Lions 38-12 Bulls, Emirates Airlines Park
Lions came up with a dominating performance as they sealed a second place finish in the league stage of the Super Rugby season with a 38-12 win over Bulls at Emirates Airlines Park on Saturday.
Lions top South African Conference with 46 points while Bulls finish the season at the bottom with just six wins from 16 games.
Fly-half Manie Libbok, who replaced Handre Pollard raced ahead to give Bulls a promising start with a converted try that came in the seventh minute. Three minutes later Jesse Kriel crossed over as the visitors scored 12 unanswered points.
The response from Bulls came when fullback Andries Coetzee when he set up Ruan Combrinck in the 18th minute that was improved by Elton Jantjies. Lions turned down penalty opportunities but that eventually paid off as Malcolm Marx strolled past the line at the half hour mark to help Lions level the scores.
As the half time was approaching, Lions were reduced to 14-men temporarily when Pierre Schoeman was sin-binned for a late charge and Bulls capitalised on the numerical advantage with Courtnall Skosan crossing over to head into the break with a 19-12 lead.
As the third quarter went without a point, the deadlock broke in the 61st minute when Lourens Erasmus almost took Lions through but was held up. The Lions regrouped from the resulting scrum and was eventually awarded a penalty try and two minutes later Combrinck crossed over for the second time to take the home side's scoreline to 31-12.
Replacement Aphiwe Dyantyi capped off a fantastic game for Lions with the final try in the added minutes to complete a 38-12 victory - their ninth win in 16 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: 2018 Super Rugby Week 19: Lions v Bulls@LionsRugbyCo defeated @BlueBullsRugby 38-12 at Emirates Park on Saturday and secured themselves not only a home play-off final but a home semi-final as well. #LetsUnite #LionsWay #SuperRugby #Week19 #LIOvBUL pic.twitter.com/P3OUtZaMZb— Super Rugby (@SuperRugby) July 14, 2018