Super Rugby
Lions break Blues' hearts with three-point win
ESPN Staff
March 7, 2015
Report Match details
Date/Time: Mar 7, 2015, 19:35 local, 06:35 GMT
Venue: North Harbour Stadium, North Shore City
Blues 10 - 13 Lions
Half-time: 10 - 3
Tries: Kaino
Cons: West
Pens: West
Tries: Combrinck
Cons: Jantjies
Pens: Jantjies 2
Patrick Tuipuluotu of The Blues takes on the Lions defence, Blues v Lions, Super Rugby, North Harbour Stadium, Auckland, March 7, 2015
The Blues take on the Lions unbreakable defence
© Getty Images
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The Lions have come from behind to spoil Keven Mealamu's record breaking 163rd Super Rugby match, after they took the lead in the 62nd minute to win their first match of the season. Unbreakable in defence throughout most of the match, the Lions were constantly hammered as they struggled to retain possession, but a huge break from replacement half-back Francois de Klerk which resulted in Ruan Combrink diving over in the corner saw the Lions take the lead and run away with the win.

The Lions had to survive large amounts of time in their own territory, but repeatedly repelled the Blues on Saturday night. A couple of Elton Jantjies penalties kept them in touch at 10-6, before they scored the decisive try in the 63rd minute in their first real attack. Amidst stunned silence from the home fans at QBE Stadium, Jantjies landed the sideline conversion.

Both sides had further penalty chances which they failed to convert, as the Lions closed out their first win of the season.

The result left the Blues, who this week had to deny a media report that they had sounded out a replacement for coach Sir John Kirwan, at the bottom of the table. It also dampened the celebrations for hooker Keven Mealamu, who was making a competition record appearance, taking him past retired Australian lock Nathan Sharpe.

The 123-Test All Black, having his first match of the season after being rested in the previous rounds, produced his typical endeavour in his 45 minutes on the field. He got a big ovation when he was subbed off.

The Blues dominated territory from the start, and a break from fullback Lolagi Visinia in the opening seconds carried promise. Another big break-out, started by first five-eighth Ihaia West, died with a knock-on, but the Blues did get the first points on the board with a West penalty.

Jantjies replied with a penalty of his own, before the Blues became increasingly threatening as they camped inside the Lions' half. They finally crossed when skipper Jerome Kaino, back on the field after a spell in the blood bin, scored.

Blues 10-13 Lions (video only available in Australia)
© AAP

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