Lions

Julian Savea gets the nod for Lions' position switch to further his transition

The Lions will be hoping to bounce back after suffering a 34 – 18 loss to Hawke’s Bay a week ago, which also cost them a chance at the Ranfurly Shield.

Head coach, Leo Crowley, says whilst the team was disappointed at that result, this week poses new challenges and so they have had to bury the hatchet and move on.

“The mindset this week is to beat Manawatu and remain in the premiership. It can be nothing else. This competition is so tight you can be near the top one week and bottom the next,” he said.

Lions outclass Auckland

Eight days after being humbled 52-28 by Waikato, the Lions have outclassed Auckland 39-21, outscoring their hosts six tries to three.

Wellington took charge in the first half, with Vince Aso, Wes Goosen, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Billy Proctor and Pepesana Patafilo scoring tries to take a 29-14 halftime lead.

Aso then sealed the win with his second try late in the match.

New All Blacks squad member Caleb Clarke, Jonathan Ruru and Leni Apisai scored Auckland's tries.

Lions nap on road during South African lockdown

Park ranger Richard Sowry was out on patrol on Wednesday when he snapped a pride sleeping on a road which would normally be busy with tourists.

But Kruger, like other wildlife parks, has been shut since 25 March as part of the coronavirus lockdown.

Big cats would usually only be seen by rangers on the roads by night.

As a ranger in one of Africa's largest game reserves, Mr Sowry performs an essential service and continues to work during the lockdown, checking on the wildlife and guarding against poachers.

Lions coach suggests All Blacks 'decider' for warm-up

Gatland, 56, was in charge as the Lions and the All Blacks drew their three-Test series in New Zealand in 2017.

The former Wales coach says a fourth fixture could help rugby to generate revenue after the coronavirus crisis.

"It's potentially an opportunity to make four or five million pounds," Gatland told Sky Sport.

Ahead of next summer's tour, he raised the prospect of a meeting with the All Blacks as preparation, saying he had already spoken with NZ Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson about a game with the New Zealand Maori.

Ben Lam bags hat-trick in Hurricanes' scrappy win over Lions

The 26-year-old winger brought his season's tally to 12, adding two second-half tries to his seventh-minute opener.

Lam's first try gave the Hurricanes an up-tempo start to the game in blustery, swirling conditions at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.

Both teams were guilty of coughing up possession too easily, but it was the Hurricanes who made the most of their chances.

The late loss of Jordie Barrett to an ankle injury didn't affect their running game, with Nehe Milner-Skudder slotting in at fullback in his second game after returning from shoulder surgery.

Lions' Smith hit with four-week ban

The flanker caught Havili in the air when he jumped to meet a high ball and sent his opponent spinning to the turf, earning him a red card shortly before half-time.

Lions went on to lose 25-17 at Ellis Park, and Smith pleaded guilty to a SANZAAR charge.

SANZAAR consequently released a statement confirmed a four-week suspension for Smith up to and including September 2, meaning he will be unavailable for Lions' first four Currie Cup matches.

 

 

Photo by Getty Images.Caption: Kwagga Smith catches David Havili in the air

     

Crusaders hold off brave Lions

The New Zealand side started strongly and a red card for Lions flanker Kwagga Smith late in the first half proved a blow from which the home side could not recover in their bid to land a maiden Super Rugby crown, despite their best efforts.

Having led 15-3 at the break, the Crusaders added another 10 before tries from Malcolm Marx and Corne Fourie earned 2016 runners-up the Lions some consolation, as the Crusaders clinched their first silverware since 2008.

Crusaders unchanged for final

Despite No 8 Read limping off with a knee injury with several minutes remaining in the 27-13 win over the Chiefs in the semifinal in Christchurch last weekend, and tighthead prop Franks having to be replaced at halftime by Mike Alaalatoa because of an Achilles tendon complaint, the two All Blacks have been confirmed as starters for the match in Johannesburg on Sunday morning.

Crusaders assistant coach Brad Mooar noted Read and Franks had been carefully managed since the team arrived in South Africa, guaranteeing the same 23 will take the park for the third week running.

'In your face' approach in store for Crusaders

Buoyed by news they will play in front of a sellout crowd of 62,000 at Ellis Park, the Lions have their sights set on becoming the competition's second South African champions when they host the decider on Sunday morning.

Standing in the way of the overall top qualifiers are the New Zealand conference-winning Crusaders, who share the same 16 win-one loss record this season.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann is adamant his team mustn't depart from the expansive methods that have taken them to successive finals.

Lions loosies dream big

The Lions host the seven-time champion Crusaders in the Super Rugby title match in Johannesburg on Sunday morning (NZ time), looking to lift the silverware for the first time.

Having pulled off a remarkable comeback semifinal win over the champion Hurricanes at Ellis Park last weekend, No 8 Ackermann said the quick turnaround meant the enormity of the occasion was still sinking in.