Planet Rugby

Stormers win at last

19th April 2014 17:36

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Nizaam Carr of the Stormers v Lions Newlands 2014

Try for the Stormers: Nizaam Carr

The Stormers recorded a much-needed 18-3 win against South African rivals the Lions in Saturday's Super Rugby clash at Newlands.

While they will celebrate the win, which ended a five-game losing streak, it has to be pointed out that Allister Coetzee's men again failed to score more than 20 points in a single outing.

Having played some refreshingly attractive rugby to lead 18-0 at the break, the second half turned into a dogfight with a singe Lions penalty of the only time the scorers were troubled after the interval.

Pegged at the bottom of the standings the Stormers started the match at a frantic pace and were soon rewarded with a penalty in the third minute which Demetri Catrakilis converted.

It would, however, be one of his last actions in the game as he left the field minutes later with a broken nose.

This meant that the experienced Peter Grant had to move from full-back to fly-half with Jaco Taute slotting in at the back.

For the first time this season the Stormers enjoyed a scintillating start and showcased great interplay between forwards and backs.

As for the their tactical approach, it was also clear from the opening exchanges that the men from Cape Town would kick away far less possession than they have in previous matches.

This change in mindset ensured that they were able to build and sustain pressure with multiple examples of their all-out attacking mindset on display throughout the contest.

Where other Stormers sides would have kicked for touch when presented with penalties, the one that restored some faith on Saturday preferred to play the situation perfectly and were rewarded for doing so.

It was pretty much one-way traffic during the first half with Nizaam Car proving to be one of their most reliable forwards.

The only area where they looked vulnerable was at the breakdown while a lack of discipline could also be seen as reason for concern.

Hooker Deon Fourie saw yellow just after the 20 minute mark for charging into the back of Lions prop Schalk van der Merwe at a ruck.

But the Stormers didn't let the disadvantage get in their way and from a turnover well inside their own half, managed to score their first try of the match.

The initial kick ahead came from Damien de Allende and was collected by Juan de Jongh who ran out of space close to the touchline.

With numbers out wide, Stormers captain Jean de Villiers threw a poor pass, but then took a quick tap as the Lions were adjudged to have entered the ruck from the side.

A brilliant offload by Nic Groom put Carr into pace and he forced his way over the line to further stretch the Stormers lead.

Fourie nearly received his second yellow minutes before half-time as he conceded three penalties while trying to steal the ball close to his own try-line, but a moment of brilliance there would ensure that the Lions returned to their dressing room without a point to show.

At the break the Stormers looked to have the match in the bag at 18-0 although they struggled to compete at the same intensity.

Part of the problem could have been the changes in personnel that they made, although credit has to go to the visiting side for turning defence into attack.

However, the inefficiencies the Lions have experienced at line-out in recent weeks continued to prevent them from capitalising when they had their opponents on the ropes.

Their ball-handling skills were equally unimpressive while their only saving grace again proved to be the commitment they showed in defence.

Their line-out drives weren't too bad either, but that strength was limited due to their poor line-out throws.

One aspect that was as clear as daylight was the fact that neither of the sides were aware of what the referee's interpretation at the breakdown would be.

Preventing the Stormers from adding to their half-time total can also be seen as a small victory.

The scorers:

For Stormers:
Tries: de Allende, Carr
Con: Grant
Pens: Catrakilis, Grant

For Lions:
Pen: Boshoff

The teams:

Stormers: 15 Peter Grant, 14 Damian de Allende, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Michael Rhodes, 4 Ruan Botha, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Brok Harris, 19 Jurie van Vuuren, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Devon Williams, 23 Jaco Taute

Lions: 15 Chrysander Botha, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Schalk van der Merwe
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Corné Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 MB Lusaseni, 20 Warwick Tecklenburg, 21 Faf de Klerk, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 JW Jonker

Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa) Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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