The Lions will travel to Christchurch to play the Crusaders in a repeat of the 2017 final. It is the Lions’s third successive final.
The hosts comfortably beat the Waratahs 44-26 in Johannesburg. Flanker Kwagga Smith scored two tries, hooker Malcolm Marx scored for the second successive match in also getting a brace, while there were tries for wing Aphiwe Dyantyi and replacement Courtnall Skosan. Flyhalf Elton Jantjies kicked four conversions and two penalties for 14 points.
The visitors had the best possible start in scoring 14 unanswered points in the first 10 minutes, but the match followed a predictable pattern once the Lions forwards found form and there was only ever going to be one winner in the second half.
The Tahs scored four tries through flank Ned Hanigan, prop Tom Robertson, fullback Israel Folau and replacement back Jake Gordon. Flyhalf Bernard Foley kicked three conversions and a penalty.
- The Lions have won their last four games on the bounce against the Waratahs, including a 29-0 when they met earlier this year; the New South Wales squad had won each of their six meetings prior.
- The Lions come into this game on the back of a brace of wins, the last time they won more was a three-game glut to open the current campaign.
- This was the Waratahs’ eighth Super Rugby semi-final, with results (W3, L5); the NSW club last appeared at this stage in a 2015 defeat to the Highlanders.\
- Israel Folau has scored eight tries in his last six games in a Waratahs jersey in South Africa,
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Lourens Erasmus, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Marvin Orie, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van
Substitutes: 16 Corne Fourie, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Hacjivah Dayimani, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Courtnall Skosan, 23 Howard Mnisi
15 Israel Folau, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Bernard Foley (captain), 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Will Miller, 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Tom Robertson
Substitutes: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Brad Wilkin, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Cam Clark
- It’s all over! The referee has blown his whistle to end the game.
- 79‘The Lions supporters go wild as Elton Jantjies successfully kicks the conversion.
- 78‘Elton Jantjies sets up the try.
- 78‘Trouble here as Courtnall Skosan breaches the defence.
- 78‘The kick through from Lions has allowed Courtnall Skosan to touch down.
- 76‘Lions sub Howard Mnisi comes onto the field.
- 76‘Ruan Combrinck departs for Lions.
- 75‘The touch judges raise their flags as Bernard Foley kicks the conversion.
- 75‘This is dangerous for the defence as Michael Wells bursts through to advance the Waratahs attack.
- 75‘Michael Wells sets up the try.
- 75‘Incisive passing by Waratahs is finished off by Jake Gordon, as he goes over for the try.
- 74‘Will Miller has made 10 good tackles so far this game.
- 74‘Franco Mostert has made 10 good tackles so far this game.
- 73‘Hacjivah Dayimani comes on for Lions.
- 73‘Kwagga Smith leaves the field.
- 73‘Corne Fourie comes on.
- 73‘Malcolm Marx comes off.
- 73‘Elton Jantjies kicks the penalty.
- 70‘Lions have won 60 rucks so far this game.
- 69‘Harry Johnson-Holmes comes on.
- 69‘Tom Robertson comes off.
- 68‘Waratahs have won 60 rucks so far this game.
- 67‘Bryce Hegarty comes on.
- 67‘Silatolu Latu comes off.
- 67‘Lions decide to make a substitution, with Johannes Jonker getting some game time.
- 67‘Lions decide to make a substitution, with Ruan Dreyer being replaced.
- 67‘Lions make a substitution with Dillon Smit coming on.
- 67‘Lions make a substitution with Ross Cronje coming off.
- 64‘A gap opened in the defence and Cameron Clark took full advantage.
- 64‘Waratahs sub Cameron Clark comes onto the field.
- 64‘Curtis Rona departs for Waratahs.
- 64‘Dylan Smith comes on for Lions.
- 64‘Jacques Van Rooyen leaves the field.
- 63‘Elton Jantjies adds the two points for Lions.
- 63‘The defensive line has been broken as Kwagga Smith goes through the gap.
- 62‘Ned Hanigan has made 10 good tackles so far this game.
- 62‘A bit of individual brilliance by Kwagga Smith leads to a try for Lions.
