The Stormers maintained their unbeaten start to the season by repelling a Lions fightback to secure a 24-19 victory in Johannesburg.
The Stormers maintained their unbeaten start to the season by repelling a Lions fightback to secure a 24-19 victory in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The win takes the men from Cape Town top of the overall standings and remain the only team in the competition undefeated.
In a tale of two halves, the Stormers raced to an 18-0 lead thanks to two well-taken tries to hooker Tiaan Liebenberg (playing in his 50th Super Rugby game) and wing Bryan Habana (scoring his 50th Super Rugby try).
Full-back Joe Pietersen was on target from the tee, contributing a conversion as well as two penalties and it looked like the Lions were in for a long day at the office.
However, John Mitchell's pride weren't prepared to roll over so easily and started to find their rhythm in the second quarter of the match as Butch James converted a Tian Meyer try to take his team into the break 18-7 down.
The Lions continued to claw their way back in the second forty with James's boot cutting the Stormers lead down to just two points (18-16) before the visitors pulled away in the last few minutes of the match with another two more penalties from Pieterson.
The Lions, who dominated all the territory and possession for 60 minutes of the match, did manage to bag themselves a consolation losing bonus point thanks to a drop-goal by wing Andries Coetzee on full-time.
Pens: James 3
Tries: Liebenberg, Habana
Pens: Pietersen 3
Lions: 15 James Kamana, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Jaco Taute, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Andries Coetzee, 10 Butch James, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Joshua Strauss (c), 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Marius Coetzer, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 Stephan Greeff, 19 Cobus Grobbelaar, 20 Ross Cronje, 21 Michael Killian, 22 Ruan Combrinck.
Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean De Villiers (c), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nick Koster, 7 Duane Vermeulen, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 De Kock Steenkamp, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Gary van Aswegen, 22 Gerhard van den Heever.
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)