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Leinster humbled in one-sided Lions mauling in Jo'burg

By PA
Richard Kriel of the Lions during the United Rugby Championship match between Emirates Lions and Leinster at Emirates Airline Park on April 20, 2024 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Leinster missed the chance to extend their lead at the top of the United Rugby Championship after suffering a 44-12 defeat to Emirates Lions at Emirates Airline Park.

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The Irish province, who last week booked their place in the Investec Champions Cup semi-finals after eliminating holders La Rochelle, had won 11 of their last 12 matches in the competition.

But, having made 13 changes, Leo Cullen’s side were blown away inside the opening 15 minutes as three Lions tries put them on the way to a victory which boosts their play-off hopes.

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Leinster are now just one point clear of Glasgow with four rounds remaining while the Lions climbed into the top eight.

The Lions made a stunning start and grabbed the opening try inside 40 seconds as Richard Kriel and JC Pretorius combined to send Morne van den Berg in under the posts, with Sanele Nohamba converting before kicking a penalty seven minutes later.

A fantastic team try saw the Lions score again in the 10th minute, Francke Horn, Van den Berg and Marius Louw all involved before the latter cruised over but Nohamba was unable to add the extras.

22m Entries

Avg. Points Scored
4.5
9
Entries
Avg. Points Scored
0.9
13
Entries

It went from bad to worse for Leinster three minutes later as Nohamba pounced on a loose ball before putting Quan Horn through, which the former converted for a 22-0 lead.

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Leinster pair Liam Turner and Cormac Foley had tries disallowed for a knock on and forward pass respectively either side of the break before Nohamba’s penalty extended the Lions’ lead.

The Irish side finally got on the board in the 53rd minute when Ciaran Frawley pounced on a grubber kick from Harry Byrne, who added the extras.

But moments later the Lions secured the bonus point when Emmanuel Tshituka went over after loose play from Leinster but Nohamba could not convert.

Frawley claimed his second try following some slick passing from Leinster but Byrne missed his kick to leave the score 30-12.

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Tshituka and Francke Horn added further tries in the final five minutes, both converted by Jordan Hendrikse, to cap an excellent day for the Lions.

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D
Diarmid 9 hours ago
Players and referees must cut out worrying trend in rugby – Andy Goode

The guy had just beasted himself in a scrum and the blood hadn't yet returned to his head when he was pushed into a team mate. He took his weight off his left foot precisely at the moment he was shoved and dropped to the floor when seemingly trying to avoid stepping on Hyron Andrews’ foot. I don't think he was trying to milk a penalty, I think he was knackered but still switched on enough to avoid planting 120kgs on the dorsum of his second row’s foot. To effectively “police” such incidents with a (noble) view to eradicating play acting in rugby, yet more video would need to be reviewed in real time, which is not in the interest of the game as a sporting spectacle. I would far rather see Farrell penalised for interfering with the refereeing of the game. Perhaps he was right to be frustrated, he was much closer to the action than the only camera angle I've seen, however his vocal objection to Rodd’s falling over doesn't legitimately fall into the captain's role as the mouthpiece of his team - he should have kept his frustration to himself, that's one of the pillars of rugby union. I appreciate that he was within his rights to communicate with the referee as captain but he didn't do this, he moaned and attempted to sway the decision by directing his complaint to the player rather than the ref. Rugby needs to look closely at the message it wants to send to young players and amateur grassroots rugby. The best way to do this would be to apply the laws as they are written and edit them where the written laws no longer apply. If this means deleting laws such as ‘the put in to the scrum must be straight”, so be it. Likewise, if it is no longer necessary to respect the referee’s decision without questioning it or pre-emptively attempting to sway it (including by diving or by shouting and gesticulating) then this behaviour should be embraced (and commercialised). Otherwise any reference to respecting the referee should be deleted from the laws. You have to start somewhere to maintain the values of rugby and the best place to start would be giving a penalty and a warning against the offending player, followed by a yellow card the next time. People like Farrell would rapidly learn to keep quiet and let their skills do the talking.

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