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Fourteen-man Stormers leave Lions sweating over play-offs

MATCH REPORT: The Stormers overcame a red card to record a hard-fourth 29-24 win over the Lions in the Round 18 match of the United Rugby Championship at Cape Town Stadium.

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The two teams delivered yet another incredibly intense South African derby with the lead changing hands on several occasions.

*To recap all the action CLICK HERE!!!

The Stormers outscored the Lions four tries to two at the Cape Town Stadium.

The Lions secured a losing bonus point, taking them to 50 points and eight on the log.

The Lions will ensure a quarterfinal berth should Ospreys fail to pick up a five-point victory over Cardiff.

The win secures fifth place on the standings for the Stormers, with their quarterfinal opponents to be determined by other results later in the day.

The Lions opened the scoring with an early successful penalty by centre Jordan Hendrikse.

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A very concerning scene halted the match as Rabs Maxwane came off second best in his attempted tackle on Angelo Davids. The Lions wing was stretchered off the field.

The Stormers got on the board with the first try as Andre-Hugo Venter crashed over at the back of a powerful maul.

Sharks-bound Hendrikse narrowed the deficit to one, with another penalty.

They followed that up with a try, No.8 Francke Horne the beneficiary of a number of errors by Stormers inside their own 22.

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The Stormers were back in front when Davids, who celebrated his 25th birthday, finished off a slick backline move to score the second try.

However, the visitors would take a 21-12 advantage into the half-time break as a maul try from flank JC Pretorius and another Hendrikse penalty saw the Jozi side finish the first half strong.

The home side struck first in the second half with a penalty from Manie Libbok, but they were reduced to 14 soon afterwards when Davids was shown a red card for a high tackle on Sanele Nohamba.

The utility back was replaced by Giani Lombard.

Marius Louw was also handed a yellow card for pushing Davids, who had a very busy afternoon.

Tensions were high and with the teams both a man short, Stormers took the lead.

Evan Roos made an explosive run, bursting off defenders and diving over the line for the hosts’ third try. Libbok added the conversion to give them a one-point lead.

The Lions had a chance to take the lead, however, Hendrikse pushed his penalty attempt wide.

The Gauteng side was relentless and had a scrum in the Stormers’ five metres. They retain possession from the scrum and set up multiple phases. The Stormers put in some desperate tackles and eventually forced the Lions to settle for a penalty kick which Hendrikse had no problem slotting over for the 24-22 lead.

However, the Stormers had the final say as a late maul try from Adre Smith secured the win and fifth place on the standings.

Player of the Match
JC Pretorius’ reputation has been founded on his sevens exploits for South Africa’s Blitzboks but he has also made waves in his first season at the Lions. His athleticism helped the Lions stay in contention at Cape Town Stadium right until the final whistle while his first-half maul try showed his power in the tight.

Play of the match
Coming shortly after Davids had been sent off, Roos’ barnstorming solo try was critical in giving the Stormers belief they could still prevail. Ripping the ball off a team-mate in contact, he surged forward while swatting aside Lions tacklers in a 30-metre charge for the line.

The scorers:

For Stormers:
Tries: Venter, Davids, Roos, Smith
Con: Libbok 3
Pen: Libbok

For Lions:
Tries: Horne, Pretoruis
Con: Hendriks
Pens: Hendrikse 4

Yellow card: Marius Louw (Lions, 48 – retaliation)

Red card: Angelo Davids (Stormers, 48 – dangerous tackle, making contact to the head)

Teams: 

Stormers: 15 Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu, 14 Suleiman Hartzenberg, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Angelo Davids, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Ben-Jason Dixon, 6 Evan Roos, 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Salmaan Moerat (captain), 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Andre-Hugo Venter, 1 Sti Sithole
Replacements: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Adre Smith, 20 Marcel Theunissen, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Ben Loader

Lions: 15 Quan Horn, 14 Rabz Maxwane, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Jordan Hendrikse, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Sanele Nohamba, 9 Morne van den Berg, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Emmanuel Tshituka, 6 JC Pretorius, 5 Ruan Delport, 4 Willem Alberts (captain), 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 2 PJ Botha, 1 Morgan Naude
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 JP Smith, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Reinhard Nothnagel, 21 Izan Eseterhuizen, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Gianni Lombard

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Griffin Colby (South Africa) and Hanru van Rooyen (South Africa)
TMO: Christi du Preez (South Africa)

*Additional source: URC

 

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