Super Rugby: Lions survive second-half rally from Blues
Last Updated: 15/03/14 4:27pm
Corne Fourie on the charge for the Lions
The Lions beat the Blues for the first time since 2006 despite a five-try second-half from the visitors, winning 39-36 at Ellis Park.
The Blues handed a first start to rugby league convert Benji Marshall at full-back and his late try gave the Auckland side hope of pulling off a stunning comeback after they had been blanked in the first period.
In the end they did not have enough time as Charlie Faumuina's 31st-minute yellow card proved costly.
At that stage the match was pointless but the Lions crossed over twice, through Faf de Klerk and Courtnall Skosan, while Faumuina sat out to give the Lions a 17-0 interval lead.
Charles Piutau, Bryn Hall, Frank Halai, George Moala and Marshall all crossed over as the Blues roared back after the break.
The Lions were able to always keep their noses ahead though as Marnitz Boshoff kicked over 17 of his 24 points after half-time with full-back Coenie van Wyk awarded a controversial try.
Faumuina was sent to the sin-bin for illegally collapsing down a maul close to the Blues line. The Lions made them pay as De Klerk dummied and went over before Skosan ran onto a Deon van Rensburg inside pass.
In between, Boshoff added a drop goal as the Lions went into the break 17-0 ahead.
Boshoff kicked another goal shortly after the re-start and the Blues task was made even harder when Tom Donnelly was sent to the sin-bin.
Chris Noakes finally kicked over the Blues' first points on 55 minutes and while Boshoff quickly replied the visitors began their unlikely comeback with two tries in three minutes.
Piutau scored the first and then set up the next for Hall when he gathered his own kick and off-loaded.
Noakes converted to suddenly reduce the margin to eight points, before the Lions appeared to be given a break by television match official Stuart Berry.
The TMO ruled that Van Rensberg knocked the ball backwards before Van Wyk dived on the loose ball to score a try Boshoff converted.
The Blues kept pushing though and Halai and Moala dived over for converted scores, either side of a Boshoff penalty, to make it 33-29 with eight minutes left.
Boshoff held his nerve to land a further two kicks, which proved decisive as Marshall beat a couple of men to score late on.
Fri 29th May - Overall Group
Crusaders35 - 18Hurricanes
Brumbies22 - 16Bulls
Sharks25 - 21Melbourne Rebels
Sat 30th May - Overall Group
Highlanders0 - 0Chiefs
Western Force0 - 0Reds
Stormers0 - 0Cheetahs
Lions0 - 0Waratahs
Fri 5th Jun - Overall Group
Hurricanes0 - 0Highlanders
Western Force0 - 0Brumbies
Sat 6th Jun - Overall Group
Melbourne Rebels0 - 0Bulls
Blues0 - 0Crusaders
Reds0 - 0Chiefs
Cheetahs0 - 0Waratahs
Stormers0 - 0Lions
Fri 12th Jun - Overall Group
Blues0 - 0Highlanders
Melbourne Rebels0 - 0Western Force
Sat 13th Jun - Overall Group
Brumbies0 - 0Crusaders
Chiefs0 - 0Hurricanes
Waratahs0 - 0Reds
Bulls0 - 0Cheetahs
Sharks0 - 0Stormers
Super Rugby 2014 Round 5
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Super Rugby leaders Sharks maintained their perfect start to the season with a 35-20 win over the Reds in Durban.
Western Force completed back-to-back victories for the first time since 2011 as they beat Highlanders 31-29 in Dunedin.