Winning is becoming a habit at Stormers
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Ruhan Nel’s winning try against the Lions might be proof that everything good is finally heading the Stormers’ direction.
The Stormers secured a dramatic 33-30 win over Lions thanks to Nel’s try well after the final hooter at Ellis Park on Saturday.
The result means the Stormers are still unbeaten in this year’s competition with three wins from three matches.
It was certainly a very thrilling encounter as the Lions were leading 30-26 and well on their way to a win.
However, the men from the Cape had other ideas. The side showed pure determination as that never-say-die attitude under new coach John Dobson prevailed. Some great interplay including a deadly offload from Stormers wing Sergeal Petersen to Nel sealed the deal.
The Lions might have a case for a forward pass by Jean-Luc Du Plessis to Petersen in the lead up to the final try.
The win was the Stormers’ first in Johannesburg since 2015.
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“Everything just went our way at that moment,” Petersen said, explaining: “The perfectly timed pass from Du Plessis, all I did was run and luckily it fell into my hands and Nel was there to get the assist and secure the win”.
“I think getting the victories in that manner and securing three consecutive wins is a morale booster for the team.
He added: “I have to say winning is becoming a habit. It wasn’t the prettiest but we will take it.”
It was certainly a thrilling match, however, there would be some concern inside the Stormers camp ahead of the crucial clash against the Jaguares this weekend.
The Stormers went from keeping the Hurricanes (27-0) and Bulls (13-0) scoreless at Newlands to conceding four tries to the Lions.
Petersen, one of the try-scorers, admits the side need to find the right balance in terms of attack and defence ahead of the Jaguares visit.
“Facing the Jaguares is certainly our biggest challenges yet. We are two conference leaders and I think it will be a nice test of our character.
“The Argentineans never give up, they constantly in your face, therefore, we need to be physically and mentally prepared, while also finding the right balance between a solid defence and attack.”
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The good news for the Stormers is that Herschell Jantjies (sternoclavicular sprain) and Jaco Coetzee (concussion) returned to training on Monday and will be available for selection.
Stormers assistant coach Dawie Snyman also revealed Springboks prop Wilco Louw will be fit for the clash after limping off the field in the 48th minute during the Ellis Park showdown.
Speaking to the press in Bellville, Snyman said: “Louw should be fine, he just sprained his ankle and couldn’t train on Monday. He will probably be on the field on Thursday and we will make the final call then – but he certainly looks much better.”
Meanwhile, Steven Kitshoff sat out Monday’s training due to the flu but Snyman revealed that “there is no major concern”.
The Stormers will host the Jaguares on Saturday at Newlands.