies pulled his first attempt left in the ninth minute.

Jantjies managed to level the game at 3-3 in the 23rd minute after the Lions enjoyed a rare succession of retaining the ball through phases, but a lot of aimless kicking by Jantjies played right in the Blues’ hands.

Two crucial errors in the first half almost cost the Lions with wing Ruan Combrinck failing to find touch from a penalty on the Blues goalline in the fourth minute while an overthrow from hooker Robbie Coetzee from an attacking lineout in the 17th minute saw them missing a vital opportunity.