Lions overcome Waratahs in thrilling clash - Green and Gold Rugby
NSW Waratahs

Lions overcome Waratahs in thrilling clash

Lions overcome Waratahs in thrilling clash
    The Lions have defeated the Waratahs 29-28 in a thrilling clash at Ellis Park that saw both sides trade tries throughout the contest. Both teams came out with no regards for defence, scoring three each to leave the score at 21-19 in favour of the Waratahs at half time . But once again, the Waratahs failed to find a way to win in the key moments, losing another close contest thanks to the influence from the likes of Harold Vorster, Malcolm Marx and Egon Seconds.

    The Match

    The first 30 minutes of the match were frenetic as both sides seemed to fail to grasp the concept of playing defence, with both sides trading tries.

    The Waratahs got off to a perfect start with Nick Phipps racing away to score inside 5 minutes after lovely link-up play from Karmichael Hunt and Cam Clark burst open the Lions defence to put the Waratahs up 7-0.

    The Lions would strike back through Aphiwe Dyanti who muscled his way over the line after a perfect crash ball by Elton Jantjies to even it up. Credit must go to Malcolm Marx who put the Lions into prime field position after intercepting the Nick Phipps pass from the lineout 50m out (for the 2nd time in a row).

    However, it wouldn’t stay tied for long, as Michael Hooper showed why he spends most of the time on the wing, fooling the defenders with a picturesque dummy before bursting away from the Lions defenders to score.

    This effort was matched by the Lions, who bombarded the Waratahs goal-line for the following 5 minutes before Stephan Lewies crossed for his first try for the Lions, Jantjies would convert from close to the sideline to make it 14-14.

    Rob Simmons would then put the Waratahs back in front, running an excellent line to break through some weak defence from Sadie and Lewies to run 30m to score under the posts, pushing the Waratahs out to a 21-14 lead.

    However, for the 3rd time, the Lions would strike back after flanker Kwagga Smith outsprinted Bernard Foley to dive on a Harold Vorster grubber, Jantjies would miss the conversion to keep the Waratahs ahead 21-19.

    The last 5 minutes of the half would see both teams trade handling errors, with the Waratahs maintaining their slim lead into the break, 21-19.

    Jack Dempsey claims a restart.

    Jack Dempsey claims a restart.

    The Lions would take the lead just 3 minutes into the second half, running the ball out of their 22 through some suspect passing to break open the Waratahs defence, allowing Courtnall Skosan to race away to score untouched.

    The contest would calm down after this point, with both sides taking turns to gift away possession through wasteful handling errors and cheap penalties.

    The Waratahs would once again re-take the lead after substitute Curtis Rona streaked away before being caught just short of the line, which allowed Tom Staniforth to barge his way over on the following phase for his first career try to gift the Waratahs the lead, 28-26.

    The Lions would then dominate possession and territory on the back of a string of penalties, culminating with them catching the Waratahs offside, allowing Shaun Reynolds to kick the side back in front 29-28.

    Bernard Foley would then take the opportunity to take an ambitious drop goal from 45m out to regain the lead, however, it would just fade to the right.

    The Lions (and Egon Seconds) would proceed to control the ball for the last 10 minutes, denying the Waratahs any chance with the ball via death by penalty to secure the victory.

    The Turning Point

    Hard to single out just one turning point in a match that saw both sides trade tries, however the penalty goal by Reynolds in the 67th minute sealed the result for the Lions, who proceeded to control possession and the game from that moment.


    Harold Vorster was immense for the Lions with the ball in hand, recording 3 line breaks, 7 tackle busts along with a try assist with a perfectly weighted grubber for Smith to score.

    Wallaby Watch

    Rob Simmons was the Waratahs best during his stint on the field, hardly putting a foot wrong. Hooper put in another typically solid performance (both on the wing and at flanker) along with Beale and Rona off the bench. However once again the Waratahs front rowers got beat up at scrum time, dominated throughout the match regardless of the front row pairing.


    Lions 29
    Tries: Dyantyi (11′), Lewies (18′), K Smith (31′), Skosan (43′)
    Cons: Jantjies 3/4 (11′, 18′, 43′)
    Pens: Reynolds 1/1 (66′)

    Waratahs 28
    Tries: Phipps (4′), Hooper (13′), Simmons (21′), Staniforth (57′)
    Cons: Foley 4/4 (4′, 13′, 21′, 57′)
    DG: Foley 0/1

  • Adrian

    Good summary of a great match Nathan.

