Lions hold on against Blues
After the Lions took a strong lead late in the first half, the Blues slowly pegged it back, a try on the eighty minute mark leaving them 3 points shy.PT1M30S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-34uuk 620 349 March 16, 2014
JOHANNESBURG: Marnitz Boshoff continued a fairy tale first Super 15 season with 24 points for Golden Lions in a 39-36 victory over the Blues on Saturday.
The five-eighth kicked four penalties, three conversions and two drop goals at sunny Ellis Park in Johannesburg to raise his five-match tally to 94 points.
And his major contribution to a third win in five outings for perennial strugglers the Lions came after he fluffed an early, angled 25-metre penalty attempt.
Super boot: Marnitz Boshoff of the Lions. Photo: Getty Images
|View Match Statistics|
|Players||de Klerk (33min), Skosan (40min), Van Wyk (59min)||Tries||3||Tries||5||Players||Piutau (54min), Hall (56min), Halai (64min), Moala (70min), Marshall (79min)|
|Players||Boshoff 3/3 (100%)||Conversions||3||Conversions||4||Players||Noakes 2/3 (66%), Hickey 2/2 (100%)|
|Players||Boshoff 4/5 (80%)||Penalty goals||4||Penalty goals||1||Players||Noakes 1/1 (100%)|
|Players||Boshoff 2/2 (100%)||Drop goals||2||Drop goals||0||Players|
It was his sole miss of the match, and only the second in 29 attempts since the season kicked off.
A roller-coaster game in which the South Africans dominated the first-half scrums saw the home side build big leads only to be constantly pegged back by the strong-running New Zealanders.
A 23-3 home lead on 52 minutes was trimmed to eight points soon after, and the Blues got within four points nine minutes from time.
But two Boshoff penalties widened the gap before fullback Benji Marshall dotted down and a simple conversion by replacement five-eighth Chris Hickey left just three points between the sides.
The Blues did have a chance to snatch victory when they gained possession from the kick-off after Marshall scored in the final minute.
However, after making some ground, the Aucklanders were forced to retreat and the final whistle sounded when a New Zealander was forced into touch.
Tries from halfback Faf de Klerk, left-wing Courtnall Skosan and fullback Coenie van Wyk completed the Lions' total.
Blues, who trailed 17-0 at half-time and had prop Charlie Faumuina (collapsing a maul) and second-rower Tom Donnelly (dangerous clean-out) sin binned, did have the consolation of two bonus points.
They were always dangerous with ball in hand and replacement halfback Bryn Hall proved a hard-to-contain livewire when he came on for veteran Piri Weepu.
It took the visitors 55 minutes to cross the try-line for the first time with left-wing Charles Piutau taking a long pass to dart over far out.
Further tries came a regular intervals from Hall, right-wing Frank Halai, centre George Moala and league convert Marshall.
Five-eighth Chris Noakes and his replacement, Hickey, slotted two conversions each and Noakes also kicked a penalty.
LIONS 39 (Faf de Klerk, Courtnall Skosan, Coenie van Wyk tries Marnitz Boshoff 3 cons 4 pens 2 drop goals) bt BLUES 36 (Frank Halai, Bryn Hall, Benji Marshall, George Moala, Charles Piutau tries Simon Hickey 2, Chris Noakes 2 cons Noakes pen) at Ellis Park. Referee: Stuart Berry.