Highlanders hold over struggling Lions

By AAP,

Tagged:
 , , ,

12 Have your say

    South African conference leaders the Lions have suffered a rare streak of three Super Rugby losses after they went down to the Highlanders 39-27 in Dunedin on Saturday night.

    The Highlanders held off a late charge by the Lions to extend their home winning streak to 11 matches and leave the South Africans still chasing their first victory over New Zealand opponents this season.

    The Highlanders raced out to a 19-3 lead at Forsyth Barr Stadium, with Lima Sopoaga crossing from close range, Liam Coltman crashing over and Luke Whitelock also bagging a try.

    But the Johannesburg-based team hit back with two quick tries to cut the lead to 19-15 at halftime.

    Their rolling maul was especially effective and hooker Robbie Coetzee crossed for his second five-pointer early in the second half.

    The Highlanders then put the foot down, with Waisake Naholo and Teihorangi Walden tries creating a handy buffer.

    But the Lions pulled within six points when Elton Jantjies converted Marnus Schoeman’s 73rd-minute try.

    “We thought we were going pretty good at halftime,” Highlanders captain Ben Smith said in a post-match interview.

    “The Lions are a good team… they’ve got a pretty good lineout and some big physical forwards that took us on.”

    After humiliating the Waratahs in Sydney on April 20 with a 29-0 triumph, the Lions lost to Queensland and the Hurricanes in a tough road trip.

    Nonetheless, last season’s beaten finalists retain top spot in the South African conference, seven points ahead of Argentina’s second-placed Jaguares, but queries remain over their title credentials as their struggles against New Zealand sides continue.

    The Lions were upset 25-17 in the title decider at their Ellis Park home last year by the Crusaders and have not tasted victory against a New Zealand team since.

    © AAP 2018
    Rebuild announcement

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (12)

    • May 13th 2018 @ 6:27am
      Ben said | May 13th 2018 @ 6:27am | ! Report

      Lions a different beast at home and all they need to do is win their conference to get home advantage. If they have to travel away after that though…..
      Does tend to show 2016 and 2017 were kinda false dawns.
      2016 they made the final without playing 1 NZ team.
      Then 2017 they hosted the final again without playing 1 NZ team until their home semi vs the Canes.

      • May 13th 2018 @ 8:50am
        rebel said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:50am | ! Report

        In 2016 they played and beat NZ sides in NZ

        • May 13th 2018 @ 9:10am
          Ben said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:10am | ! Report

          Yes you are correct. 2017 stands.

        • May 13th 2018 @ 11:16am
          Muzzo said | May 13th 2018 @ 11:16am | ! Report

          Yep that’s right Rebel, then were beaten in the final of that year by the Canes.

    • May 13th 2018 @ 11:18am
      Muzzo said | May 13th 2018 @ 11:18am | ! Report

      Great win by the Landers, who hopefully, will have some of their stars back for next Saturday.

      • May 13th 2018 @ 12:05pm
        Highlander said | May 13th 2018 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

        We still have a few more stand downs to do for the ABs muzzo ( doing this from memory)

        Ben Smith still has to stand down for 2
        Naholo for 1
        Coltman for 1
        Whitelock for 2

        Squire is done
        Hunt is done
        Aaron Smith is done

        Hard to fit in with such a shallow squad, thank god the injury gods have been kind to us this year.
        Do we risk standing guys down for the Aussie games – ;like the Tahs this week, or go all out and hope we have enough points before the kiwi derbys start again

        • Roar Guru

          May 13th 2018 @ 5:51pm
          The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 13th 2018 @ 5:51pm | ! Report

          You need your AB’s in the derbies. You are still in with a shot to claim at least the second place in log. That is my two cents.

          • May 13th 2018 @ 7:15pm
            Highlander said | May 13th 2018 @ 7:15pm | ! Report

            Hearing Smith and Whitelock will be left behind for the Tahs and Reds games

            • Roar Guru

              May 13th 2018 @ 8:13pm
              The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:13pm | ! Report

              It is a gamble but it makes sense. If your boys can get wins over Canes and Saders in the last rounds, plus one of them drop a game or two (they will play each other so they will drop some points at least) you get the second spot and home advantage maybe in both the QF and SF. At home in a playoff, I reckon your boys would be a handful. They look well settled to handle KO rugby.

            • Roar Guru

              May 13th 2018 @ 8:13pm
              The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:13pm | ! Report

              It is a gamble but it makes sense. If your boys can get wins over Canes and Saders in the last rounds, plus one of them drop a game or two (they will play each other so they will drop some points at least) you get the second spot and home advantage maybe in both the QF and SF. At home in a playoff, I reckon your boys would be a handful. They look well settled to handle KO rugby.

        • Roar Rookie

          May 14th 2018 @ 12:36pm
          Shane D said | May 14th 2018 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

          Can’t work out why B Smith has the rest games when he is back from his rest period.

    • May 13th 2018 @ 3:07pm
      Bluffboy said | May 13th 2018 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

      Coleman and Whitelock for this week. It is tricky with Benny boy though. I can’t see him missing a chance to give Izzy a couple lessons. Although he might be in the front row this week. Izzy seems to able to ply anywhere or so I’ve been told.

    Have Your Say



    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Explore:
    , , ,