The bonus point try scored by wing Quan Horn in the Lions 31-18 United Rugby Championship (URC) win over Cardiff in Wales, could end up being a massive moment for the team in their pursuit of a quarterfinal place in this year’s competition.
The Lions produced a brilliant performance to comfortably beat Cardiff on their home turf in the end, but it was their fourth try in the 78th minute that put the cherry on the cake for the visitors as they walked away with a full house of points.
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“I think its huge (getting the bonus point). We felt that if we can get a bonus point in victory or if we can get anything between four and five (bonus points) within seven losses, that’s an additional win,” explained Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen after the match.
“Last season it showed between position three and eight on the log how close it was and a lot of that was bonus points. We felt that we didn’t manage enough bonus points throughout the previous season.
“So having the confidence for the guys to go for that and get it is nice. I also think in the bigger picture if we can manage to get four or five bonus points that counts as an additional win in the competition, and that will be awesome.”
The Cardiff match was a game of two halves, with dreadful conditions leading to the side playing with the wind and rain at their backs dominating the half.
This saw the home side dominate the first half, but it was terrific defence from the Lions and a penalty try on the halftime hooter allowing them to stay within three points of Cardiff at the break, before powering away in the second half.
“I think what is the most pleasing thing for me currently is how we are fighting and scrapping it out. The amount of effort that the guys are putting out there for 80 minutes is fantastic and we are really proud of that effort,” said Van Rooyen.
“I think that first 40 minutes was some of the toughest conditions that we have played in since the URC started so I was proud of the guys. It was really windy and the rain was being blown into the players eyes.
“So for us to stay in the fight in the first 40 minutes, trying to live off scraps and physically bringing it for 40 minutes was brilliant. That try we scored on the half time hooter was then a huge confidence booster and momentum swinger for us. It was very tough conditions.”