At the end it was a close one with the Cell C Sharks that kept the Lions out to take a 19-16 win in the opening match of the Vodacom Super Rugby Unlocked.
As much as the Sharks dominated the first half the Lions came back in the second to make most of the play. The Sharks had a 13-3 lead just before halftime but conceded a try just before the break to only lead the Lions 13-10.
The boots of Jantjies and Bosch made all the talking in the second half with Bosch sneaking in a last penalty after Jantjies leveled it at 16-all with minutes remaining.
The Lions had their opportunities but just could not convert some great chances they had in that second half.
With the Sharks playing in the right side of the field at the start of the game, it was some great hands by the Sharks and a final pass from Am to Kok that led to the Sharks opening try.
This gave them an early 7-0 lead.
The Sharks kept the pressure on the Lions and were not giving the Lions and ball-time in the early stages of the game.
With the Lions on the back foot for the first 13 minutes they did put a massive effort in the first scrum and forced a penalty.
The Lions got their opportunities but were unable to convert it and it was Rabz Maxwane that almost got over for their first try but had a foot in touch.
Bosch then reply with a penalty to extend the Sharks lead to 10-0.
Bosch added another three points after a scrum penalty with teh Lions finally got on the board with one from Jantjies to make the score 13-3 for the Sharks with 7 min to go before halftime.
It as the Lions that had a bit better ball at the start of the second half and they were also first to score after a brilliant cross-kick from Jantjies to send Jamba Ulengo over for their first try.
— RugbyRocks.com (@rugby_rocks) October 9, 2020
This reduced the Sharks lead to only 13-10, but the Sharks quickly responded with the boot of Bosch to make it 16-10.
It was almost one for you and one for me as Jantjies reduced the lead again to 3 points with another penalty.
Both teams tried to speed up the game which resulted in a few handling errors being made in the middle part of the second half. The Lions had the better of the possession and territory.
With Jantjies even the scores on 16-all it was a quick response from Bosch with the boot to give the Sharks back the lead of 19-16.
Jantjies had a chance to even it up again but hit the upright which resulted in the a penalty for the Sharks to get out of their twenty two.
The Lions worked their way back and on the sound of the hooter got a penalty which Jantjies decided to take a scrum five meters from Sharks line.
After a reset the Sharks stood up and forced the final penalty to end the game and take the win.
Sharks: Tries – Werner Kok Conversions – Curwin Bosch Penalties Curwin Bosch(4)
Lions: Tries – Jamba Ulengo Conversions – Elton Jantjies Penalties Elton Jantjies(3)