Neazors Notes
Feb. 20, 2017

Semi 2 - Lions 42 Highlanders 30 (tries 5-4)

Over at Johannesburg the Lions proved (just for those who may have missed it all season) that they do have championship credentials.

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Over at Johannesburg the Lions proved (just for those who may have missed it all season) that they do have championship credentials.

What the 2016 Lions are not is the shower that took the field five to ten years ago; they now have the house in order, the players want to be there, the management has created an ideal environment and the team is responding.

I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating: If you’ve missed the similarity to the 2015 Highlanders, have another look. Everything the Lions have done this year mirrors what the Highlanders did 12 months ago, so it was perhaps fitting the two sides combined to deliver a top-class game of footy in the semi.

Eventually the Lions won because they did more with their moments than the Highlanders could; the best I can offer to back this claim up is the Elliot Dixon fumble over the line against Jaco Kriel’s flying tackle on Matt Faddes when a try looked a stone-cold certainty. The Lions did some spectacular things with ball in hand and played smart when they didn’t have it, and the covering was, at times, top drawer.

It’s not a fluke that the Lions have set new records for tries and points in a season, and that they’ve broken the old marks by a considerable margin.

The Highlanders were good but just not good enough, and if anything the final score flattered the visitors by a try or so.