Lions cash in on Rebel indiscipline

Coming into Saturday’s game at Ellis Park, the Rebels had never beaten the Lions, and thanks to some truly horrific indiscipline – and despite a giant halftime lead – it remains that way.

The Rebels were up 33-5 in Johannesburg and making mincemeat of a Lions defence that seemed not to have got an invite to the game. The Highveld side made far too many mistakes in the first half, and as such saw their defensive line broken four times in that opening stanza. Two tries came directly from the set piece, and two via the outside defender biting in given the lack of faith in what was happening on the inside.

The home side’s lineout had also gone AWOL, gifting the much improved Melbourne side – now coached by ex UCT defense coach, Dave Wessels – an opportunity to make history.

But 17 penalties and two yellow cards, which could well have been doubled had referee Egon Seconds not been so accommodating of the indiscipline that bordered on intentional spoiling, allowed the home side to buck the “kick and defend” trend.

The Lions eventually settled the encounter in their favour via a post-siren penalty from bench flyhalf Gianni Lombard. The thrilling comeback-win came via a ‘backs to the wall’ dominance of all the attacking stats, and both the territory and possession. The home side ran more, kicked less, and as such tackled a whole lot less than the visitors.

Given that the men in blue also conceded 16 turnovers to the 8 from the Lions, coach Swys de Bruin should probably be viewing this as his use of a “Get out of jail free” card, rather than a recipe for future success.

A look at the match stats from Ellis Park:

Match information:

Points: BUL 36-33 REB

Tries: LIO 5-5 REB

Penalty goals: LIO 1-0 REB

Goal kicking %: LIO 83% – 80% REB

Possession: LIO 63% – 37% REB

Territory: LIO 57% – 43% REB

Ball in play: 31 minutes


Attacking stats:

Ball Carries: LIO 85-51 REB

Metres run: LIO 611-470 REB

Metres per carry: LIO 7.2-9.2 REB

Line breaks: LIO 5-2 REB

Tackle breaks: LIO 8-2 REB

Passes: LIO 170-63 REB

Good Passes: LIO 159-57 REB

Offloads: LIO 7-3 REB

Rucks won: LIO 102-34 REB

Mauls won: LIO 6-1 REB

Turnovers conceded: LIO 16-8 REB


Defensive stats:

Tackles made: LIO 68-142 REB

Tackles missed: LIO 9-8 REB

Tackle success: LIO 88% – 95% REB

Tackle turnover: LIO 0-1 REB

Turnovers won: LIO 2-4 REB


Kicking stats:

Kicks from hand: LIO 9-13 REB

Metres kicked: LIO 233-347 REB

Metres per kick: LIO 26-27 REB


Error stats:

Handling errors: LIO 13-11 REB

Error rate (per carry): LIO 6.5-4.6 REB

Penalties conceded: LIO 1-20 REB (4 offside, 4 scrum)

Yellow cards: LIO 0-2 REB


First phase stats:

Lineouts won: LIO 12-1 REB

Lineouts stolen: STAT MISSING, but Lions lost at least 4

Scrums won: LIO 9-10 REB

Scrums lost: LIO 0-0 REB

- All Out Rugby

Let's chat

  • Wesley

    Again an ugly display with the Lions coming out on top. Why is it teams start playing terribly when it comes to the Lions, with the exception of the Bulls? Does the erratic gameplan put opponents off their game? Lions are not playing smart and any team to keep their heads are bound to beat them. Bit worried about the Sunwolves next…

    • Johan

      I know the referee was bad, but this is ridiculous:
      “Penalties conceded: LIO 1-77 REB (4 offside, 4 scrum)”

      For this one:
      “Lineouts stolen: STAT MISSING, but Lions lost at least 4”
      According to both RugbyPass and Fox Sports, Lions lost 3 line outs, winning 17

      • Rob Sims

        That stat is wrong. Penalties was 1 – 20

      • Barry

        Ja Johan, but remember he stole a game from the Lions against the Stormers, so no doubt just squaring up with them Lol. Becoming a bit embarrassing isn’t it?

