Emirates Lions Stunned Glasgow Warriors And South Africa


The Emirates Lions scored a morale-boosting 35-24 win over the Glasgow Warriors in their rescheduled Vodacom United Rugby Championship match on Saturday in Johannesburg.

Despite a difficult week, the Highvelders delivered a gutsy performance to turn a 24-14 halftime lead into a well-deserved 11-point win.

Glasgow were the first to score when left wing Elias Caven dotted down to complete a well-worked movement, while flyhalf Tom Jordan easily slotted the conversion for a 7-0 lead.

But the Highvelders levelled matters just after the 20 minutes mark when lively speedster Edwill van der Merwe launched a counter offence from a poor Warriors kick. Scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba was on hand to take the pass for their opening try.

Barely three minutes later the home side took the lead through No 8 Francke Horn who scored near the post after Glasgow had spilled the ball under pressure. Gianni Lombard slotted his second conversion to hand them a 14-7 lead.

With the home side now enjoying the momentum, they upped the tempo and outside centre Manie Rass forced his way over the whitewash to cap a period of sustained pressure. That five pointer increased their lead to 19-7.

With their tails up, they scored their bonus-point try four minutes before halftime through left wing Van der Merwe. However, the Warriors responded straight from the kick-off when the home side failed to secure the restart kick, which allowed wing Cole Forbes an easy run-in for a converted try.

Lombard then slotted a close-range penalty goal to bring the opening half to a halt with the score 27-14 in their favour.

Junior Springbok Ruan Venter, playing in the No 4 lock position, scored the first points of the second stanza when he forced his way over the chalk from a quick tap penalty. Lombard's conversion struck the upright, but the home side was now well clear at 31-14, although there was still plenty of time remaining on the clock.

Glasgow showed their fighting spirit and pivot Jordan, who had a good game, carried strong to go over for their third try of the afternoon to reduce the deficit to 32-19. It was no surprise when replacement loose forward Tom Gordon added a fourth try, from a quick driving maul, as Glasgow clawed their way back to 32-24.

Emirates Lions replacement prop Ruan Dreyer was red carded for a dangerous clear-out tackle late in the second half, which was a heavy blow as the home team was camping on the Glasgow tryline.

They then displayed a lot of heart on defence as the visitors attacked with menace, however, a turnover penalty gave Lombard another shot at goal, and he steered the ball high through the sticks to take the final score to 35-24 for a massive home win.


Emirates Lions: Tries: Sanele Nohamba, Francke Horn, Manie Rass, Edwill van der Merwe, Ruan Venter. Conversions: Gianni Lombard (2). Penalties: Lombard (2).

Glasgow Warriors: Tries: Elias Caven, Cole Forbes, Tom Gordon, Tom Jordan. Conversions: Tom Jordan (2).


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

Glasgow Warriors: 15. Josh McKay, 14. Cole Forbes, 13. Stafford McDowall, 12. Sam Johnson, 11. Eli Caven, 10. Tom Jordan, 9. Jamie Dobie, 8. Sione Vailanu, 7. Rory Darge, 6. Ally Miller, 5. Scott Cummings, 4. Lewis Bean, 3. Lucio Sordoni, 2. Johnny Matthews, 1. Nathan McBeth. Replacements: 16. Angus Fraser, 17. Allan Dell, 18. Simon Berghan, 19. JP du Preez, 20. Euan Ferrie, 21. Thomas Gordon, 22. Sean Kennedy, 23. Duncan Weir.