Lions and Sharks cause upsets in opening weekend
February 16, 2014
Marnitz Boshoff booted the Lions to victory © Getty Images
A late drop goal from Marnitz Boshoff kicked the new Super Rugby season off in dramatic fashion as the Lions upset the Cheetahs 21-20 in Bloemfontein.
Boshoff's six penalties had kept the Lions in contention in a game where they had been outscored two tries to one, a contrast to Cheetah's kicker Johan Goosen, who missed two early penalties and a crucial attempt three minutes from time. The Cheetahs had gone ahead in the 20th minute as Raymond Rule collected a Willie Le Roux pass to cross in the corner.
Le Roux played a key role in the Cheetah's second try after the break, when a good period of pressure allowed Cornall Henricks to touch down. A Boshoff penalty five minutes from time kept the Lions in the contest and, with the 80th minute approaching, he dropped back in the pocket and found target.
In the second all-South African encounter Jake White's Sharks powered to a 31-16 bonus-point win over the Bulls.
Paul Jordaan, Jacobus Reinach and Odwa Ndungane went over in a devastating opening 40 minutes as the Sharks opened up a 23-9 half-time lead against the Bulls, champions in 2007, 2009 and 2010. The second half saw the return of former Springbok Victor Matfield for the Bulls but even his presence could not muster a comeback, though Jono Ross' try eight minutes from time gave them hope.
But in the end the final act came from Springbok fly-half Pat Lambie, who went over in injury time to finish the game with a personal haul of 16 points, and the bonus point for the Sharks - giving White's men a dream start to the season.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Rugby Sevens will make its Olympic debut on August, 6, 2016, after the Rio 2016 Organising Committee released the daily competition schedule to mark 500 days to go.
Brad Thorn might be returning to Super Rugby in 2016, with a report that Queensland Reds are looking to create a "player-coaching role" for him
SANZAR has lodged an appeal against the outcome of its own judicial hearing of a dangerous tackle charge against Sharks centre Francois Steyn
Michael van Gerwen once again missed double 12 for a perfect nine-dart leg but powered on to maintain his spot at the top of the Premier League table
Juan Martin del Potro's latest comeback from an injury is off to a slow start
Greg Growden previews Super Rugby round 7. We've also got key stats, team news and all the line-ups to inform your ESPN Footytips Super Rugby picks
Fallout continues from the NSW-Brumbies derby, with one Tahs forward - not Potgieter - surprised by other unsavoury comments during the game, Greg Growden reports
Will Mercedes dominate again? Can anybody catch up with the help of a rainstorm? And will the Red Bull/Renault relationship tear itself apart? All those questions and more will be answered at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix
Maurice Hamilton pieces together what we know from the Fernando Alonso crash and explains why the latest answers raise more questions
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year