Clinical Lions tear apart the Waratahs 29-0 in Sydney
In what was probably their most accomplished overseas performance in recent memory‚ the Lions blanked the Waratahs in Sydney.
While the Reds lie in wait in Brisbane next week‚ the Lions are slowly starting to show why they’re South Africa’s best Super Rugby outfit.
In light of how their defence has fallen apart at unexpected times this season‚ the Lions put on a defensive show that’s worth recording for use as a training video.
Sterner tests in the form of the Hurricanes and the Highlanders await in New Zealand but it’s clear the Lions have the discipline to play with minimal possession for 80 minutes.
The 7-0 half-time margin belied the Waratahs’ unused and ultimately wasted dominance in the context of the match.
Daryl Gibson’s side spent the majority of the half camped in the Lions 22 and they played most of the rugby. A lack of accuracy in their execution and some resolute Lions tackling kept them at bay.
It was rather interesting that the first breakout the Lions had in the 22nd minute led to Michael Tambwe’s try.
The Waratahs were also fortunate not to concede a second try three minutes later when right wing Alex Newsome deliberately obstructed Tambwe from following up his chip kick.
While the Lions did come close to scoring from the said kick‚ it was a massive officiating oversight from referee Mike Fraser.
With their clear emphasis on improving their game and managing proceedings better‚ the Lions were content to play without the ball and shut the Waratahs out for the rest of the half.
The Lions‚ though‚ raced out of the blocks in the second half and added a second try four minutes after the restart when flanker Kwagga Smith wormed his way over the line from a lineout drive.
Harold Vorster then crashed over in the 50th minute after the Lions worked their way into the Waratahs 22‚ from where they patiently got through the phases before puncturing the defence.
The Lions were simply unrelenting on defence and allowed the Waratahs little room to breathe even though they still dominated possession and territory.
After Elton Jantjies added a 70th-minute penalty to push the score to 22-0‚ Marnus Schoeman added the finishing touches with a wonderful try in the 77th minute.
The game ended with the Waratahs and Lions players getting into a scuffle but there was no doubt as to who won the scoreboard war.