The Waratahs outplayed the Lions to record a convincing 41-13 victory in Sydney, writes BRENTON CHELIN.
The Lions were unable to round off a perfect weekend for South African teams as injuries and fatigue got the better of them against the Tahs.
Following a disruption to their backline before kick-off after Courtnall Skosan pulled up with an injury in the warm-up, Lionel Mapoe went down early in the first half and the Lions struggled for continuity all match.
It was the hosts who struck first, with Bernard Foley dotting down under the posts. The Lions responded immediately with a try of their own through the forwards. Marnitz Boshoff found a good touch from a penalty and it was left to the pack to rumble over from the rolling maul, with Jaco Kriel coming up with the ball.
The two flyhalves then traded penalties before Kurtley Beale latched on to Bernard Foley's grubber for the Waratah's second try. Boshoff cut the deficit to four points following another penalty at the maul, as the Lions headed into half time well in the game.
They weren't able to maintain their intensity in the second half though, with errors creeping into their game, which the Waratahs capitalised on.
The hosts scored 24 unanswered points after the break. Rob Horne and Adam Ashley-Cooper scored in quick succession before another Horne try after the hooter wrapped up a convincing victory for the Tahs.
The Lions will now head to Perth to face the Western Force as they look to become just the second South African team to win on foreign soil this season, but form and faitgue look to be against them.
Waratahs – Tries: Bernard Foley, Kurtley Beale, Rob Horne (2), Adam Ashley-Cooper. Conversions: Bernard Foley (5). Penalties: Foley (2).
Lions – Try: Jaco Kriel. Conversion: Marnitz Boshoff. Penalties: Boshoff (2).
Waratahs – 15 Israel Folau, 14 Matt Carraro, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis (c), 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Paddy Ryan, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Subs: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Jacques Potgieter, 20 Stephen Hoiles, 21 Brendon McKibbin, 22 Alofa Alofa, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro.
Lions – 15 Chrysander Botha, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 JW Jonker, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (c), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Martin Muller, 4 MB Lusaseni, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Subs: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corné Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Rudi Mathee, 20 Warwick Tecklenburg, 21 Ross Cronjé, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Anthony Volminck.
LEATHERMAN SA PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Their wasn't much to choose from after this showing, but the Lions won a number of penalties at scrum time, thanks mainly to Schalk van der Merwe.
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