Rugby 30.7.2016 04:48 pm

Lions vs Highlanders blow by blow

Lions are leading at half-time. Photo: @PlanetRugby

Lions are leading at half-time. Photo: @PlanetRugby

We keep you up to date with the semifinal action from Ellis Park, as well as fan reaction from people at home and the venue.

As South Africa’s lone survivors, just 80 minutes separate them from making Super Rugby history as the Lions carry the dreams of the nation by hosting the Highlanders in one of the competition’s showpieces at Ellis Park this afternoon.

The Lions story reads like something from a fiction novel, being kicked out of the competition just three years ago but now in sight of a historic first Super Rugby final.

The Hurricanes beat the Chiefs in the earlier semifinal, so whoever wins in Joburg this afternoon will have to travel to Wellington next week.

The Citizen will be bringing you tweets and updates from the game.

Fans are already getting excited ahead of the game:

July 30, 3.27pm: 

The Lions are making the game their own, just 25 minutes into the game with a score of 17-3.

July 30, 3.40pm: 

In the final seconds before the half-time whistle sounded, the Highlanders kicked a penalty, making the half-time score 17-6. Lima Sopoaga kicked the penalty for the Highlanders.

July 30, 3.43pm:

The Lions’ Warren Whitely, in an interview with SuperSport at half-time, said the Highlanders had put the team under pressure in the first half, and he gave credit to Jaco Kriel for his turnover that got them out of trouble early in the first half of the game.

He believed that the Lions had used the opportunities afforded to them and scrambled well in the defence. He believed that it would be a “massive advantage” if the Lions were to score first in the second-half.

July 30, 4.10pm:

The Lions’ Elton Jantjies kicked a penalty to score 20-6 to the Lions, and then he set up a try for Skosan to score, moving the score to 25-6. However, the Highlanders out on the attack, and scored a try, changing the scoreboard to 25-11, but after conceding a penalty, Jantjies brings the scoreboard to 28-11 for the Lions.

July 30, 4.15pm: 

The Lions score another try to change the scoreboard to 35-11.

July 30, 4.26pm: 

The Highlanders scored a try to alter the scoreboard to 35-23.

July 30, 4.34pm:

The Lions score another try, to score 40-16, and Jantjies’ kicked the conversion for the Lions to lead 42-16

July 30, 4.42pm:

The Highlanders score a try in the final minutes of the game, and scored the conversion to alter the scoreboard 42-30. The game ends with the Lions victorious against the Highlanders.

July 30, 4.48pm:

The Lions’ fly-half Elton Jantjies won the Man of the Match.

Jantjies said he couldn’t describe the feeling of the Lions having won the match.

Highlanders captain Brent Smith said he believed the Lions deserved to win the match. He wished the team all the best for the finals. He said he thought the Highlanders could still be proud of what they achieved. “It’s a tough place to play,” he said. He said the Lions were a ‘better team’.

Jaco Kriel, Lions captain, said it was an unbelievable final for the Lions to be in the final. He said the team was a “brotherhood”. He said they would be working hard next week ahead of the final.

“It’s unbelievable to score 42 points against the Highlanders,” he said.

He thanked all the supporters for supporting the team and said they were part of the Lions’ success.

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