- 60‘Silatolu Latu comes on.
- 60‘Taqele Naiyaravoro comes off.
- 59‘Paddy Ryan comes on.
- 59‘Sekope Kepu comes off.
- 59‘Brad Wilkin comes on.
- 59‘Jed Holloway comes off.
- 59‘You don’t see this very often but Elton Jantjies has had his conversion attempt charged down!!.
- 57‘Nobody could stop that maul! Malcolm Marx places the ball down for the try.
- 56‘Waratahs decide to make a substitution, with Thomas Staniforth getting some game time.
- 56‘Waratahs decide to make a substitution, with Rob Simmons being replaced.
- 56‘Damien Fitzpatrick (Waratahs) is shown a yellow card.
- 56‘What a run here by Marnus Schoeman as they gets over the gainline!.
- 55‘Andries Coetzee makes the break as the defence re-enacts the parting of the red sea.
- 54‘Waratahs make a substitution with Jake Gordon coming on.
- 54‘Waratahs make a substitution with Nick Phipps coming off.
- 54‘Elton Jantjies has kicked a penalty goal.
- 52‘Lions sub Marnus Schoeman comes onto the field.
- 52‘Lourens Erasmus departs for Lions.
- 50‘Damien Fitzpatrick comes on for Waratahs.
- 50‘Silatolu Latu leaves the field.
- 49‘Waratahs have won 40 rucks so far this game.
- 46‘Elton Jantjies can consider himself unlucky as he sees the ball hit the left upright and bounce away.
- 46‘Lions have won 40 rucks so far this game.
- 45‘Michael Wells has made 10 good tackles so far this game.
- 40‘Fabulous play by Waratahs has led to Kurtley Beale being able to wriggle through a gap.
- 40‘Courtnall Skosan comes on.
- 40‘Aphiwe Dyantyi comes off.
- 40‘The second half is underway.
- 40‘Bernard Foley has hooked the conversion to the right of the posts.
- 40‘The half-time whistle blows and both teams’ head for the dressing rooms.
- 39‘Spellbinding play by Rob Simmons is finished off with a try.
- 39‘Trouble here as Tom Robertson breaches the defence.
- 38‘Silky skills by Waratahs ends with a try for Tom Robertson.
- 36‘Elton Jantjies does the business as his conversion attempt goes over.
- 34‘The Lions pack has powered over for Malcolm Marx to score the try.
- 27‘Elton Jantjies makes no mistake with that conversion attempt.
- 26‘This is dangerous for the defence as Aphiwe Dyantyi bursts through to advance the Lions attack.
- 25‘A stunning solo try from Aphiwe Dyantyi.
- 24‘A gap opened in the defence and Malcolm Marx took full advantage.
- 23‘Waratahs have won 20 rucks so far this game.
- 21‘Elton Jantjies has hooked the conversion to the left of the posts.
- 21‘Marvin Orie played a key part in that try.
- 20‘The defensive line has been broken as Kwagga Smith goes through the gap.
- 20‘A wonderful passing move by Lions is finished off by Kwagga Smith.
- 20‘What a run here by Aphiwe Dyantyi as they gets over the gainline!.
- 19‘Lions have won 20 rucks so far this game.
- 14‘Curtis Rona makes the break as the defence re-enacts the parting of the red sea.
- 12‘Fabulous play by Lions has led to Kwagga Smith being able to wriggle through a gap.
- 9‘Bernard Foley converts the try.
- 7‘That’s a great try assist by Bernard Foley.
- 7‘A series of passes by Waratahs results in a try for Israel Folau.
- 7‘Trouble here as Israel Folau breaches the defence.
- 7‘This is dangerous for the defence as Taqele Naiyaravoro bursts through to advance the Waratahs attack.
- 5‘Bernard Foley has kicked a conversion.
- 4‘Jed Holloway sets up the try.
- 3‘Great hands by Waratahs leads to a try for Ned Hanigan.
- 3‘A gap opened in the defence and Ned Hanigan took full advantage.
- 1‘The defensive line has been broken as Alex Newsome goes through the gap.