Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

URC result: Lions thump Sharks in weather affected clash

The start to the second half of the match was delayed by 40 minutes due to a big flash storm that blew over the stadium.

The Lions clinched a thumping 40-10 bonus point win over the Sharks in their weather affected United Rugby Championship (URC) derby at Ellis Park on Saturday afternoon.

It wasn’t a great performance from the home side, but one they will be content with as they started and finished powerfully to break a four game losing streak and pick up a full house of points to boost their URC playoff aspirations.

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After the Lions took a 19-10 lead into the halftime break, the start to the second half was delayed by 40 minutes due to a flash storm that brought heavy rain and lightning as it blew over.

A scrappy start to the second half then followed before the Lions powered away in the final 16 minutes with three late tries.

At the start of the match the Sharks got off to the better start, moving play onto the Lions 22m where they earned a penalty almost in front, which flyhalf Siya Masuku slotted for a 3-0 lead after three minutes.

Lions hit back

Four minutes later the Lions hit back with scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba heavily involved in the initial break that got them into the Sharks 22m, followed by him picking the ball up at a ruck and stepping past two defenders to score, with flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse adding the extras.

In the 12th minute the Lions were in for their second as they attacked from a scrum in their own half, before Nohamba sent a pinpoint cross kick to eighthman Francke Horn on the wing, with him breaking down the line and offloading to flank JC Pretorius to score.

Hendrikse was again on target with the conversion giving the Lions a 14-3 lead, which was almost reduced in the 16th minute when the Sharks earned a penalty on the hosts 5m, but fullback Aphelele Fassi quick tapped and was then held up over the line.

In the 22nd minute the Lions worked their way back into the Sharks 22m, earned a penalty and set up a lineout on the 5m, before attacking from it, with the ball then sent blind to fullback Quan Horn in enough space to dive over in the corner for an unconverted score and 19-3 lead.

The Sharks finally hit back in the 27th minute as the Lions were punished for a mistake when Nohamba’s grubber on the halfway was blocked by Masuku, who fielded the ball and sent it through the hands for wing Eduan Keyter to go over and score, with Masuku’s extras making it 19-10.

The Sharks thought they had scored their second just before the break when Fassi went over, but the try was chalked off after the TMO picked up a shoulder charge at a ruck in the build-up, as the hosts survived to the break.

Weather delay

After the weather delay it was the Sharks who again started stronger, with some good play in the Lions 22m during the first 10 minutes of the second half, but the Lions defence held out well.

A few penalties then allowed the Lions to get into the Sharks 22m, where their maul was pulled down illegally and Sharks captain Bongi Mbonambi yellow carded in the 51st minute.

A scrum penalty to the Lions just inside their own half in the 59th minute gave Hendrikse a chance to extend the hosts lead, but his long range attempt flew wide.

The Lions finally broke the second half stalemate in the 64th minute as they attacked into the Sharks 22m, earned a penalty 5m out, took a quick tap and eventually replacement prop Conraad van Vuuren picked up and dived over to score, with Hendrikse putting them 26-10 up.

The home side then sealed the game in the 70th minute as they attacked into the Sharks 22m, getting close where replacement scrumhalf Morne van den Berg dinked a delightful chip over the defence for replacement centre Erich Cronje to dive on for the converted score.

The Lions added the cherry to the top of the cake with five minutes to go as they worked their way into the Sharks 22m, where replacement flank Hanru Sirgel picked up at a ruck and ghosted over, with Hendrikse slotting the conversion to seal the big win.


Lions: Tries – Sanele Nohamba, JC Pretorius, Quan Horn, Conraad van Vuuren, Erich Cronje, Hanru Sirgel; Conversions – Jordan Hendrikse (5)

Sharks: Try – Eduan Keyter; Conversion – Siya Masuku; Penalty – Masuku

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