    Just to get the haters wired up, I’d suggest that the both intercepts (this week and last) off Phipps were 2 or 3m off side. Phipps actually set-up two of the tries and scored one.
    Nothwithstanding that, he still isn’t my Wallaby back-up half. Thanks for asking!

    I thought that the usual suspects played very well, especially, Kepu, Simmons, Hooper, Phipps, Foley, Hunt and Beale.

    The scrum and the lineout didn’t. That’s it in a nutshell

    • Huw Tindall

      The forward pass which the host broadcaster chose not to show a replay on the big screen until after the conversion was a bit shoddy but Lions probably a one point better team.

      Beale is looking very good at 15. Injecting himself at all the right times and even made a strong critical one on one tackle in the second half.

      Bit harsh on the lineout I think Adrian. Was messy for both sides as they competed hard. Waratahs maul defence was pretty handy too.

      Another bonus point loss keeps them I’m with a sniff but will need to win all the conference games now to be a chance. They very well could but unlikely.

      • Ed

        An issue for the Tahs in their remaining five games is the resting of Wallabies. Beale, Foley and Hooper, have had one game off. Unsure of Kepu and Simmons. You’d think the first three would be required to have another game off, The four Brums forwards – Poey, Sio, 7 A’s and Arnold were to have two games off as agreed with Cheika, so those three main Tahs would also.

        • OnTheBurst

          I actually thought Beale was very good in broken play, elusive running (and mostly straight rather than cross field) and some very good and deep touch finders.

          However he lost points for kicking the ball out on the full after the ball was passed back to him from outside the 22… also was stripped of the ball in contact.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Beale coming into form is great. Really makes it easier to play Samu and TK in the centres.

          But Beale has to perform under the high ball in the rugby championship to be considered at fullback for the WC.

        • OnTheBurst

          Yes. HP Sauce for WB 15 if you ask me. Beale super sub

        • GO THE Q REDS


        • Hoss

          Spot on. Sauce was first rate the other night. Strong under the pill, good kicking game, great running lines. Has to be starting XV. Gilbert on the pine for 10,12 15 cover which allows a possible 6-2 bench. No Izzy means a proper 23. KRL has been saying the same for years.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I wouldn’t opt for a 6-2 bench. I’d have White, Toomua (coveting 10-12) and Gilbert or Hodge on the bench.

        • Brumby Runner

          The kick out on the full was exacerbated by his very next kick for touch from inside the 22m, where he gained less than 10m. I don’t want to have to rely on him in the RWC in relation to either defense or touch finders.

        • Crescent

          With their season now cooked, resting players should not be too much of an issue. Arguably, conceding finals are a step too far now should lift pressure on when to rest – players are now needing to show their form for hopes of Wallaby selection

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I didn’t get to see the match, but a fair few of my Tah mates told me they thought Beale was pretty poor.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Yes your mates I’m sorry to say are wrong. He had a very good game. I think he made 1kick error out on the full but most kicks made better than average metres. More importantly he created lots of opportunities and was a big threat all game.

        • Howard

          Are you sure your mates watched the game? Beale had a pretty solid game in both attack and defense and off the boot. Wasn’t MOM but certainly not poor

      • Adrian

        Agree Huw, including the lineouts and Beale having a good game.

        Yes, another one just missed, and a big ask from now on.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      They seem to be finding new ways to lose rather than ways to win. I still think they don’t do enough about how to make good decisions under pressure and I think that’s where they miss out most

  • Steve

    Super exciting match, although neither team really bothered defending in the first half.
    It was actually classic recent Waratahs – Great helter skelter stuff, offloading and finding space on attack, coupled with weak scrum/breakdown. They did a good job of disrupting the Lions lineout although didn’t actually get much payoff off it.

    Thought Phipps/Foley had really solid games (much as it pains me to say it), Beale again looking pretty dangerous – almost like he’s a 15 not a 10!

    Props got demolished, especially towards the end of the game, Kepu is looking really tired and on form should at best be 3rd THP for Wallabies. Hooper + Simmons the pick of the forwards, though they still all looked like they’d be vulnerable to a team that was harder at the breakdown.

