The Lions ousted the Waratahs 27-22 in a highly entertaining encounter where they were just one try away from securing a bonus point.
“They came at us tonight and I’m proud of the way the boys defended and held them out. Also the tries we scored, putting pressure back on them. It’s just been amazing this year,” said Whiteley.
“This is a big win for us because we have so much respect for the Waratahs for what they’ve achieved, especially last year being the defending champions.
“This year they’re also one of the top sides so we have so much respect for them.”
Without a win over the Waratahs in recent memory, Whiteley said his charges were
determined to produce something special on the night.
“This is our last home game of the Super Rugby campaign so we wanted to give a performance that our supporters could be proud of. I really believe we did that tonight.”
Waratahs’ captain Dave Dennis said his team made too many mistakes which proved costly.
“We had a poor first half, our defence was pretty average. We made it hard on ourselves. We fought pretty well in the second half to create a number of opportunities,” said Dennis.
“We just allowed them too much momentum, they’re a strong team and they’re playing
with a lot of belief this year. They like to play front foot football and we gave that to them tonight.”
Flyhalf Elton Jantjies had a good game overall, but missed three penalties in the closing stages of the match which forced coach Johan Ackermann to bring on Marnitz Boshoff.
The Lions, though, were able to hang on for the narrow win and keep their play-off hopes alive going into the final match of the season against the Stormers.
Original source: LIons skipper praises team