The Blue Bulls conceded their second defeat at the 2010 Coca-Cola under-18 Craven Week in Welkom after going down by 23-20 to the McCarthy Ford Lions on Wednesday.
The Lions held a 17-13 half time lead and were responsible for most of the attacking play during the first half.
However it was the Blue Bulls who were the first team to score when scrumhalf Rudi van Rooyen crashed over the try line to add his side’s first points of the match. His try was converted by former SA Schools flyhalf Tony Jantjies (7-0).
The Johannesburg side though hit back almost immediately when prop Gideon Muller powered his way to score the Lions’ first try of the match two minutes later. Marius Schmidt kicked the conversion to level the scores at 7-7.
Jantjies regained the lead for his team with a superb drop goal, but the scores were then leveled for the second time during the first half when Schmidt kicked a penalty in the 24th minute of the game.
The Blue Bulls flyhalf added a penalty four minutes later to steer his side to a 13-10 lead, but the Lions edged ahead at half time when flanker Fabian Booysen scored his sides second try of the game before the break. His try was converted by Schmidt (17-10).
The Lions pivot – Schmidt then kicked two further conversions after the restart to stretch his side’s lead to 23-10.
The Blue Bulls piled on the pressure during the second half, but resolute defence from the Lions ensured that the Pretoria side failed to pierce the Johannesburg side’s defensive systems until the final movement of the game. That was when Blue Bulls hooker Justin van Wyk. Jantjies kicked the conversion.
McCarthy Ford Lions 23 Blue Bulls 20
Scorers: McCarthy Ford Lions – Tries: Gideon Muller, Fabian Booysen; Conversions: Marius Schmidt (2); Penalties: Schmidt (3).
Blue Bulls – Tries: Rudi van Rooyen, Justin van Wyk ; Conversions: Tony Jantjies (2); Penalty: Jantjies; Drop goal: Jantjies.