Nine penalties from the boot of Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies sealed a narrow 27-25 victory over the Cheetahs in a scrappy game at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The Cheetahs scored the only try of the game through tighthead prop WP Nel but they were also shown two yellow cards which allowed the Lions to seize the momentum and fight backafter trailing 19-12 at half-time.
The game was played at a frenetic pace but there was little continuity with plenty of stoppages and turnover ball.
The Cheetahs looked to have the ascendency for long periods in the game but the Lions kept within striking distance and lifted the intensity towards the end of the match which ultimately saw them snatch a tense win to get their Super Rugby campaign off to a winning start in front of their home crowd.
More to follow...
For the Lions:
Pens: Jantjies 9
For the Cheetahs:
Pens: Goosen 5
Yellow card: Andries Strauss (tip tackle), Johan Goosen (repeated infringements)
Lions: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Doppies le Grange, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 James Kamana, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Joshua Strauss (captain), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Wikus van Heerden/ Hendrik Roodt, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Hendrik Roodt/Stephan Greeff, 19 Warren Whiteley, 20 Tian Meyer, 21 Butch James, 22 Michael Killian.
Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Dusty Noble, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Davon Raubenheimer, 7 Philip van der Walt, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Lourens Adriaanse, 17 Hercu Liebenberg, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Willie le Roux.
Referee: Mark Lawrence (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Sindile Mayende (South Africa), Stefan Breytenbach (South Africa)
TMO: Johann Meuwesen (South Africa
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