Lions outplay Stormers in Cape Town
URC MATCH REPORT: The Stormers’ first home game in the United Rugby Championship was a depressing one as they were outplayed by the Lions.
Despite having three players yellow-carded, the visitors ran in four tries on their way to a convincing 37-19 bonus-point win.
The Johannesburg outfit had not registered a victory since beating Zebre Parma in Italy on the opening day of the campaign, but tries from Francke Horn (2), Andre Warner and Vincent Tshituka – and 17 points from the boot of Fred Zeilinga – saw them overcome the Stormers.
Stefan Ungerer, Seabelo Senatla and Andre-Hugo Venter crossed for the home side, with Manie Libbok and Tim Swiel kicking a conversion apiece.
Horn opened the scoring after 10 minutes, going over following a good run by Tshituka.
Zeilinga added the extras and a subsequent penalty, and things went from bad to worse for the Stormers when captain Salmaan Moerat was sin-binned for making contact in the air from the restart.
The Lions, however, soon found themselves light on personnel, as Willem Alberts and former Stormers wing Edwill Van Der Merwe were shown yellow cards in quick succession – the latter for a hair pull on Senatla.
With the Stormers two men to the good following Moerat’s return to the field, Ungerer found a gap in the Lions defence to run in the hosts’ first try.
Libbok was on target from the tee to reduce the deficit to three points and the Stormers had the lead soon after as Senatla went over despite suspicions of a forward pass.
The conversion was missed and a Zeilinga penalty edged the Lions back in front before half-time.
Warner stretched the lead by touching down early in the second half, following some neat footwork from Wandisile Simelane, and Zeilinga made it 20-12 from the tee before Jaco Visagie was sin-binned for not rolling away.
Being a man down did not prevent the Lions from extending their advantage further, with Burger Odendaal sending Tshituka over after 55 minutes and Zeilinga notching the conversion.
Stormers wing Rikus Pretorius saw yellow for deliberate knock on and Zeilinga made it an 18-point margin from the tee, before Venter and Horn exchanged tries in the closing stages – the latter earning his side a bonus point.
Player of the match
Burger Odendaal was a powerhouse in the midfield for the visitors. He made plenty of running metres and sent Vincent Tshituka over for a try after 55 minutes. However, the award goes to Tshituka, who had a fantastic all-round performance. He was busy on attack and defence and at the rucks and don’t forget about that excellent try.
Play of the match
Not so much a play of the match but a heartwarming moment in the latter stages, as Jannie du Plessis was given a warm reception by the 2 000 fans in attendance as he returned to the field following the tragic death of his young son last month.
Tries: Ungerer, Senatla, Venter
Cons: Libbok, Swiel
Tries: Horn 2, Warner, Tshituka
Cons: Zeilinga 4
Pens: Zeilinga 3
Yellow cards: Salmaan Moerat (Stormers, 16 – foul play, tackling a player in the air); Willem Alberts (Lions, 17 – foul play, tackling with no arms); Edwill van der Merwe (Lions, 22 – foul play, pulling an opponent’s hair), Jaco Visagie (Lions, 49 – cynical play, not rolling away); Rikus Pretorius (Stormers, 65 – cynical play, deliberate knockdown)
Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Rikus Pretorius, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Willie Engelbrecht, 6 Junior Pokomela, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Salmaan Moerat (captain), 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Brok Harris.
Replacements: 16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Marcel Theunissen, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Tristan Leyds, 23 Tim Swiel.
Lions: 15 EW Viljoen, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Wandisile Simelane 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Sibahle Maxwane, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel, 4 Ruben Schoeman 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sithembiso Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Pieter Botha, 17 Morgan Naude, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Ruhan Straeuli, 21 Morne van den Berg, 22 Matt More 23 Tiaan Swanepoel.
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
Additional source: URC