    Shame about the Lions’ forward pass try deciding the match (although we cannot speculate on the divergent universe that would have been created had the pass been called)

    • Pedro

      Was the pass to Simmons forward also? I only saw it on the replay and it looked iffy.

      • Timbo

        As the south African broadcasters showed it multiple times and the TMO didn’t get involved, it wasn’t forward.

        • Pedro

          Cool, the highlights packages seem to be constructed by an AI and always leave out any questions calls. So you never know. Cheers.

        • Timbo

          It was a beautiful pass and line by Simmons. Phipps does have moments of actual competence

      • Steve

        Was no suggestion at the time that it was forward – I don’t think it was

  • The Jackal

    The Waratahs & The Blues are examples of totally mismanaged franchises. All of the junior talent in the world & all they do with it is consistently underperform, 2nd & 3rd last on the ladder. What a powder puff forward back. For the second time in three games a South African 12 was bossing the Waratahs pack physically.

    Season is over no matter what gets written.

    • Andy

      All their best players are in other franchises or Overseas’s.

      It’s a sham that guys like Foketi get super rugby contracts. He is a mid level club rugby player

  • Keith Butler

    Would this result mean that if the Tahs lose to the Reds next weekend they are out of contention to head the conference. But they won’t get the woulden spoon.

  • Happyman

    Irony mode on As a Reds fan it must have been a privilege for both the Rebels and Tahs to play against such disciplined opposition. In two games the Lions gave up a mere three penalties while forcing the opposition to concede a total of thirty. Truly inspiring stuff. Same ref also. Irony mode off

    • Adrian

      Appropriate irony.
      SA commentators infer that it is “normal”

    • HK Red

      That was ridiculous. Also notice that very obv forward pass in the last (?) Lions try wasn’t replayed on the screen until after the conversion had been taken. They only showed the head-on prior to that. SA refs are a disgrace.

      • Moose

        Yeah, handy for the saffer side that the saffer reffing team didn’t see it, and the saffer broadcast team didn’t show the replay until after conversion, at which point the saffer commentary graciously conceded that it may have been forward

  • Bobas

    Egon Seconds is the new Benaud Keith.

  • OnTheBurst

    Phipps giving away an intercept try the difference…

  • Hoss

    So, according to Egon Seconds (my Afrikaans is a little rusty, but I believe it’s Zulu for ‘Fuckstick with a whistle’) Australian teams , over previous two games he has officiated have a penalty propensity ratio v Saffa teams in Saffaville is 7.5:1……..

    I wonder if this penalty propensity exists anywhere else in the competition? Just to clarify, I am not for a second suggesting he is a cheat. I am categorically stating he IS a cheat.

    • Greg

      I don’t think we want to go there @HossRugby:disqus

      There was an interesting lineout lateish in the game where the warratahs tapped it down and it landed just beside the lineout. A Lions player standing there already picked it up and ran off with it. I can’t come up with a legal way for the player to be there.

      • Hoss

        No doubt many deserved mate. But the fact is last two games he has done. Saffa teams 30 Penalties, Aussie teams 4.

    • Timbo

      I think Toovs said it best:

      • onlinesideline

        havent seen that before – poor guy – he was internally haeomaraging “®” (new word)

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate I agree. I think RA needs a formal “WTF” on him. Some of his decisions are very poor and one sided. I’m worried we’ll see a lot of this at RWC. Lots of very inexperienced referees there and it could get bad.
      On a better note. Happy mums day to all the hardworking mums out there. You’re all legends!

      • Hoss

        The thought of 4 frogs in the penguin pool………OMFG.

    • Happyman

      I would strongly suggest that he is the best ref money can buy.

    • Keith Butler

      Tahs not my favourite team but Egon Seconds jeez. 20-1 count against the Rebs followed by this. He’s a disgrace. Not fit to ref Old Wankonians Extra B on freezing day on Isle of Sheppey (linked to Kent by a 100 yr old bridge and looks like the aftermath of a nuclear explosion complete with people with two head – bit like Queenstown really).


