Fortunate TMO ruling set Lions up for ultimate winA rather fortune TMO ruling for the Golden Lions that gave winger Madosh Tambwe the third of his four tries turned around the fortunes of the home team as they beat the Pumas 38-37 in their Currie Cup match at Ellis Park on Saturday.
TMO Pro Legoete ruled that it was a try although it seemed that Tambwe, in diving over at the corner, had lost the ball. There was clear light between hand and ball but he got his hand back to apply pressure just as the ball touched the ground.
Tambwe was back for his fourth just minutes later, and the Lions, who were generally behind on merit but become a new-look side in the last minutes, scored via Shaun Reynolds under the posts with just three minutes remaining. After missing too frequently for a kicker of his calibre, he converted this try for the winning score.
It was the Lions sixth try, two more than that the Pumas who would be disappointed for losing a match that was for the taking until the last 15 minutes or so, and the manner in which they lost.
They were three points behind (14-17) at the break, scored shortly after to lead 21-17 and then conceded 20 points to trail 21-37 when the fight-back came.
Full marks to the Golden Lions, out-scrummed and generally a little behind in finesse and endeavour until then, to turn things around. Their scrum in particular did much better than before the break and that made a huge difference with good scrum ball coming their way.
Ross Cronje controlled matters well, Marnus Schoeman before he went off six minutes after halftime was influential in fetching, linking and carrying, and they now have five points on the log.
Ryann Nel, captain of the Pumas, was perhaps the best back on the field, and up front the huge lock Le Roux Roets impressed in a good pack with his linking, carrying and driving play. His lock partner Stefan Willemse was not far behind.
It was a game that produced some scrappy periods but also patches of really good rugby as well. It was a first outing as a team for both who with their lively willing packs and backs who were prepared to run with the ball and did that well cannot be taken lightly by competitors.
Lions (14) 38: Tries: Madosh Tambwe (4), Tyrone Green, Shaun Reynolds. Conversions: Reynolds (4).
Pumas (17) 37: Tries: Carel du Preez, Le Roux Roets, Etienne Taljaard, Morgan Naude. Conversions: Kobus Marais (4). Penalties: Marais (3).