Lions hold on for win in Joburg

Edinburgh ended their South African tour with a tough defeat at the hands of the Emirates Lions.

The hosts came out on top in a scrappy encounter, played out in sapping conditions in the heat and altitude at Emirates Airline Park. Both sides have garnered praise for their attacking rugby in the United Rugby Championship, however it was a game that was dominated by kicking and attritional play.

Edinburgh took the lead thanks to the thunderous boot of Henry Immelman, landing a drop goal from the half-way line. The hosts looked to build with a series of probing attacks, however it was Edinburgh who managed to extend their lead, with Boffelli capitalising on a penalty infringement with a long-range kick.

The Lions grabbed the first try of the contest shortly after, the dangerous Morne van den Berg sniping down the short side, ably supported by Jordan Hendrikse who was able to dot down. The conversion was wayward, and saw Edinburgh take a slender one-point lead into the break.

After a tight first-half, the second kicked off in breathless fashion, with the game turning on its head in the blink of an eye. Edinburgh looked to have scored a stunning try, with Kinghorn breaking from deep, before crossing in the corner after the visitors went through the phases. There was a knock on in the build-up, however, and the try was chalked off.

Momentum swung in an instant, with Bradbury being shown a yellow card for taking a man out off the ball – just moments after the disallowed try. The Lions capitalised in devastating fashion, scoring from another blindside break, Tshituka finishing to give the Lions the lead.

The sides exchanged penalties, with Edinburgh continuining to throw everything at the Lions to try and force an opening. The crucial moment came when the home defence managed to scramble and hold up Mark Bennett after a typically rampant break from the centre, and despite some hearty efforts from the Edinburgh men, it proved too little to break down the hosts.

live commentary 3:05 PM Saturday 2 Apr 2022

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Kick-off 3:05 PM

Lions

Edinburgh Rugby

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