Late Elton Jantjies try seals Lions win and denies Western Force bonus-point in Perth
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The Lions went into the match with an imposing record of seven wins and just one loss this season and were short-priced favourites against the struggling Force, but the game was in the balance until the dying minutes.
The visitors ran in the only three tries of the match and eventually prevailed 24-15.
However, the match was still in the balance heading into the final minute, with the Lions adding their final try following a scrum after the final hooter.
Elton Jantjies cut through the Force defence with pace to snare a potentially important bonus point and get their Australian tour off to an ideal start.
Elton Jantjies scored a late converted try to deny the Force a bonus-point.
Lions captain Warren Whiteley said it was a hard-fought win. “Credit to the Force, they played extremely well and defended like trojans,” he said.
“Elton stepped up and got us that bonus point and that could be crucial.”
Force skipper Matt Hodgson said his side left everything on the field, but made some costly mistakes.
“We just weren’t clinical enough around the breakdown and in the set pieces,” he said.
“The effort was there.”
Western Force’s Billy Meakes (C) was one of his side’s best during their narrow loss.
The boot of Ian Prior kept the Force in the match, kicking five penalties for the team which is expected to be cut from the competition at the end of the season.
The Force have only two wins from eight matches, but showed plenty of defensive grit to stay in the match against the classier Lions outfit.
It wasn’t a match of brilliant individual highlights and the visitors set up their win with two first-half tries.
Lionel Mapoe dived over next to the posts in the seventh minute after some sloppy Force defence.
In the 36th minute the Lions opened up a 14-6 lead when some crisp and speedy passing ended with Courtnall Skosan racing down the sideline for their second try.