    Have to admit this was the 1st game in a long time I’m not very critical of Foley. He still had some ussual missed tackles and pour defensive reads but this week he was doing his job of creating space, flicking little Inside balls and offloading into space. THATS his job and when he’s doing that your forgiven for ALOT of other things. Like the missed drop goal. I had zero issue when he went for that…. and missed. Because he was being creative all game. He’s a “playmaker”!

    Egen Seconds is a joke of a referee…..looks way out of his depth!

    And once again another team showed how growing depth at 10 is so valuable…… when Janties went off they didn’t loose a thing with Reynolds! (same in the Blues game) Risking growing depth at 10 at this point of the season is seen as too risky in Aus. In NZ and SA they back them win or loose and they gain valuable experience! ALL Aussie teams should take note!

  • Bernie Chan

    Ponder the mindset of the Lions…they didn’t attempt down 3 kickable penalties, instead they kept going for the attacking lineout. Doesn’t scoreboard pressure mean enough? The Lions’ goal kickers are pretty darn good..
    I’ve seen some recent analysis (Nick Bishop’s…?) regarding the conversion rate for short lineouts (5, possibly 7, points) vs penalty kick points (3 points) and the data wasn’t convincing that the lineout option was better.

    • Mica

      There you go again using fancy terms like analysis. Haven’t you learnt yet? It’s more about the vibe and the……..yeah just the vibe.

      • Bernie Chan

        Oops…sorry I forgot about the importance of the vibe…

  • Greg

    I know how to stop the discussion on the referee….

    …What’s the latest with Mr Folau?

    • Keith Butler

      Stop right now here Greg.

  • Andy

    Despite the ref this was typical Waratahs. Blowing leads, poor restarts, poor kicking, very average defence and when the game was tight at the end you just knew they would lose it despite multiple chances to win it.

    Positives were Hooper and Beale (except his exits which were tripe). Also should give props to the 2 wingers Newsome and Clarke. Neither are game breaking wingers but gee they both give 150% every time the put on the jersey. They rarely miss tackles and do offer something at the line in attack. Just love their attitude.

    I don’t want to sound too negative (personally very trying) but this group of senior players just never really improve and I believe they are becoming damaged goods. They just rarely perform in pressure situations and they do not know how to win outside Australia. They just can’t deal with being in the lead, ever. When we talk Tahs for example – Beale, Foley, Phipps, Simmons and Hooper ect it’s the same story almost every year.

    There’s only so much learning you can do on the job before it gets to the point that you just won’t improve anymore. Like Kafer said on the fox podcast a few weeks ago there are too many players in Australian rugby who accept losing. Another way of saying we have a losing culture. Consistent losses like this game shows this is completely on the mark.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Hooper consistently puts in very good performances, Simmons as well. I think criticising senior players for underperforming is fair enough, but wouldn’t include them in that.

      Beale, Foley, et al, definitely.

      • Brisneyland Local

        DBTB, I would put Hooper in that lot. Not for his performance as a player, because he always gives 110%. But for his performance as a Captain. To lead his men and close the deal out, is appalling. He doesnt know how to lead.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Not his fault he’s a shit captain – it is Gibson’s and Cheik’s fault for making him captain.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Taht part is true. So we split the balme three ways. Cheika, Gibson, and Hooper for saying yes! He could have always said no!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t know if Hooper is enough of a deep thinker to even comprehend saying no. He doesn’t come across as a scholar whatsoever in interviews…

          Hodge will be a good captain one day I think.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I agree on both of those. DHP seems reasonable too.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I could support Dane captaining the Wallabies this year!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep! Any one but Hooper at this stage!

      • Andy

        Agree on both those guys. They played well and Hooper always does for the tahs.


      Really love your point on the Tahs wingers. Clarke and Newsombe really are top notch Super lvl wingers! Very solid…

  • OnTheBurst


  • Nutta

    Random thoughts of a random punter:

    The Tarts scrum is appalling and actually getting worse. Heavier front row, much heavier pack overall so just outright pure application and skill issues. Sad.

    Probably the best game I can recall Simmons playing. I thought Latu had a really good spell too. KHunt showed some good stuff as well after a few disappointing outings recently.

    I’ll stop short of calling the Ref a cheat, but the lack of consistency in application of the same set of laws left me truely baffled more than once.

NSW Waratahs

Loved rugby since the day I could remember, got the nickname Footy to show that, I watch Matt Dunning's dropkick every night before going to bed

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