        • albert Hoffmann

          did u even watch the game?? Both Kempson and matfield who have no allegiance to the lions said the rebels were lucky not to get more cards! Try watch next time.

          • Barry

            Both comments had a hint of humor Albert, it no doubt entirely alluded you. Probably a little difficult to see through the red tinted glass I expect.

            I can however see supporters the other end of the field feeling a bit mystified know that their team have averaged ten penalties per game thus far yet copped 22 on Saturday, more than double their norm!

          • Louis

            Matfield coached at the Lions last year

          • Rob Sims

            Yes. They should have copped at least 2 other yellows.

  • SweetAz

    Headless chickens….

  • Barry

    It would seem that teams employing a “kick and lets defend” type game plan are having success against the Lions. This should probably be referred to as the “Jake White Maneuver” though some are likely to refer to it as dom krag!

    What ever you call it, Lions need to realize that an expansive strategy with poor defense is simply not going to cut it! The concern is the De Bruin has been appointed the WC attack guru! Attack on the EOYT was poor now we seeing the same thing at the Lions – is this coincidence?

  • Dean Bright

    I’m reserving any judgement on any of our team’s chances. They are all yet to travel to Australasia. That tour usually defines a team and where they truly are.

    • SweetAz

      A wise man. The Sharks get bullied, the Stormers don’t have a backline, the Bulls don’t travel and the Lions as usual just don’t have a clue (or defence).

      • albert Hoffmann

        played 5 won 3, sitting tied top of conference and they dont have a clue. uncovered massive depth in their youth and now the stalwarts have raised their game as well. What a typically “dumbaz” comment!

        • SweetAz

          Yeah?–And if all the played 4’s win their next game they will be sitting second last,-typical Fat Albert comment. That “massive depth youth” is going to ship 60 or 70 points against the Crusaders with their “zero” defence. You only have to watch their headless chicken style of play and the number of tries scored against them to realize they have no clue, now fokkof and go play with your toys little boy.

          • SweetAz

            Mr Goering you wouldn’t know class if it stepped up and snotklapped you, something you are much overdue for anyway

          • Herman Schroder?

            Really classy – not, SweetAz. You continue to lower the tone of these debates old chap. Get help. Cheers.

      • Barry

        Come on chaps, by the time most of our teams have finished their away leg, the competition will be three quarters done! We’re surely not fence sitters?

  • Herman Schroder?

    Here’s the upside for the doubters to digest. Swys had a cunning plan for the Rebels. His plan was to let the Rebels score a few tries so that they would put too much effort into scoring them instead of pacing themselves. Predictably once they had built a lead they went dom krag trying to defend the lead and were all puffed out. Exactly what the Lions wanted and wallah game over.

    For the past three years and in spite of pummeling the other local Franchises 98% of the time the domkraggers still insisted they played the wrong game plan. Three SR finals later and but for that Peyper inspired ‘red card’ they should at least have banked the home final. In addition no one wins an away final especially in NZ for various reasons, no matter how good you are.

    Last year the Lions lost three matches in Australasia as well as to the Blues and Crusaders at home. Despite that they won the SA Conference and still finished FOURTH on the overall log. You see the Lions played the try bonus point card while the others mainly stumbled around in a dom krag haze. These points offset the few times they slipped up playing their expansive high risk rugby. Result – three SR finals. Simple really folks. Strangely enough if you look at the England / Scotland game yesterday you’ll see that Scotland, who play a Lions brand of rugby, also made a magnificent comeback.

    On Saturday they started off in dom krag mode and only when their natural expansive, crowd pleasing game kicked in did they look like a real Lions side. In other words if it aint broke don’t fix it. I think Swys has spent too much time in that game stifling Bok environment for his own good.

