Stormers labour to victory

16th Apr 2011, 20:56

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Should have scored: Juan de Jongh

Should have scored: Juan de Jongh

The Stormers left it late to secure an unconvincing 33-19 Super Rugby win over the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.


The Stormers left it late to secure an unconvincing 33-19 Super Rugby win over the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.

The hosts were just a converted try away from snatching a draw, but were left to rue another game that got away as Stormers replacement back Johann Sadie dived over to seal the deal two minutes from full-time.

However, the Stormers failed to bag the all-important bonus point against the tournament's basement side as several try-scoring chances went begging.

But a win is a win, and the Stormers will at least be happy to have returned to winning ways. The same couldn't be said of the Lions though, who tasted defeat number eight this season whilst suffering their 12th consecutive loss at home.

Stormers coach Alistair Coetzee will also be pleased that his rookies stood up and provided the majority of the team's points with the likes of Gary van Aswegen (before he left the field injured), Danie Poolman, Lionel Cronje and Sadie performing admirably.

Van Aswegen, who was only promoted to the starting line-up on Thursday after a late injury to first-choice number ten Peter Grant, opened the scoring for the visitors with a penalty after four minutes.

It was the start of a dominating passage of play by the visitors that was rounded of when Poolman dived over after good drives by Juan de Jongh and Schalk Burger - Dewaldt Duvenage converting.

At the other end, the hosts were struggling to make any real forward progress when they did have the ball and it took a fine 40-metre drop goal by Burton Francis to get them on the board.

The Lions fly-half was then offside just after the resulting kick-off, allowing Lionel Cronje - an early replacement for the injured Van Aswegen - to go for goal and successfully slot over.

Francis responded by landing his first penalty of the evening when Poolman was deemed off-side, before another Cronje goal took the gap back to 10 after half an hour.

The home side responded in style, though, with Jaco Taute setting up a fine counter-attack in which Francis' clever pass was collected by Whiteley, who ran in under the post.

Francis converted, but then watched in agony as his side conceded a soft try to Jaque Fourie - the Springbok centre easing over to end a move started by De Jongh's breakaway.

Cronje added the extras to see the Capetonians into a 23-13 half-time lead.

The Lions started well after the break and took three easy points as a result of the flair they showed. That passage of play, however, was perhaps the highlight of the second half.

Stormers wing Gio Aplon squandered three easy chances with the try-line in sight, while the Lions wasted their only real opportunity when Francis opted to go on his own instead of feeding the line. Cronje also missed two relatively easy penalty kicks, which did not help the home side's cause.

The vacuum left by skipper Doppies la Grange, who received a yellow card for a dangerous tackle, led to the final try of the match from Sadie.

The scorers:
For Lions:
Try: Whitely
Con: Francis
Pens: Francis 3
Drop: Francis

For Stormers:
Tries: Poolman, Fourie, Sadie
Cons: Duvenage, Cronje 2
Pens: Van Aswegen, Cronje 2

Lions: 15 Michael Killian, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Doppies La Grange (c), 11 Deon van Rensburg, 10 Burton Francis, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Warren Whitely, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 David de Villiers, 4 Wikus van Heerden, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Patric Cilliers, 18 Dries van Schalkwyk, 19 Rory Kockott, 20 Elton Jantjies, 21 Jaco Taute

Stormers: 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Gio Aplon, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Schalk Burger (c), 5 Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 CJ van der Linde, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Wicus Blaauw.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Anton van Zyl, 19 Nick Koster, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Lionel Cronje, 22 Johann Sadie.

Referee: Marius Jonker