Stormers burgle a win at Newlands
SUPER RUGBY UNLOCKED REPORT: The Stormers started their campaign in South Africa’s new domestic competition with a win.
The record books will show that the Stormers beat the Lions 23-17 at Newlands on Saturday.
However, the Lions’ protestations with referee Rasta Rasivhenge for several minutes clearly show they were not happy with the match official’s handling of the Stormers tactics in the final minutes – during a period when the Lions were launching a series of fierce raids to secure a late winner.
Rasivhenge’s defence that they will “review” his calls after the match would be scant consolation for a team who felt clearly hard done by.
The Stormers will be able to look back with satisfaction on a win in a game where their Springbok-laden forwards laid the foundation for victory.
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Seven minutes into the match Elton Jantjies slotted a penalty from about 40 metres out to open the scoring.
From the restart the Lions conceded a penalty, which Damian Willemse slotted to make it 3-all.
The Lions almost immediately hit back with sublime long-range try, from deep inside their own 22 – with some slick handling putting Rabz Maxwane away for the five-pointer. Jantjies’ conversion made it 10-3.
In the 14th-minute Willemse pushed a penalty attempt wide of the right upright.
The Stormers continued to make their way upfield through a series of penalties and mauls. However, the Lions continued to win turnovers inside their half.
It also did not aid the Stormers’ cause that they coughed up the ball regularly through some sloppy handling.
Just past the half-hour mark Burger Odendaal sold the Stormers defence a sublime dummy to strolled over. However, it was called back for a forward pass from Jaco Kriel to Odendaal.
Five minutes from the break the Lions were again penalised at the tackle and Willemse, from about 40 metres out, narrowed the gap to 6-10.
Early in the second half the Lions were again penalised at the tackle – a regular occurrence – and Willemse narrowed the gap to one point, 9-10.
Soon afterwards young Stormers centre Rikus Pretorius intercepted a pass and raced clear for his team’s first try. Willemse added the conversion as the home team hit the lead for the first time – 16-10 after 53 minutes.
Just past the hour mark the Stormers – after a couple of penalties in quick succession – opted for a quick tap and Dan du Plessis flopped over for the second try. Willemse’s conversion made it 23-10.
With just under 10 minutes remaining the Lions hit back with a sublime counter from inside their own half – Burger Odendaal selling another outrageous dummy to send Elton Jantjies over, the flyhalf and skipper also adding the conversion – 17-23.
With just on three minutes remaining Steven Kitshoff won his team a crucial scrum penalty, but Willemse’s attempt drifted wide of the uprights.
The Lions now launched a series of fierce raids in the hope of scoring a late winner.
However, the Stormers held on for the win.
Man of the match: Lions backs EW Viljoen at fullback and Burger Odendaal, both off-season signing, were impressive, while skipper Elton Jantjies’ game management was also from the top shelve. The Stormers’ tries may have been scored by their centres, but the foundation was laid by the forwards. Lock Salmaan Moerat’s work in the line-outs, winning a couple of crucial turnovers, and allround workrate were outstanding. Our award goes to the Stormers’ Springbok prop Steven Kitshoff. His workrate, leadership and eventual scrum superiority won him our award. It was a couple of crucial scrum penalties that eventually broke the Lions’ resistance.
For the Stormers
Tries: Pretorius, Du Plessis
Cons: Willemse 2
Pens: Willemse 3
For the Lions
Tries: Maxwane, Jantjies
Cons: Jantjies 2
Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 John Schickerling, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Nama Xaba, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Michal Haznar, 23 Tim Swiel.
Lions: 15 EW Viljoen, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Burger Odendaal, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 Morné van den Berg, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole.
Replacements – from: Jan-Henning Campher, Dylan Smith, Wiehahn Herbst, Wilhelm van der Sluys, MJ Pelser, Hacjivah Dayimani, Ross Cronjé, Gianni Lombard, Wandisile Simelane, Ruan Dreyer.
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant referees: Aimee Barrett-Theron, Egon Seconds
TMO: Joey Klaaste-Salmans