Lions hold on to end Tahs hoodoo
The Lions produced a superb attacking display to topple defending Super Rugby champions the Waratahs 27-22 at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Ruan Combrinck touched down twice as the Johannesburg-based team posted their ninth win of the season - and ended an 11-match losing streak against the Tahs.
The victory kept alive the Lions' play-off hopes and meant next week's game against the Stormers at Newlands may well decide the South African conference.
Combrinck ghosted in at the corner for the opening try in the fifth minute, with Elton Jantjies adding the extras.
Bernard Foley's ninth-minute penalty got the Waratahs on the board and they got their first try nine minutes later through Stephen Hoiles, converted by Foley, to move briefly into a narrow lead.
Waratahs wing Rob Horne was yellow-carded in the 26th minute for a dangerous tackle on Lionel Mapoe, allowing Jantjies to level the scores.
Combrinck started and finished the move for his second try of the game in the 34th minute, with Jantjies converting for a 17-10 half-time lead and then stretching the hosts' lead further with another penalty two minutes after the restart.
Waratahs lock Jacques Potgieter earned 10 minutes in the sin-bin for hitting Warren Whiteley without the ball on 44 minutes, with the Lions making the most of his absence as Combrinck launched a counter-attack which ended with Harold Vorster dotting down. Jantjies again added the extras.
To the visitors' credit, they did not give up and notched tries through Adam Ashley-Cooper (51) and Horne (57) - the latter converted by Foley - to make the scoreline more respectable and secure a losing bonus point which moved them back atop the Australian conference.