Bulls edge Lions in thrilling try fest

Both sides named strong starting lineups with Jannie du Plessis, Elton Jantjies and Courtnall Skosan all starting for the Johannesburg side.

Bulls' Ivan van Zyl (C) passes the ball during the Vodacom Superhero Sunday rugby match between the Vodacom Bulls and the Emirates Lions at the FNB Stadium in Soweto on 19 January 2020. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The second match up on #SuperHeroSunday saw the Lions take on the Bulls at FNB Stadium.

Both sides named strong starting lineups with Jannie du Plessis, Elton Jantjies and Courtnall Skosan all starting for the Johannesburg side.

Experienced fly-half Morne Steyn, Rosco Specman and Warrick Gelant all started for the Bulls.

The Lions were the first to strike through Daniel Kriel. The centre crossing the line after a well-worked move from a scrum.

Elton Jantjies added the extra two points to give the Lions a 7-0 lead inside the opening ten minutes.

The men from Pretoria hit back straight away a powerful maul from 10 metres out saw Abongile Nonkontwana bash his way over.

Morne Steyn converted as the Bulls drew level after 15 minutes.

The Bulls suffered a major blow shortly after that with full back Warrick Gelant getting a blow to the head while trying to tackle Jantjies. A sight that no one wants to see as he was taking off the field on a stretcher.

Against the run of play, the Lions took the lead through Duncan Matthews after a well-timed interception.

The Lions were dealt a blow soon after that with Pieter Jansen shown a yellow card for repeated infringement

Despite being down to 14 men, the Joburg side scored their third try of the game through Matthews. A well-placed cross kick put Jamba Ulengo in space before he offloaded to Matthews as the centre dotted down for his second try of the match.

The Bulls had the final say in the first half though. Johnny Kotze easing his way over the line after a brilliant inside pass from Manie Libbock just five metres out.

The Lions with a 21-14 lead going into half time.

Libbock got the Bulls off to the perfect start in the second half. The full-back pouncing a loose ball inside the Lions' 22 to score the Bulls' third try.

Steyn added the extra two points with the scores level at 21-21.

Less than 10 minutes later and the Bulls took the lead through Divan Rossouw. Another loose ball inside the Lions' 22 was capitalised on by the men from Pretoria as Rossouw had an easy run-in.

The game continued to go back and forth with the Lions taking the lead again. A quickly taken penalty by Jantjies saw the fly-half find Courtnall Skosan in the corner with a well-placed cross-kick.

Substitute Morne Van der Berg then extended his lead after breaking through the Bulls' defence to go over under the posts. A fifth try for Ivan van Rooyen's side.

The Bulls hit back yet again, with Rossouw shrugging off a couple of defenders to go over in the corner

Chris Smith slotted the conversion. The Lions taking 35-33 lead into the final ten minutes.

Cornal Hendricks missed a great chance to give the Bulls the lead with five minutes to play. The centre knocking the ball on after being put into space by Rossouw with only the try line in front of him.

Hendricks made up for his mistake two minutes later, pouncing on a loose pass from the Lions inside their own 22.

Smith added the extra two points.

The Lions had a golden chance to win the game but Cyle Brink couldn't keep himself in play after chasing a grubber kick.

The Bulls running out 40-35 winners.