Debutant Marnitz Boshoff kicked six from six penalties as well as a dramatic last minute drop goal to help the Lions to a 21-20 upset victory over the Cheetahs in Super Rugby’s opening game in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Springbok Willie Le Roux had a shaky start to the match but showed his class by setting up the opening try of the game for Cheetahs flyer Raymond Rhule. The home side led at halftime before scoring again in the second half through Sevens star Cornal Hendricks, on debut.
The game was scrappy at times as both sides showed attacking intent, resulting in some enjoyable play but plenty of errors. The Cheetahs dominated play, with the Lions fielding a whole host of newcomers to Super Rugby, after themselves being out of the tourmanent for a season.
They took every opportunity presented to them, making the most of Cheetahs ill-discipline.
Home team flyhalf Johan Goosen went off injured, after missing the whole of last season, and replacement Elgar Watts missed a sitter in front of goal that will give him nightmares.
The Lions pushed hard in the last few minutes and after seven phases of play, Boshoff cooley slotted the winning kick, taking his personal tally to 21 points on a dream Super Rugby debut.