Champions Cup – Lyon’s Bench Secure Win Over Vodacom Bulls


The Vodacom Bulls backed themselves for a vital away victory against Lyon sending a "B" team, however, Lyon's bench swung the match their way to secure a 29-28 win.

The Vodacom Bulls started like a house on fire when Zak Burger controlled a Lyon charged down kick and sniped across Lyon's tryline to put the Vodacom Bulls in an early 07-00 lead.

Chris Smith converted a penalty after 10 minutes of play for the Vodacom Bulls to extend their lead to 10-00.

Lyon clawed their back into the match and started to disrupt a confident Vodacom Bulls. After 22 minutes Lyon's winger Ethan Dumortier scored out wide, controlling a brilliant kick in the corner by Fletcher Smith.

Brilliant interplay between Zak Burger, Mpilo Gumede and Sergeal Petersen led to the Vodacom Bulls' second try to extend their lead to 15-07 and 10 minutes still to play in the first half.

A second converted penalty by Chris Smith had the Vodacom Bulls going into lead 18-07.

Lyons attacked from within their half and created space out wide with brilliant handling. Winger Pierre-Samuel Pacheco burst through one tackle to score Lyon's second try to go into the halftime break, trailing 12-18.

The Vodacom Bulls extended their lead to 21-12 with a Chris Smith converted penalty just after the kick-off.

A great try for Lyon was scored following great handling and interplay by the backline of Lyon. Alfred Parisien used the space out wide to stroll over for Lyon's third try to reduce the visitor's lead to 4 points and 25 minutes to play in the second half.

Lyon took the lead for the first time in the match when hooker Yanis Charcosset burst around the front of a lineout to score Lyon's bonus point try and put them in the lead with 24-21

The Vodacom Bulls struck back almost immediately when Marco van Staden crashed over the Lyon tryline following a quick tap from a penalty to wrestle back the lead.

Not to be outdone Lyon's Thibaut Regard scored their 5th try in the corner to retake the lead with 29-28 and 7 minutes still to play.

Despite the Vodacom Bulls' desperate attempts to score the winning points, their over-eagerness cost them the much-needed points. Lyon deservedly won 29-28 with the help of their bench which swung the match in Lyon's favour.

Lyon: Tries: Ethan Dumortier, Pierre-Samuel Pacheco, Alfred Parisien, Yanis Charcosset, Thibaut Regard. Conversions: Martin Page-Relo, Paddy Jackson.
Vodacom Bulls: Tries: Zak Burger, Sergeal Petersen, Marco van Staden. Conversion: Chris Smith (2). Penalties: Chris Smith (3)

Lyon: 15 Thaakir Abrahams, 14 Ethan Dumortier, 13 Alfred Parisien, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 Martin Page-Relo, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Pierre-Samuel Pacheco, 6 Marvin Okuya, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Killian Geraci, 3 Feao Fotuaika, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Sébastien Taofifenua. Replacements: 16 Yanis Charcosset, 17 Jérôme Rey, 18 Valentin Simutoga, 19 Félix Lambey, 20 Arno Botha, 21 Baptiste Couilloud, 22 Paddy Jackson, 23 Thibaut Regard.
Vodacom Bulls: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Henry Immelman, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Sergeal Petersen, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Izak Burger, 8 Marcell Coetzee, 7 Mpilo Gumede, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Janko Swanepoel, 4 Deon Slabbert, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 1 Simphiwe Matanzima. Replacements: 16 Tiaan Lange, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 JF van Heerden, 20 Merwe Olivier, 21 Bernard van der Linde, 22 Jaco van der Walt, 23 Sebastian de Klerk.