The Rebels travelled to South Africa looking to continue their winning start to the 2019 Super Rugby season against the Lions.
The Lions started well with Malcolm Markes scoring a try in the 5th minute off a sneaky line out move, Jantjies missed the conversion from out wide. That was the end of the Lions good news in the first half, the Rebels struck back quickly in the 7th minute with Reece Hodge crossing in the corner, Cooper missed the conversion and scores were levels, a couple of minutes later the Rebels turned the ball over deep in there own half and scored what will be thir try of the year going the length of the field through hands with Cooper eventually touching the ball down for the visitors second try of the night.
Luke Jones looked great with ball in hand
The Rebels maintained control of the game and when Meakes scored from an intercept the Rebels were cruising, Naisarani scored again for the Rebels in the 23rd minute and Cooper converted to make the scored 5-26. The rest of the first half was fairly open, with the rEbels line speed in defence putting lots of pressure on the Lions.
Rebels started the second half perfectly putting pressure on the Lions off the kickoff and forcing a knock on, from the attacking scrum the Rebels moved the ball quickly and English finished off for an easy try and to make up for his botched try in the first half. The Lions started to apply pressure on the Rebels who tahn lost Meakes to the bin for repeated penalaties in the Red zone.
The Lions finally managed to break the Rebels defence and cross the line in the 49th minute with Schoeman bashing through from close range. The yellow card proved even more costly when the Rebels could not keep the pressure on and the Lions crossed again in the corned through Coetzee. Mapoe than capitalised on a bit of a brain fade by Quade Cooper who was not showing the urgency needed to ground a grubber in the corner. The scores were back to 26-33 when Meakes returned to the field.
The Lions were a completely different side in the second half
The Lions continued to dominate the momentum of the match and were rewarded when Sckozan crossed the line in the 64th minute, the final 15 minutes of the match were dominated by Egon Seconds whistle. In all my years watching rugby I have never seen a more one-sided refereed game. The Rebels were there own worst enemy but a 20-1 penalty count is unheard of. Even the best teams in the world are not that clean on the pitch.
The Lions won on the last play of the match
The final play of the match saw the Rebels penalised from a scrum and the Lions finally take an unlikely 3 points to take the victory in the 81st minute.
The Game Changer
The first Yellow card, Lions scored 21 points in that 10 minute period and the Rebels never got back into the game.
The G&GR MOTM
My man of the match goes to Lions sub Andries Coetzee, 1 try, 2 clean breaks and 6 defenders beaten from 7 runs with over 100 meters in the second half really launched the Lions comeback.
Well depending on which half you want to watch, all in all, Luke Jones really looked at home playing blindside for the first time. Coleman was solid and made some good hits. Genia, Cooper and Meakes went missing in the second half. Naisarani once again pressed his claims for the Wallaby number 8 jersey.
Score & Scorers
Tries: Marx, Schoeman, Coetzee, Mapoe, Skosan
Conversions: Jantijies 3
Tries: Hodge, Meakes, Cooper, English, Naisarani
Conversions: Cooper 4
Cards & citings