    I noticed none of the scribes or any of the illustrious posters on this site have mentioned the wholesale blooding of young talent in the squad as a mitigating factor for the slightly bumpy ride so far. In fact the Bulls were the only team to beat us fair and square so far and kudos to them. Despite the wholesale loss of prime timber from last year and the bringing on of the youngsters the Lions can still be pretty satisfied at this stage imo.

    Sure it’s going to get much tougher going forward but then again the Lions are always looking forward. One downside if I must be grumpy is the current form of Elton. Something is not right there and Swys needs to address the problem. Cheers.

    • John Comyn

      “De Bruin said the turnaround was in part thanks to a few harsh words from him to the players at half-time.

      ‘Walking into that change room, I was in a flat spin. I don’t think I’ve ever lost it like that before at half-time. I really lost it because I know how good these guys can be and they were not.

      ‘There were one or two words that came out badly and I’m sorry about that.”

      Hardly the words of a man who told his team to go out there in give the opposition a few tries! Herman your ignorance is astounding!

      • Herman Schroder?

        Poor old John. If you couldn’t tell that I had my tongue firmly lodged in my cheek when i wrote that then you really need to chill a bit. Take a moment before pounding the keyboard old chap it may save you some embarrassment in future. Fooi tog. Cheers.

      • Herman Schroder?

        Poor old John. If you couldn’t tell that I had my tongue firmly lodged in my cheek when i wrote that then you really need to chill a bit. Take a moment before pounding the keyboard old chap it may save you some embarrassment in future. Cheers.

      • SweetAz

        Its not ignorance as much as “domastrant”, I think the English term is something like doltish imbecility.

        • Herman Schroder?

          SweetAz in response to your 3.44 am post on the 19th March it’s clear that you still didn’t get it. The problem is you are so fixated by my posts that you lose all perspective. Do you really think a coach would encourage his team to conceded tries to tire them out ? How dumb are you ?

          To help you in future I’ll warn you beforehand that It’s a bit of banter, ok? I’ll either prefix it with a (B) sign or use the words – cunning plan in the text. Cheers.

        • Herman Schroder?

          Poor old SweetAZ you fell for it to, lol. See my response to John. Do you guys share a brain cell ? Cheers.

          • SweetAz

            Well, I guess one is better than the none you have, its really pathetic to pretend you were joking when you get found out, childishly imbecilic. It’s something I’ve seen stupid 3-year-olds do, probably still a bit above your level.

    • Johan

      I don’t think Swys told his team to allow the Rebels to score a few tries. He might have told them to pace themselves, as it is a warm summer game starting at 15:00, but no coach would want to try and come back from 33 – 5…

      It was a brilliant come back, lead by the experienced Coetzee and Mapoe.
      For me Swys’s brilliant move was leave these guys out of the team after their sub par performances leading up to this game, they both played for their jerseys this game. I expect Swys will drop Elton to the bench for the Sunwolves game.

      As to the Lion “cubs”, couldn’t agree more. They beat the previously undefeated Rebels with Tshituka (20) Simelane (20), Vermaak (20), Carlu Sadie (21), Naude (22), van Wyk (23), the winning kicker himself Gianni Lombard (21) and Tyronne Green (21) who had 85m from 13 runs, beating 9 defenders and even winning a turnover.

      If they can keep these guys for a few years the future looks bright, even after the exodus after the WC.

      • Herman Schroder?

        Johan, my comments re the Lions tactics was purely ‘tongue in cheek’ and of course the ‘haters’ fell for it hook line and sinker. See my response to John and poor old SweetAz above.

        Yes I agree with your comments re the boys needing a wake up call. Even Malcolm Marx came out like a man possessed in the second half. Also the wholesale blooding of new talent will bear fruit in the future while the other Franchises stick to their ageing stock. We will take a few knocks along the way for sure but ‘alles sal regkom as almal hul plig doen’. Cheers.

