Lions maul woeful Brumbies in Canberra

The bottom-placed Lions used a controversial sin-binning to help inspire them to a 29-20 victory over the ACT Brumbies in their Super rugby clash on Saturday.

The Lions were trailing 10-0 when tighthead prop Patric Cilliers was sin-binned on the advice of the assistant referee for a late, dangerous tackle on Brumbies’ scrumhalf Josh Valentine, although replays indicated the tackle was neither late nor dangerous.

The South African side, inspired by flyhalf Elton Jantjies and their combative forward pack, then scored 22 unanswered points to give them enough of a buffer to snatch just their second win of the season.

“We gave away penalties, the game went slow and we let them back into it and for whatever reason it just seemed like we were pretty flat, I don’t know what can you say,” said Brumbies captain Matt Giteau, who was playing his 100th Super rugby game.

“We lost a lot of ball at the breakdown and everyone was looking for tries and we got away from the simple stuff we were doing well…and we just slipped away.”

The Brumbies had opened the scoring with a try to hooker Stephen Moore, which flyhalf Giteau converted before he slotted the penalty when Cilliers was sinbinned.

The Lions were inspired with Cilliers off the field, with their pack prominent as they began their fightback.

Flanker Michael Rhodes scored a try after a sustained period of skirmishes close to the line before winger Deon van Rensburg crossed untouched after another prolonged period of attack.

Jantjies, who had converted Rhodes’ try, could not repeat the feat from wider out and the Lions went into the break with a slim 12-10 lead.

Inside centre Alwyn Hollenbach scored an early second half try after a beautiful inside flick pass from Jantjies, who converted to give the Lions a 19-10 lead.

Jantjies and Giteau then traded penalties, before the Lions’ flyhalf again displayed his sleight of hand when he slipped a pass to fullback Jaco Taute to score the bonus point try.

Winger Andrew Smith scored a late consolation try for the Brumbies after Giteau had sparked a counter attack from his own tryline, but the home side were unable to crack the defence again.—Reuters


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