Van Reenen helps Stormers crush Lions in Cape Town
MATCH REPORT: The Stormers recorded a comprehensive 44-12 win over the Lions in their final Preparations Series match on Saturday.
* As it happened: Stormers v Lions
The Stormers outscored the Lions five tries to two.
It was a complete performance from the home side, with three tries in the first half, two in the second and a flawless kicking performance from Abner van Reenen at their home ground.
The Stormers did not waste any time in getting the scoreboard going as the ball was won back from the kick-off and sent wide, with scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies on hand to finish off the opening try.
The backline was finding plenty of space out wide and it did not take long before they had their second try, with centre Ruhan Nel ghosting through a gap and putting wing Seabelo Senatla over.
Senatla played a starring role in the third try too, showing his trademark pace and some quick footwork to set up Jantjies for his second try.
The Stormers were then forced to defend for an extended period and they came through with flying colours, holding the ball up over the line and forcing a knock-on to clear the threat.
They marched upfield and won a penalty in front of the poles thanks to a powerful scrum, with the kick from Van Reenen taking the lead out to 24-0.
They almost had a fourth try in the first half thanks to a quick throw-in from Sergeal Petersen, but the ball was lost forward near the tryline and the hosts had to settle for a 24-0 advantage at the half-time break.
There was an all-new front row of Steven Kitshoff, Bongi Mbonambi and Frans Malherbe at the start of the second half and it did not take them long to win a scrum penalty. That gave them the opportunity to maul in the 22 and Mbonambi surged over for the fourth try to make it 31-0.
The Stormers scrum kept them on the front foot and a breakdown penalty in midfield then gave Reenen the chance to stretch the lead with a penalty. He followed that up with a drop-goal for good measure to take the lead out to 37-0 heading into the last 15 minutes.
The visitors got on the scoreboard with 10 minutes left with a try from replacement MJ Pelser, but the Stormers responded soon afterwards with their fifth through Nel, who scooped up a loose ball in the 22 to score.
The Lions were awarded a late penalty try and the Stormers looked to have hit back with Jantjies’ hat-trick try, but the scrumhalf had put a foot in touch and they had to settle for the 44-12 win.
Man of the match: Despite his yellow card in the last five minutes of the match, Stormers flyhalf Abner van Reenen was in fine form, slotting over all his kicks and making a couple breaks certainly deserving of this award.
Tries: Jantjies 2, Senatla, Mbonambi, Nel
Cons: Van Reenen 5
Pens: Van Reenen 2
Drop Goal: Van Reenen
Tries: Pelcer, Penalty try
Yellow card: Abner van Reenen (Stormers, 75 – Deliberate foul)
Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Abner van Reenen, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Marcel Theunissen, 6 Nama Xaba, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Salmaan Moerat (captain), 3 Neethling Fouché, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Replacements – from: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 David Meihuizen, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Kade Wolhuter, 23 Lyle Hendricks, 24 Chad Solomon, 25 Cornel Smit.
Lions: 15 EW Viljoen, 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Sibahle Maxwane, 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 Ross Croné, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Sibusiso Sangweni, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Pieter Botha, 1 Ruan Dreyer.
Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Nathan McBeth, 18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 MJ Pelser, 21 Morné van den Berg, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Burger Odendaal.
Referee: Adriaan Jacobs
Assistant referees: Divan Uys, Dylan November
TMO: Aimee Barrett-Theron
Photo credit: speedshots.co.za