Elton the Lions' king
Tournament record for fly-half as Lions beat Cheetahs
Last Updated: 25/02/12 9:10pm
Elton Jantjies at the heart of the action
Fly-half Elton Jantjies kicked a tournament record nine penalties as the Lions began the new Super Rugby season with a 27-25 victory over South African rivals the Cheetahs.
The Cheetahs registered the only try of the contest through prop WP Nel, with fly-half Johan Goosen contributing 20 points, but it was not enough as they were edged out by the boot of Jantjies in a game littered with penalties.
Jantjies struck the opening points with his second penalty attempt, but the visitors responded as Nel worked his way over with Goosen adding the conversion to make it 7-3.
The Cheetahs lost centre Andries Strauss to the sin-bin after he was punished for a tip tackle on Wikus van Heerden that left the back-rower with concussion, and the remainder of the half was dominated by the boots of the two number 10s.
Goosen added three more penalties and a drop goal, while Jantjies slotted three more penalties of his own to make it 19-12 in the Cheetahs favour at the interval.
The sides exchanged yet more penalties after the break, with the game having little flow due to the incessant whistle of referee Mark Lawrence as the two sides failed to maintain their discipline, to make it 25-18.
But when Goosen was yellow carded for persistent breakdown infringements the game swung back in the Lions favour.
Jantjies took advantage of his opposite number's absence to pull the hosts back within a point, before slotting the crucial three-pointer after Ashley Johnson became the latest player penalised at a ruck.