Lions outplay Crusaders

The Lions needed just 60 seconds to get onto the scoresheet as winger Courtnall Skosan scored a try.

FILE: Emirates Lions Captain Warren Whiteley. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The Lions needed just 60 seconds to get onto the scoresheet as winger Courtnall Skosan scored a try in the opening minute of the match, a dream start for Johan Ackermann.

With their tails up, the hosts kept pressing and scored their second try when centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg crashed over from close range. That saw them rush out to a 15-0 lead over the seven time champions.

The Crusaders fought their way back into the match through a Ryan Crotty try and some smart kicking from flyhalf Richie Mo'unga.

A decisive moment came three minutes before the break when, under pressure, the Lions turned down a kickable penalty for a lineout.

The decision paid off when hooker Malcolm Marx crashed over for a converted try to hand his side a deserved 22-10 halftime lead.

In the second half, Mo'unga continued with his good form with the boot, while Elton Jantjies kept the Lions noses' in front with a drop goal.

The Crusaders countered through a Mitchell Drummond try, cutting the deficit down to just eight points.

Instead of buckling under the pressure, the Lions scored two more tries through Ruan Combrinck and Ross Cronje to win the match 42-25 and book their spot in the Super Rugby semi-finals where they will host the Highlanders on Saturday.