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Lions grind out win over visiting Jaguares

By Mahlatse Mphahlele, Ellis Park Stadium | 2017-04-21 21:36:00.0

Sometimes these matches are defined by how you deal with pressure moments and this is the lesson that the Jaguares must have learned following their 24-21 Super Rugby loss to the Lions at Emirates Park in Johannesburg on Friday night.

Until the 72nd minute, the Argentineans were on course for what could have been a double over their hosts as they lead by seven points but it was not to be as Ruan Ackerman’s try and Elton Jantjies’ penalty proved the difference.

When Ackerman touched down after the Lions travelled almost two thirds of the length of the field for their third try of the night that was converted by Jantjies, the score was locked at 21 all.

Then it came down to a spot on penalty in front of the goal from Jantjies with two minutes remaining on the clock that gave the home side the lead and what turned out to be the winner.

As a result of this hard fought victory, the Lions have increased their lead at the top of Africa Conference 2 to 32 points after eight matches and they travel to Australia for clashes against the Force, Rebels and Brumbies with confidence.

Jaguares started the match brightly as they camped in the 22 area of the Lions and it came as little surprise when Matias Orlando scored the first try of the evening inside five minutes as a result of their persistent pressure.

From the resultant conversion, Nicolas Sanchez successfully put the ball between the poles as the Argentineans took an early seven points lead.

Their lead did not last long as a few minutes later Harold Vorster touched down for the Lions with Elton Jantjies converting to tie the scoreline at seven each with 15 minutes having been played.

Lions scored their second try of the match in sensational fashion when Lionel Mapoe dummied his way past the sleepy Jaguares defence after the Lions won a tighthead scrum after 22 minutes.

What was left after Mapoe’s try was for Jantjies to register his conversion of the match as the home side increased their lead to 14 points and they began to take the game by the scruff of the neck.

Eight minutes after restart, Jaguares came back in the game through a try by Rodrigo Baez after he was played the ball by Sanchez who immediately converted as the visitors tied the score at 14 all.

A few minutes later, Emirates Park was stunned when the Jaguares took another lead with a try by Guido Petti and Sanchez further increased their lead to seven points as he managed to convert from an awkward angle.

Eight minutes from time, Ruan Ackerman scored a try after they travelled almost two thirds of the ground and Jantjies held his nerve to convert from a difficult angle as the score remained locked on 21 all.

With two minutes left on the clock, Jantjies scored a penalty that proved to be the difference between the two sides.

Scorers:

Lions:

Tries: Vorster, Mapoe; Ackerman

Conversions: Jantjies (3)

Penalty: Jantjies

Jaguares:

Tries:

Orlando; Baez, Petti

Conversions: Sanchez (3)

 - TMG Digital/TMG Sport

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