Rugby 6.5.2017 09:05 am

Nutshell: Clinical Lions rubbish the Rebels

Lions hooker Malcolm Marx. Photo: Mal Fairclough/AFP.

Lions hooker Malcolm Marx. Photo: Mal Fairclough/AFP.

South Africa’s leading side in Super Rugby is still streets ahead of the rest as they are on course for an unbeaten tour of Australia.

The try-scoring spree took a while to materialise, but as soon as the Lions found their rhythm they were clinical in crushing the Rebels 47-10 in Melbourne on Saturday.

It was their seventh straight Super Rugby win, the biggest Down Under and now have a real chance to make it a tour clean sweep against the Brumbies next weekend.

Having lead 19-7 at the break, Johan Ackermann’s troops scored seven tries against one and their ability to break down defensive lines by creating space for their outside backs was once again something to behold.

Who was the star in this match?

Knocking heavily on the Springbok door, Lions wing Courtnall Skosan doesn’t only rate as a great finisher, but his work off the ball on defence and as well as running great lines as a support runner makes him the great all-round player that he is.

Key events and themes

  • The Lions fourth try, scored by wing Sylvian Mahuza in the 50th minute, surely counts as one of the tries of the season. It was a brilliant piece of individual skill as Mahuza beat about 10 defenders on a run that started from deep inside his own half.
  • The Lions were initially met with a stern Rebels defence and it took them all of 20 minutes before they could cross for their first try. It almost reminded of last week’s tough slog against the Force.
  • The Lions have the uncanny ability to score a vital try just before halftime. It proved to be the case again with Skosan slicing through three defenders to score the Lions third five-pointer. These scores are crucial because they provide a psychological boost and momentum going into the second 40 minutes. It’s a trademark of a fine side.
  • The Lions second try by scrumhalf Ross Cronje was a piece of magic. Obviously stemming from the training pitch, hooker Malcolm Marx broke wide from a maul and passed inside to the side-stepping Cronje, who beat two defenders on the angle. Beautiful.

Point scorers

Rebels – Tries: Tom English. Conversion: Reece Hodge. Penalty: Hodge.

Lions – Tries: Kwagga Smith, Ross Cronje, Courtnall Skosan, Sylvian Mahuza, penalty try, Anthony Volmink, Warren Whiteley. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (5).

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