RUGBY: Lions roar to victory  

The Lions triumphed with a dominant 40-19 victory over the junior Springboks, showcasing their rugby prowess.  

In a gripping showdown at Wits rugby stadium on May 11, 2023, the u/20 Springboks fell short against the Lions in an action-packed friendly rugby match.  

The Lions’ scrum-half secures the ball after the scrum in the match. Photo: Ayanda Mgwenya

In the first half of the match the junior Springboks seemed to be in control, scoring the opening five point try of the match followed by a successful two-point conversion kick. 

Shortly after, the Lions scored their first try and conversion kick, bringing the scoreboard to an even 7-7. The junior Springboks answered with, yet another try and conversion to gain a seven-point lead. But that was short lived as the Lions quickly matched them with another try and conversion, ending the first half on 14 points apiece.  

The second half of the match got off to a slower start, but the same pace of play was quickly picked up 10 minutes into the half, when the Lions scored a try that saw them in the lead with 21-14. Just a few minutes later another try shot them up to 26-14.  

A decisive scrum saw the junior Springboks wrestle back some momentum, but it was not enough to stop yet another try and conversion by the Lions, who sat pretty at 33-14. By the end of the game, the junior Springboks only added five points to their side of the scoreboard, while the Lions won with a 21-point difference.  

The Lions and u/20 Springboks fans are mixed-seated on the grandstands and they intensely watch the friendly rugby game. Photo: Ayanda Mgwenya

The energy from the field could be felt in the stands as fans’ audible excitement accompanied every tackle and try.  

Prince Mavundla, a spectator said, “The game was really nice; even though the Lions were dominating the game, my favourite team is the [junior Springboks].” 

Kelly Mpeku, who plays the outside-centre for the Lions and first try scorer of the match said, “It was a good game [and] very physical. I’m glad the boys [teammates] came through at the end of the day.” 

Springbok coach, Bafana Nhleko said that the match is part of their journey and the team’s learning curve that will prepare them for their match against the Sharks on Monday, 15. 

FEATURED IMAGE: The ball is thrown in during a lineout and secured by one of the junior Springboks. Photo: Ayanda Mgwenya