Super Rugby Playoff
Lions lose the battle but win the war
ESPN Staff
August 4, 2013
The Lions celebrate their win over the Kings © Getty Images

The Lions secured their return to Super Rugby despite losing the second leg of their play-off against Southern Kings 23-18.

The Johannesburg-based Lions won the first leg 26-19 in Port Elizabeth, but they had to endure a nervy final few minutes of the game at Ellis Park on Saturday as the Kings staged a late fightback. Tries from Jaco Kriel and Derick Minnie put the Lions in the driving seat but the Kings took full advantage of Stokkies Hanekom's yellow card in the 67th minute to pin the Lions back.

Tries from Schalk Ferreira and debut winger Scott van Breda gave the Kings some hope with a 23-18 lead, but they had to beat the Lions by more than seven points to prevail. They were unable to secure the penalty that could have claimed victory and it was the Johannesburg-based franchise celebrating at the final whistle having finished strongly to take the ball through a multitude of phases as time ticked away..

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