Lions v Cardiff Live: Kick-off time, team news and live updates from United Rugby Championship clash

Lions v Cardiff Live: Kick-off time, team news and live updates from United Rugby Championship clash

Cardiff’s wait for an away win this season continued as they fell to a frustrating defeat to the Lions in Johannesburg.

Nearly four months since the Blue and Blacks first arrived in South Africa, their first piece of on-field action in the southern hemisphere was one marred by a desperately slow start.

Just after the end of the first quarter, Cardiff trailed 24-6.

And while they did get back into the game thanks to tries from Aled Summerhill and James Botham, there’ll be a sense of frustration that they couldn’t complete the comeback against a Lions side that rarely threatened to land a punch beyond those early scores.

The home side took just over a minute to score. Scrum-half Morne van den Berg spotting some disorganisation around the Cardiff ruck defence to snipe over after Jordan Hendrikse’s monstrous 5src:22 had given them prime field position.

The two sides exchanged penalties, with two from Jarrod Evans, making his 1srcsrcth appearance for the club, either side of Hendrikse’s effort from the tee making it 1src-6 after 12 minutes.

However from there, two quickfire tries from winger Edwill van der Merwe pushed the home side out to a comfortable lead.

His first came from patient red-zone pressure after Cardiff failed to regather a kick-off, with the winger eventually taking advantage of the space afforded to him out wide for a walkover.

His second came as the Cardiff defence was cut apart by a deft offload from flanker Vincent Tshituka, with centre Wandisile Simelane drawing the final man to put van der Merwe away.

Cardiff, to their credit, responded well as they finally snapped into gear.

Will Boyde appeared to have scored from a driving maul shortly afterwards, only for TMO Ben Whitehouse to pull it back for an infringement.

However, they got their reward as Summerhill made use of an overlap shortly after the half-hour mark to crash over for Cardiff’s opening try.

The gap was reduced further as Botham crossed four minutes after the restart following some patient build-up play in the Lions’ 22.

A couple of penalties from Hendrikse gave the Lions breathing room, but the momentum still felt like it was with Cardiff as they continued to look threatening when able to string phases together.

However, a yellow card for Kristian Dacey after he accidentally caught the head of a Lions player who popped up in front of him at the last second as the hooker was trying to clear out a ruck, curbed a Cardiff attack and ultimately sealed their fate.

From there, the Blue and Blacks struggled to create clearcut chances in the final quarter and, with the clock red, the Lions sealed their bonus point as Tshituka crossed despite seeming to lose possession of the ball while grounding.

Lions: Quan Horn; Stean Pienaar, Wandisile Simelane, Burger Odendaal, Edwill van der Merwe; Jordan Hendrikse, Morne van den Berg; Sti Sithole, Jaco Visagie, Carlu Sadie, Ruben Schoeman, Reinhard Nothnagel, Jaco Kriel (capt), Vincent Tshituka, Francke Horn.

Replacements: PJ Botha, JP Smith, Ruan Dreyer, Ruan Venter, Emmanuel Tshituka, Nico Steyn, Manuel Rass, Tiaan Swanepoel.

Cardiff Rugby: Matthew Morgan; Owen Lane, Rey Lee-Lo, Ben Thomas, Aled Summerhill; Jarrod Evans, Lloyd Williams; Corey Domachowski, Kirby Myhill, Dmitri Arhip, Josh Turnbull (capt), Matthew Screech, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Will Boyde, James Botham

Replacements: Kristian Dacey, Brad Thyer, Will Davies-King, Rory Thornton, Ellis Jenkins, Jamie Hill, Max Llewellyn, Hallam Amos

Referee: Chris Busby (IRFU)

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8src minsKEY EVENT

Try Lions! 37-2src

So the ball has come loose in the Lions player, Vincent Tshituka, trying to ground it.

However, Ben Whitehouse believes it went backwards and was then grounded all in one movement.

So the try stands.

Not sure that final score is a deserving one.

8src minsBen James

Try Lions?

Lions taking their time with a scrum feed.

They’ll be happy to play this final minute out.

The buzzer goes and the Lions, with victory assured, look for the bonus point score.

They might just have got it.

79 minsBen James

Error after error

Nice hands from Cardiff get the ball to Lane in space.

However, he kicks infield when he’d have been better holding onto the ball.

To compound matters, Cardiff get the ball stolen following a lineout and are then pinned back in their own 22.

77 minsBen James

Lions in control

Lions surely have this one now.

They’re in possession and playing in the right part of the field.

They kick to Morgan, but swallow him up before he can run it back.

76 minsBen James

Daft penalty

Frustrating for Cardiff as Rory Thornton concedes a penalty at the lineout.

Simple chance for the Lions to clear their lines.

75 minsBen James

Close, but no cigar

Cardiff back up to 15 now as they run it from

…. to be continued
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