Skosan bags four tries as Lions maul ill-disciplined Reds
JOHANNESBURG, March 18 (Reuters) - Wing Courtnall Skosan scored four tries as South Africa’s Lions thumped an ill-disciplined Queensland Reds 44-14 in their Super Rugby clash at Ellis Park on Saturday.
The visitors had flyhalf Quade Cooper red-carded early in the second half and at one stage were down to 13 players as they slipped to a 10th away defeat in a row.
Flank Jaco Kriel, centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg and hooker Malcolm Marx also scored tries for the Lions in their bonus-point victory, while centre Duncan Paia'aua and prop Taniela Tupou provided consolation scores for the out-gunned Reds.
The Lions were dominant in the first half but it took 18 minutes for the opening try as Janse van Rensburg broke through some weak Reds defence and provided an inside pass for Skosan to canter over.
Flyhalf Elton Jantjies slotted the easy conversion and added a penalty just past the half-hour mark, two minutes after the visitors had lost captain James Slipper to injury.
The Lions added a second try two minutes before the break when Kriel barged over from a driving maul and this time Jantjies missed the conversion as the home side led 15-0 at halftime.
Things did not improve for the visitors after the break as Reds scrumhalf Nick Frisby was sent to the sin-bin for cynical play near his own tryline, and Janse van Rensburg crossed shortly afterwards as the Lions swung the ball wide.
The Reds were down to 13 players after Cooper, who had been fortunate to avoid sanction for a no-arms tackle earlier in the game, received a red card for a high tackle on Janse van Rensburg.
Within five minutes the Lions had scored their fourth try as Marx crossed the line as the visitors’ numerical disadvantage meant they simply ran out of numbers in defence.
The Lions' dominance was in part due to a disintegrating Reds scrum as they gave away a number of penalties at the set-piece.
Skosan crossed for three more tries, the second of which was an excellent kick-and-chase from his own kick in his 22-metre area as the Lions, last year’s beaten Super Rugby finalists, won an eighth successive match at home. (Reporting By Nick Said,; Editing by Neville Dalton)