Hendrikse powers Lions to opening win over USAP

Hendrikse powers Lions to opening win over USAP

Fly-half Jordan Hendrikse kicked 23 points as Emirates Lions opened their EPCR Challenge Cup campaign with a convincing 28-12 win at USAP.

The South African side, who reached last year’s quarter-finals, proved a stubborn outfit for their French hosts and led throughout. 

TOP14 side USAP struggled to break through their visitors with all of their points coming from kicker Jean-Pascal Barraque. 

The sides traded early penalties with Hendrikse striking the visitors ahead before full-back Barraque kicked his side level on six minutes. 

Emirates Lions scored the game’s only try on nine minutes when full-back Andries Coetzee ran onto his chipped kick before then releasing wing Rabz Maxwane to dot down, converted from a difficult angle by Hendrikse. 

The French hosts pulled back when a chipped kick resulted in an off-side decision and Barraque scored his second penalty of the afternoon. 

USAP pulled back to a single point with Barraque kicking two penalties before Hendrikse added to his kicking tally at the opposite end. 

The French hosts replied with Barraque kicking from 40 metres out, but Emirates Lions finished the half strongly with Hendrikse scoring from under the posts to make it 12-16 at half-time. 

With little between the sides Hendrikse took a long-range penalty opportunity to increase the visitors’ lead early in the second half and then added a fifth penalty on the hour mark. 

A further Hendrikse effort from distance four minutes later gave the visitors a 13-point lead before adding his seventh penalty during the convincing win. 

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