  • Gunter

    Omg can Jantjies dress up more? Surely some or other medical company is one of his sponsors. Sorry I cannot stand the overrated clown. Just the way he walks irritates the sh… out of me. He is sooooo arrogant and loveeeeeeeees himself that he cannot concentrate on his game. Rugby union’s own Lewis Hamilton. Breker vd bosveld!

    • SweetAz

      LOL, NOW you have done it Gunter, watch all the fanboys crawl out of their holes. They do say rugby is an extremely homoerotic sport, you are about to meet the closet princesses.

      • Herman Schroder?

        SweetAZ you back him because he sounds a bit like you ?? Remember you can choose your company. Cheers.

        • SweetAz

          At least I have a company, I’m betting you are a wage earner and not a great one at that.

    • Wesley

      What is it with these idiots? Please, by all means, criticize a player based on performance and your rugby outlook. But obviously you have nothing of rugby worth to add to this conversation Gunter.

      Perhaps this is some indication of criticism that EJ receives. As many good analysis of strengths and shortcomings of the player I have seen on forums, just as many I have seen of stupid comments on his haircut, tattoos, perceived “attitude” and being “windgat”.

      The guy has a certain walk, he takes pride in his appearance (you may not like it, but he does, and so he should), is fiercely competitive and takes heavy pressure well most of the time. But just like Hamilton you compare him to, I have never seen any of them badmouth or disrespect anybody outside of the competition (things are different and aggressive when you are in the arena), they are generally soft spoken and to common public knowledge very cool guys. If they were in trouble with the law every second week swearing and fighting publicly, then you can have at it.

    • albert Hoffmann

      Then just go away Gunther, dont watch, we could do without u. Whats your claim to fame o great one? EJ has achieved a million times more than u ever will.

    • Johan

      LOL! Lewis Hamilton is a five-time WORLD champion, with a shot at Schumacher’s record of 7.
      You probably also do not like 5 time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo ?
      And you don’t like how the guy looks, who reached 3 super rugby finals in a row…

      If you only judge a book by its cover, you must be a great person…

  • John Comyn

    Great comeback in a game of open rugby with poor defence on both sides. Swys is doing an excellent job with a young side but he must look to getting the defence working. The better sides won’t let them back in the game after conceding 30 plus in the 1st half. The Stormers backs are enough to make a hardcore supporter like myself cringe. Some of the passes they throw can only be described as school boy stuff and I’m being unkind to schools rugby when I say this. They have, probably, one of the best packs in the competition giving them loads of front foot ball but somehow they contrive to cock-up every opportunity that comes their way.

    • Herman Schroder?

      John, your objectivity is much appreciated. Your biggest problem though is the coach and you still haven’t got world class halfbacks which are essential to win SR and test matches. Cheers.

    • SweetAz

      Yeah, but it might also be a strength if they just keep the ball away from that backline, imagine if they gave all that ball to the backline how many tries would be scored against them from turnovers? I watched the second half of that game only and what I find most disconcerting is the obvious lack of mental fortitude in the flyhalf, the poor chap looks like he’s about to cry every time he touches the ball. Not very confidence inspiring. The scrumhalf must have been adopted by the Jantjes family because he somewhat looks like he knows what he’s doing unlike his namesake with the weird hairdo. So in effect, they have managed to win playing 9 man rugby,—just imagine what they could do with 15 players who could actually play?

      • John Comyn

        Rassie calls it Rugby EQ. Throwing a forward pass to your line kicker when tracking back when there is nobody within 20 meters, putting any pressure on you, is beyond belief. Then we have these skip passes when they have a 3 on 2 situation turning it in a two on one situation in favor of the defense and on top of that it is miles forward.

  • Safmarine

    Two incredible comebacks this weekend. Lions and Scotland. Both teams are similar in that they have certain players who just never give in (Watson, Kwagga, Graham, Johnson, Mapoe, McInally). I don’t really care for all the personal criticisms, attacks and negativity. Both games were highly entertaining if you’re a rugby fan. This is why we love the game.

  • Nick

    For sure Safmarine. Fantastic rugby.

