CA Brumbies fall to Lions

 The CA Brumbies have missed an opportunity to climb into the Investec Super 14 top four after going down to the Lions, 25-17, at Johannesburg’s Coca-Cola Park tonight.

After trailing 15-10 at the break, the visitors received a brief taste of the lead early in the second term before the Johannesburg-based side scored a last minute try to secure the three-tries-to-two win.
CA Brumbies Head Coach Andy Friend says his side’s inability to convert their chances proved their undoing.
“Our intent was good but our execution was poor,” he said. “We made a lot of linebreaks and we made a lot of opportunities, we just weren’t good enough to capitalise on those.
“There were a few forced passes, we didn’t react to those. There were enough opportunities there to win a game of football but we weren’t good enough at finishing them off.
“Credit to the Lions though, they scrambled well and put our boys under a lot of pressure.”
The CA Brumbies drew first blood within the first minute of the match through a Mark Gerrard penalty goal before the Lions crossed for two tries in five minutes. Springbok centre Jaque Fourie crossed his side’s first in the 14th minute before scrumhalf Jano Vermaak toed through a loose ball to score five minutes later to help the Lions to a 12-3 lead.
CA Brumbies winger Francis Fainifo went close to touching down midway through the half before being bundled into touch, while teammate Stirling Mortlock went one better in the 35th minute. The CA Brumbies’ outside centre capitalised on a yellow card to Lions skipper Cobus Grobelaar when he strolled through from close range and presented Gerrard with a regulation conversion from in front of the posts.
An Andre Pretorius drop goal one minute from half time provided the Lions with a 15-10 half time advantage before CA Brumbies lock Mark Chisholm stole the lead four minutes into the second term when he charged down and regathered a Pretorius inside the Lions’ quarter to score. Mortlock’s conversion gave the CA Brumbies a 17-15 lead that was stolen off them five minutes later through a Pretorius penalty goal.
The Lions would hold the one-point advantage for 30 minutes with neither side able to break the opposition defensive line until fullback Louis Ludik pounced on a loose CA Brumbies ball to scamper away and seal the home victory.
The CA Brumbies appeared set to leave with a consolation bonus point when Pretorius’ conversion struck the upright, only to have referee Jonathan Kaplan award the flyhalf another attempt after deeming the visitors had prematurely rushed the kick. He made no mistake with his second attempt to seal the eight-point victory.
The CA Brumbies will now travel to Durban to take on the Sharks at Absa Stadium on Saturday, 28 March.
Lions 25 (Jaque Fourie, Jano Vermaak, Louis Ludik tries; Andre Pretorius 2/3 conversions, 1/2 penalty goals, 1/1 drop goal) defeated CA Brumbies 17 (Stirling Mortlock, Mark Chisholm tries; Mark Gerrard 1/1 conversions, 1/2 penalty goals, Stirling Mortlock 1/1 conversion) at Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (RSA)
Half time: Lions 15-10
Crowd: Not announced
CA Brumbies
1. Ben Alexander
2. Stephen Moore 
3. Guy Shepherdson
4. Ben Hand 
5. Mark Chisholm 
6. Peter Kimlin
7. George Smith (c) 
8. Julian Salvi
9. Joshua Holmes 
10. Christian Lealiifano 
11. Francis Fainifo 
12. Tyrone Smith
13. Stirling Mortlock
14. Adam Ashley-Cooper
15. Mark Gerrard 
16. Huia Edmonds
17. Nic Henderson
18. Sitaleki Timani 
19. Shawn Mackay
20. Patrick Phibbs 
21. Matt Toomua
22. Clyde Rathbone
18. Sitaleki Timani for 6. Peter Kimlin (56th minute)
22. Clyde Rathbone for 11. Francis Fainifo (56th minute)
19. Shawn Mackay for 4. Ben Hand (65th minute)
17. Nic Henderson for 1. Ben Alexander (65th minute)
16. Huia Edmonds for 2. Stephen Moore (67th minute)
20. Patrick Phibbs for 14. Adam Ashley-Cooper (69th minute)
21. Matt Toomua for 13. Stirling Mortlock (72nd minute)
1. Heinke van der Merwe 
2. Willie Wepener
3. Lawrence Sephaka
4. Jannes Labuschagne
5. Anton van Zyl
6. Cobus Grobbelaar (c)
7. Todd Clever
8. Ernst Joubert
9. Jano Vermaak
10. Andre Pretorius
11. Henno Mentz
12. Barry Goodes
13. Jaque Fourie
14. Ashwin Willemse
15. Louis Ludik
16. Hans van Dyk
17. Gert Muller
18. Gerhard Mostert
19. Willem Alberts
20. Chris Jonck
21. Earl Rose
22. Shandre Frolick
Yellow Cards:
6. Cobus Grobbelaar (34th minute)
Investec Super 14 Week Seven
CA Brumbies v Sharks
Absa Stadium, Durban
Saturday, 28 March 2009