Super Rugby Notebook, Mar 5: Lions earn historic win at Chiefs, Basson scores hat-trick in Bulls rout


Lions head coach Johan Ackermann was keen to temper expectations as his side earned a historic 36-32 win at the Chiefs.

It was the first time the Lions had beaten the Chiefs on New Zealand soil as the Johannesburg-based side made it two from two at the start of the season in an exhilarating contest.

Malcolm Marx, Courtnall Skosan, Warren Whiteley and Ruan Combrinck all scored for Lions, but Ackermann warned his side not to get above their station.

"I'm thankful for the win and proud of the players and management. The team showed good control when we were in front and behind," he said.

"We will enjoy the win because it is a good win, but the competition is still long and there is still a lot of rugby left. We can't get too excited and every week everything starts all over again."

Sharks and Stormers also maintained their 100 per cent start on Saturday, while champions Highlanders, Force and Bulls all earned their first wins of the campaign



Chiefs 32-36 Lions

In a topsy-turvy encounter Lions, 26-13 winners at the Sunwolves last week, led 19-11 at the break. Damian McKenzie and James Lowe scored converted tries to put Chiefs in front, but Lions roared back for their historic win.

Highlanders 17-16 Hurricanes

Highlanders got their campaign back on track in a fast-paced affair in Dunedin. Hurricanes withstood an early barrage, and it took a 76th-minute penalty from Hayden Parker to win it for the hosts.

Reds 6-22 Force

It was one for the purists in Brisbane as Force outmuscled Reds to get their first win of the season. There were several handling errors from both sides and the only try of the match came from Luke Morahan in the 80th minute.

Bulls 45-25 Melbourne Rebels

South Africa winger Bjorn Basson scored a hat-trick as Bulls trounced Melbourne Rebels at Loftus Versfeld. The hosts were particularly dominant up front as Rebels' wait for a win over the Bulls at the venue continued.

Cheetahs 10-20 Stormers

In a surprisingly cagey match it was Stormers who came out on top with Leolin Zas and Sikhumbuzo Notshe scoring tries in either half. Shaun Venter had replied for the hosts to make it 7-7 at the break, but a yellow card for Lood de Jager proved a turning point.

Sharks 19-15 Jaguares

Argentine franchise Jaguares suffered their first defeat in Super Rugby. The visitors led 15-13 at the break with Emiliano Boffelli and Santiago Cordero scoring. However, six unanswered points from Joe Pietersen's boot in the second half edged Sharks to the win.



 De Jager went into the sin-bin for a high tackle in the second half to give Stormers a numbers advantage over Cheetahs and persistent pressure from the visitors led to Notshe's try.

Chiefs' Mitchell Graham was binned for a professional foul shortly after the restart versus Lions and Skosan made the most of the numerical advantage.



 "We knew they would attack our set-piece, so we probably didn't do well enough in the first half. We had a bit of ball and we stretched them a few times, but not for long enough." - Chiefs coach Dave Rennie reflects on defeat.

"After dropping a game at hoe last week this win is big for us. It was a tough battle out there, we were better at the breakdown and smarter about when to take the ball into contact." Force's Jono Lance, who contributed 15 points in his side's win at Reds.



Sharks are top of the South African group, but Stormers and Lions also have nine points following their memorable wins.

Highlanders move level with Chiefs in the Australasian group thanks to the narrow win over Hurricanes.