    Gunter. You’re a d..s.

  • Nick

    Elton is going to have to present himself in a more acceptable way to be accepted by the public.
    Let’s not comment on his horrible dropped ball on his own line, or conversely some of the brilliant passes he got his line going with, let’s get our priorities right. Firstly, he needs a two tone Khaki shirt, a lekker paar crocs, miskien a bril met a snor will also give him the dapper, hoof seun look required by Gunter.

    • Wesley

      Probably a side path, with relaxer in his hair, or clean shaven, hey Nick. Because how dare you have tight curls or “kroesies” as those call it, anything longer than a centimeter on your head. So untidy! And no funny patterns in the hair, nor showing some kind of confidence or walking slightly with a swagger. This is a family show and children cant be exposed to such filth. And those tattoos. He must be some kind of criminal, obviously. Or just mentally unstable. :)

      • SweetAz

        Maybe he’s just stupid like you?

        • Wesley

          Awh look at the overt racist trying to be funny….

          • SweetAz

            Jaaaaa Do*S Koos, if you and Wesley are whats representative of “Building Blocks” for a nation then I’m afraid its way past midnight for you. It would actually be funny if it wasn’t so tragic that all us runaways had the mental acuity and foresight to predict exactly what is happening yet there you sit, with your head still in the sand mouthing meaningless platitudes.
            How drol.

          • Koos

            He ran away from SA to be racist somewhere else, too scared to help “build a nation”.
            He sits far away and trolls, looking for reaction…

  • SweetAz

    Sheesh, the chicken wing watermelon ooga booga participation is strong in this thread.

    • Wesley

      Damn those racist references are old! Can’t racists think up new ways to insult, or do they consider these timeless “jokes”?

      Pretty sad what these types think is timeless….

      • SweetAz

        Ag, put a sock in it muppet, or should I say golliwog?

  • Herman Schroder?

    Well said mate. Cheers.

  • Dean Bright

    The provincialism is so one-eyed that some people are defending the Rebels and attacking the Lions. How sad is that. I’ll support every SA team against the rest. It’s for the better of SA rugby that they all do well. No need to pick on the Lions just because they’re not playing as well as last year. A team doesn’t go from top 3 to absolute rubbish in 1 year.

    • Barry

      I would agree that some of the comments cut across the grain, but in most instances it is banter and meant in good humor. Even Hetman has managed some.

      The question of Egon Seconds is another matter though and one as an ardent supporter that should be troubling you as much as it is troubling the rest of us. The Rebels copped 12 more penalties this round than they have on average this season?

      Before you leap into defense mode, remember our chaps have yet to tour – what reaction are we likely to have when they get heavily penalized, with some questionable calls? The issue here is one of sporting ethic and not of Nationalism or Provincialism

    • SweetAz

      I dont have a problem with the Lions, it’s their retarded fans I take issue with. As a Stormers supporter, I am quite happy to take criticism for my team and have a laugh at it, but the Lions supporters have become like the erstwhile Blouballas Bulls supporters, they have become the most obnoxious supporters of all the franchises so I take great pleasure when they have to swallow bile. Me, I couldn’t care less if the Stormers win or lose, I hope they win but its no skin off my nose if they don’t. I don’t need to make up fairy tales about how good they are or cry about the ref or tell everybody else my team and coach are the ONLY ones who knows what’s what.

      • Wesley

        You make it sound as if every Lions fan is a Herman. Could i then then assume all Stormers fans are bald hick inbreeders such as yourself?

        • Herman Schroder?

          Wesley a bit insulting don’t you think ? I present only facts and the haters have no case hence the animosity. Doesn’t trouble me at all by the way I believe I’m objective enough overall. It’s not my fault that the Boks and the other three Franchises have been so abysmal these past few years. If the Lions are being pumped unfairly I will retaliate, it’s what passionate fans do Cheers.

        • SweetAz

          lol, you’re so triggered.

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