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Cardiff’s losing run continues against Lions

By PA
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - MAY 11: James Botham of Cardiff with the ball during the United Rugby Championship match between Emirates Lions and Cardiff Rugby at Emirates Airline Park on May 11, 2024 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Cardiff slumped to an eighth successive United Rugby Championship defeat after being dispatched 34-13 by the Lions in Johannesburg.

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Replacement back row Emmanuel Tshituka crossed twice in the final quarter to break the visitors’ resistance after they briefly hinted at forcing their way back into contention when Corey Domachowski touched down.

An early break by scrum-half Morne van den Berg led to Ruan Venter touching down with the openside partially dragged over the line by prop Ruan Dreyer.

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Stormers head coach John Dobson on the race for a top-four spot in the URC standings

With just two games left in the round-robin phase of the United Rugby Championship, Stormers head coach Dobson said his team will be going all out to try and secure a home quarterfinal.

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Stormers head coach John Dobson on the race for a top-four spot in the URC standings

With just two games left in the round-robin phase of the United Rugby Championship, Stormers head coach Dobson said his team will be going all out to try and secure a home quarterfinal.

The Lions’ opening score was well taken but Cardiff were caught asleep for the second, losing focus as Marius Louw used a penalty to hoof a long kick downfield with Quan Horn winning the race to the line.

Patient forward play enabled Cardiff to breach the home defence seven minutes after the interval with replacement prop Domachowski burrowing over from close range.

But with fly-half Sanele Nohamba landing two penalties and two conversions, the Lions remained 20-10 ahead.

Cardiff began to get ascendency at the scrum and when they won a penalty in front of the posts, Tinus de Beer was able to further narrow the lead with another successful three-pointer.

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Replacement back Jordan Hendrikse was making an impact for the Lions through his carrying, sucking in multiple defenders with each run.

But Cardiff were scrambling well and had full-back Cam Winnett to thank for a monster 50-22 that swept them deep into enemy territory, although the opportunity amounted to nothing.

The Lions remained in control knowing the next try would seal the win and it duly arrived in the 73rd minute when Tshituka finished a driving maul after a build up of pressure.

Gianni Lombard nailed the conversion and it was over for Cardiff, who saw the play-off chasing Lions cross once again through Tshituka.

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