Johan Goosen's epic penalty seals thrilling Bulls win over Lions

Johan Goosen's epic penalty seals thrilling Bulls win over Lions

Johan Goosen kicked a late penalty from inside his own half to send the Bulls into the United Rugby Championship top four after a thrilling 30-28 win over the Lions in Pretoria.

The hosts managed three tries on the day through Akker van der Merwe, Embrose Papier and Mpilo Gumede, with Goosen kicking three conversions and three penalties in the Pretoria heat.

The Lions managed their points through an inspired brace from skipper Marius Louw, with Morgan Naude scoring the other try. From the tee, versatile Sanele Nohambe kicked two conversions, a penalty and a drop, whilst replacement Jordan Hendrikse kicked a penalty.

It was a dream start for the Lions as a moment of magic from Nohamba sparked an early try for Louw in the 6th minute that went unconverted. The hosts responded with Goosen’s first penalty in the 13th minute.

The Bulls could not keep Louw at bay as the commanding centre cut through the line to score a beauty as the game reached the end of the first quarter. Nohamba managed to get his kick on this occasion.

Of course, the hosts would not lie down and finally go their first try through hooker van der Merwe after 26 minutes, with Goosen making no mistake from the tee. He would be on point again with a penalty on the stroke of half-time.

The first score of the second period was always going to be important, and Papier got over the line for the Bulls after just three minutes, continuing his try-scoring form with a converted effort. However, the score was chopped moments later as Nohamba snuck in a drop-goal before kicking a penalty to bring his team into the game again.

For the next eight minutes, the Bulls would push for a try that eventually came through Gumede, who showed his power yet again as Goosen proved reliable from the tee. Once again, though, the Lions responded with a converted try of their own through Naude five minutes later, setting the game up well for the last 20 minutes.

The clash grew in intensity, leading to a Lions penalty in the 74th minute. Hendrikse stepped up and nailed the kick from inside his own half to give the visitors the lead.

Moments later, Goosen had a long-range opportunity of his own and took it with a composed kick to steal the lead again. It all could have changed with another Hendrikse effort for a bit further as the game was nearing a close, but the Lion missed the kick, handing the Bulls a narrow derby win.

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