Lions snap losing run in South African derby against Stormers
The Lions picked up their first win since the opening round of the United Rugby Championship as they triumphed 37-19 over the Stormers in Cape Town.
The Johannesburg outfit had not registered a victory since beating Zebre Parma in Italy on the opening night 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.
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In Ireland their best team rested their best players for the club semi final. Nobody moaned because they can see the bigger picture. We rest players for a couple of regular season games and the sky's falling down. We need to get real. Playing too many weeks in a row is what leads to injuries for the Super finals and the World Cup. If a kiwi team isn't good enough to make the top 8 they need to look in the mirror, not look for excuses.Go to comments
There's nothing to stop 19, 20, 21 year old players trying to get a one or two year break going to Australia. They aren't likely to make the All Blacks so soon anyway if they can't get a kiwi Super Rugby contract. What we don't want is our better players in a low performance environment like an Aussie Super Rugby team. There's a reason why Aussies improve after they leave the country.Go to comments