Fast start sees Lions power past Stade Francais in Challenge Cup

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Lions wing Quan Horn is challenged by Stade Francais counterpart Nadir Megdoud. (Photo by Phill Magakoe/AFP)
Lions wing Quan Horn is challenged by Stade Francais counterpart Nadir Megdoud. (Photo by Phill Magakoe/AFP)

A fast start was enough for the Lions to notch their first Challenge Cup win on Friday night.

The men from Johannesburg beat French glamour club Stade Francais 30-12 at Ellis Park, after leading 20-5 at half-time.

RECAP | Lions 30-12 Stade Francais

The hosts started like a house on fire and raced into a 20-0 lead inside the first half-hour.

Winger Quan Horn impressed with some dazzling runs out wide and he was rewarded with a brace of tries.

But the men from Paris slowly found their feet and got into the contest with a try from South African scrumhalf James Hall just before the break. Hall, a former EP Kings player, darted over from close range to give the visitors some hope.

It was a war of attrition in the early parts of the second half, but the Lions effectively sealed the contest when fullback Andries Coetzee rounded off a fine backline move in the 60th minute.

Stade Francais fought back and were rewarded with a try by flyhalf Leo Barre in the 70th minute.

The Lions, though, had the final say and bagged a bonus-point with a late try by replacement prop Ruan Smith, who crashed over after a series of big carries.

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The Lions drew 31-31 at home against Welsh side Dragons last week and will be chuffed by earning their first win in the competition.

The Lions' next engagement in this competition is on 14 January when they tackle Stade Francais in Paris.


Lions 30 (20)

Try: Quan Horn (2), Andries Coetzee, Ruan Smith

Conversions: Jordan Hendrikse (2)

Penalties: Hendrikse (2)

Stade Francais 12 (5)

Tries: James Hall, Leo Barre

Conversion: Alex Arrate

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