Emirates Lions Beat Vodacom Bulls In A Thriller At Loftus


The Emirates Lions hung on with determination and guts to beat the Vodacom Bulls 29-25 in a thriller at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The Vodacom Bulls started the first quarter like a house on fire. The Emirates Lions clawed their way back into the match and ended the first quarter leading 13-03 after a try and two converted penalties. At the end of the first quarter, it was still a very even affair.

Two tries by the Vodacom Bulls were just reward for the home team's efforts during the latter part of the second quarter. The Emirates Lions also added ten points during this period to keep their lead at 10 points, going into the second half leading 23-13.

The Vodacom Bulls started to dominate in the third quarter using their forwards to run hard and direct at their visitors. The Vodacom Bulls reduced the lead by their visitors to just 5 points, trailing 18-23 with 20 minutes to go.

The Emirates Lions' brilliant defence and domination come scrum time was the major reason for their victory of 29-25. The fourth quarter was everything a final is supposed to be with the outcome in the balance until the last seconds of the match.

The Emirates Lions earned for log points with this win while the Vodacom Bulls earned a valuable two log points.

Vodacom Bulls: Tries: Wandisile Simelane (2), Sbu Nkosi, Johan Grobbelaar. Conversion: Morne Steyn. Penalty: Morne Steyn
Emirates Lions: Tries: Edwill van der Merwe, Sanele Nohamba. Conversions: Sanele Nohamba (2). Penalties: Sanele Nohamba (5).

As it happened
01:28 Morne Steyn converted a penalty for the Vodacom Bulls. (03-00)
06:23 Sanele Nohamba converted a penalty for the Emirates Lions. (03-03)
12:28 Edwill vd Merwe scored the Emirates Lions' first try following great hands that created the space for van der Merwe to beat his immediate defender with speed and a great step. (03-10)
17:07 Sanele Nohamba converted a second penalty for the Emirates Lions. (03-13)
23:42 Sanele Nohamba took a quick tap from a penalty to score a great individual try. (03-20)
28:25 Wandisile Simelane scored in the corner for the Vodacom Bulls first try of the match. (8-20)
32:34 Sanele Nohamba converted a tird penalty for the Emirates Lions. (8-23)
37-17 Sbu Nkosi controlled a grubber by Morne Steyn to score the Vodacom Bulls second try in the corner. (13-23)
47:02 Wandisile Simelane scored his second try after the Eirates Lions could not controll a ball close to the Emirates Lions' tryline. (18-23)
61:07 Johan Grobbelaar scored the host's bonus-point try from the back of a 5m lineout-maul. (25-23)
65:07 Sanele Nohamba converted a penalty for the Emirates Lions. (25-26)
69:47 Sanele Nohamba converted his fifth penalty for the Emirates Lions. (25-29)


Vodacom Bulls: 15 Wandisile Simelane, 14 Sibongile Novuka, 13 Cornal Hendricks, 12 David Kriel, 11 Sbu Nkosi, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 WJ Steenkamp, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje (c), 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Dylan Smith. Replacements: 16 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Francois Klopper, 19 Ruan Vermaak, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Bernard van der Linde, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Harold Vorster.

Emirates Lions: 15 Quan Horn, 14 Rabz Maxwane, 13 Manuel Rass, 12 Marius Louw (c), 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Gianni Lombard, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Ruan Venter 6 Emmanuel Tshituka, 5 Ruben Schoeman, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 2 PJ Botha, 1 JP Smith. Replacements: 16 Morné Brandon, 17 Rynhardt Rijnsburger, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Ruhan Delport, 20 Jarod Cairns, 21 Morné van den Berg, 22 Rynhardt Jonker, 23 Andries Coetzee.