A late try from Armand Van Der Merwe helped the Lions secure a dramatic 22-18 Vodacom Super Rugby victory over the Bulls at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday. The Bulls started on the front foot and had the first scoring opportunity but Jacques-Louis Potgieter’s drop goal from 35 metres was off target. The Emirates Lions then won a penalty on the back of a driving lineout and Elton Jantjies stepped up and made no mistake giving his team the early lead.
Jantjies doubled the home side’s advantage in the 17th minute with another penalty after Pierre Spies was pinged for an infringement at a ruck. Potgieter then had two missed attempts at goal but eventually found his radar to give the Pretoria franchise its first points of the match in the 28th minute. The first-half turned into a shootout between Jantjies and Potgieter.
The Bulls number 10 prevailed and gave his side a 9-6 lead at half-time. The battle of the fly-halves continued after the break with Jantjies drawing first blood after Deon Stegmann was penalised for a ruck infringement in the 57th minute. The two number 10s continued to trade blows and Potgieter looked to have struck the winner in the 79th minute but a minute later the Lions roared back and scored a dramatic late try.
Faf De Klerk took a tap penalty five metres out. He then offloaded to Van Der Merwe who bumped off Burger Odendaal and crashed over for the winner. Jantjies added the extras to give Johan Ackermann’s charges a fantastic 22-18 victory.