Bentley try puts Lions in fast lane

Rugby Union Gauteng 14 British Isles 20

John Bentley, his Test place in jeopardy after a flawed performance in Pretoria last weekend, scored one of the great individual tries in Lions history at Ellis Park last night to give the tourists their first victory over a Super 12 Province.

The former rugby league wing left five Gauteng tacklers for dead, and coming as it did just seven minutes after Austin Healey's superb opening try, it ripped the game from the South Africans' grasp in the most dramatic fashion immaginable.

Bentley struck on 67 minutes, picking up the ball fully 60 metres out, beating two tackles on the wide right before curving inside and giving three more defenders the slip before finishing off under the post. Gauteng breathed fire in the final ten but with the Lions' back row of Tim Rodber, Rob Wainwright and Neil Back giving everything in defence, they were restricted to an injury time try by Andre Vos, their blind side flanker.

Dawie Du Toit made an embarrassing foul-up of his first penalty shot after Tim Rodber and Neil Back killed the ball on the floor but made no mistake after five minutes when John Bentley was caught well offside near his own posts.

Mike Catt squared it almost immediately from distance but the Lions were still under the cosh - and in more ways than one. Will Greenwood's try- saving tackle on Joe Gillingham in the right corner was quickly followed by a humdinger of a punch by Chris Rossouw, the Boks' World Cup-winning hooker from 1995, on Barry Williams, his opposite number. Williams had chosen to use Bruce Thorne as a dormat at a line-out, but it was Rossouw who received the ear-bashing from Mr Henning.

While Catt struggled to adjust his radar - he hit the left-hand post twice in the opening half - du Toit settled into his rhythm with two relatively straightforward shots to give Gauteng a 9-3 advantage at the break. But the Lions finished the first 40 minutes with a spell of encouraging territorial advantage, and had Tony Underwood not stumbled inside the home 22 after excellent work from Back, Rob Wainwright and Catt, an opening try would have been his for the taking.

That strong finish to the first period galvanised the Lions and with Back buzzing around like an entire swarm of bees, Gauteng were on their uppers from the restart. Catt was short and wide with an early penalty effort but Jeremy Guscott contributed one of his dangerous chip-and-chase raids to win an attacking scrum - a valuable platform wasted when Back knocked on in the tackle five metres short.

With Jeremy Davidson the dominant force at the line-out, Guscott was finding the sort of space that makes him a threat to any defence in the world. Sadly, an uncharacteristic missed tackle on Gillingham allowed Gauteng to turn the tables and it needed two of Tony Underwood's bravest tackles to repulse them, one on Johan Roux in the right corner and a second on Rossouw in the left.

After the stern and unforgiving close-quarter battle before the interval, the game was now alive with pace and adventure. Nick Beal's hack through would have resulted in a try but for brilliant defensive work from Hendriks and Andre Vos while in turn, Guscott made amends for his earlier slip by pulling the rampaging Piet Krause to the floor inches from the Lions' line.

Then, on the hour, came the breakthrough. Bentley used his strength to protect Lions' possession close to the right touch line and with help from Williams and Rodber, Greenwood squeezed through the smallest of holes into the Gauteng 22, fed Austin Healey with a sublime pass out of the tackle and turned in jubilation to see the scrum-half sprinter outstrip the cover on his way to the right corner. Neil Jenkins, on for the injured Underwood, sank the most awkward of conversions and the Lions were in front for the first time.

Gauteng: D du Toit; J Gillingham, J van der Waht, H le Roux, P Hendriks; L van Rensburg, J Roux; R Grau, C Rossouw (J Dalton, 52), K van Greuning, K Wiese (capt), B Thorne, A Vos, W Brosnihan, P Krause.

BRITISH ISLES: N Beal (Northampton and England); J Bentley (Newcastle and England), J Guscott (Bath and England), W Greenwood (Leicester), T Underwood (Newcastle and England); M Catt (Bath and England), A Healey (Leicester and England); T Smith (Watsonians and Scotland), B Williams (Richmond and Wales), P Wallace (Saracens and Ireland), N Redman (Bath and England), J Davidson (London Irish and Ireland), R Wainwright (Watsonians and Scotland) T Rodber (Northampton and England, capt) N Back (Leicester and England). Replacements: N Jenkins (Pontypridd and Wales) for Underwood, 55.

Referee: T Henning (Northern Transvaal).

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Harry Redknapp. Mark Hughes and Ryan Shawcross
footballNews and updates as Queens Park Rangers host the Potters
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
New Articles
i100... with this review
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
New Articles
i100
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cover Supervisor

£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam