You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Force attack goes west as Lions roar

NZN 29/04/2017 Chris Pike

The Force delivered yet another brave effort as their Super Rugby future remains clouded but it wasn't enough to stop the Lions prevailing 24-15 at nib Stadium.

The Johannesburg side hit Perth on Saturday night on a five-game winning streak, having lost just once this season, but the hosts refused to give up.

There were encouraging signs during last week's tight loss to the Chiefs, but the Force were unable to put points on the board in front of just 7351 fans - a crowd just over half that of last week.

The Lions scored two tries in the first half from outside centre Lionel Mapoe and winger Courtnall Skosan before capping the win with a third from Elton Jantjies after the fulltime siren.

All of the Force's points came from the boot of five-eighth Ian Prior.

The signs were ominous early when the Lions opened the scoring in the seventh minute. Some terrific lead-up play saw Mapoe score and Jantjies convert.

Despite missing a raft of stars including Dane Haylett-Petty and Ben McCalman, the Force scored two penalties to trail by one before Skosan's 36th-minute try.

Two more penalties either side of the break had them two down before the Lions took a 17-12 lead through the boot of Jantjies.

The Force continued to battle hard and again got within two in the 66th minute, but were unable to convert anything in attack.

Force coach Dave Wessels couldn't fault the effort of his team but felt they deserved more.

"I just thought that the guts we showed on defence in particular was pretty special. I felt like we deserved to win it," he said.

"I don't mean that to come across as full of ourselves, I just felt we did enough in the game to actually win.

"I'm just so proud of the guys for their effort but at the same time so disappointed that we didn't get anything out of that game."

His Lions counterpart Johan Ackermann was happy to start the three-week Australian tour with a win however it came.

"It's always tough touring and we've never won here before," he said.

"Credit to the Force, they really made it tough for us especially at the breakdown and pressure on the defensive side so we couldn't get the fluency going.

"We also had our own guilt there because we didn't look after the ball well enough but I'd rather win ugly and get the win on tour, rather than losing it."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon