The British & Irish Lions started the Lions Series on a winning note with an eight-try 56-14 victory over the Sigma Lions at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on Saturday evening, with Josh Adams bagging four second-half tries.
The home team lost focus from time to time, and were punished for a slow start with the tourists scoring two tries in the first eight minutes, courtesy of Louis Rees-Zammit (wing) and Hamish Watson (flanker).
The British & Irish Lions, under the captaincy of experienced fullback Stuart Hogg, varied their attacking play very well, using their line-out to great effect, and also had the home team on the back foot through some solid defence for most of the match.
Both British & Irish Lions scrum-halves, Ali Price and Gareth Davies, also got on the score-sheet with tries on either side of the break, while Owen Farrell (inside centre) had a perfect night with the boot, converting all eight their tries.
The visitors’ passing game was superb and they often had the Sigma Lions at sixes and sevens on defence, creating space on the outside which Adams especially enjoyed. Their pressure on defence was also telling as the men in the red jerseys kept the home side pinned behind the advantage line for large parts of the game.
Despite the result, Vincent Tshituka (flanker) and Rabz Maxwane (wing) will be chuffed with their tries against the famous tour side, with Sigma Lions captain Francke Horn prominent in the lead-up to both five-pointers by the home team.
In the build-up to Tshituka’s try, in the 35th minute, Horn combined well with Burger Odendaal up the left half touchline before they worked the ball back infield, with EW Viljoen giving a big pass to the right to the try-scorer.
Horn also had a big hand in Maxwane’s try, in the 44th minute, but that was the last highlight of the match for the Sigma Lions, whose focus now shifts back to the Carling Currie Cup.
Sigma Lions 14 (7) – Tries: Vincent Tshituka, Rabz Maxwane. Conversions: Jordan Hendrikse (2).
British & Irish Lions 56 (21) – Tries: Louis Rees-Zammit, Hamish Watson, Ali Price, Josh Adams (4), Gareth Davies. Conversions: Owen Farrell (8).
Lions in the Land
On Sunday, Carte Blanche previews the Springboks’ chances as the six-week Lions series gets underway. Watch the show overseas on Showmax International | Watch in SA on DStv Now.