Whiteley’s Lions maul Crusaders

The Warren Whiteley-captained Lions outplayed the 1998 Crusaders to progress to the next round of the interactive Greatest Super Rugby Team tournament.

SA Rugby magazine readers dived into Game 11 of the 32-team knockout tournament, with the away side claiming the victory after 79% of voters backed them to win by between six and 10 points in Christchurch.

The result eliminates the 1998 Crusaders from the tournament, while the 2017 Lions advance to the round of 16, where they will face the winner of Game 12.

In an entertaining spectacle of running rugby, the Lions put seven tries past the Crusaders, who were able to grab four themselves to go with flyhalf Andrew Mehrtens’ three penalties.

Malcolm Marx and Ruan Combrinck both grabbed first-half braces, with the Springbok hooker’s tries both coming from driving mauls, to put the Lions 28-14 up at half time.

The Lions continued this momentum in the second half, with Kwagga Smith popping up at the right to finish off a midfield break from Lionel Mapoe, who also got on the scoresheet with a try. Replacement hooker Akker van der Merwe rounded off the scoring to see the visitors win 47-37.

2017 Lions – Tries: Malcolm Marx (2), Ruan Combrinck (2), Kwagga Smith, Lionel Mapoe, Akker van der Merwe. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (6).
1998 Crusaders – Tries: James Kerr, Scott Robertson, Daryl Gibson (2). Conversions: Andrew Mehrtens (4). Penalties: Mehrtens (3).

2017 Lions – 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (c), 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Subs: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Ruan Ackermann, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Harold Voster, 23 Sylvian Mahuza.

Coach: Johan Ackermann

1998 Crusaders – 15 Daryl Gibson, 14 James Kerr, 13 Tabai Matson, 12 Mark Mayerhofler, 11 Norman Berryman, 10 Andrew Mehrtens, 9 Aaron Flynn, 8 Steve Surridge, 7 Scott Robertson, 6 Todd Blackadder (c), 5 Norm Maxwell, 4 Reuben Thorne, 3 Stu Loe, 2 Mark Hammett, 1 Kevin Nepia.

Coach: Wayne Smith

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Dylan Jack