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Stormers survive highveld onslaught

Written by Clayton Saville (Clayton(PJLD))

Posted in :Lions, Stormers, Super Rugby on 1 Mar 2015 at 11:15

The DHL Stormers secured their second away win of the tournament by edging the Lions 22 – 19.

Heavy rain just before kick off set the stage for a forward oriented tussle, something the Lions pack would have looked forward to and for most part of the game appeared to relish, the home side seemed to have the visitors number in the scrums and disrupting the visitors lineout throws.

The Stormers had looked vulnerable at the breakdown in their previous match against The Blues and the Lions were quick to effectively target that area often turning the ball over almost at will, it seemed as though every time a player in blue took the ball to ground that a player in red would come away with it.The Stormers though were not prepared to move too far from their plan of using defence as a weapon, an early hit by Bongani Mbonambi on Sampie Mastriet setting the tone for what was to come.


It was the Lions to get onto the scoreboard first, Elton Jantjies slotting an early penalty before Warrick Tecklenburg scored a converted try in the 17th minute making it 10 – 0. Stormers lock Jurie van Vuuren hurt his shoulder in the build up to the Liosn try and was replaced by Carizza.
The Stormers started to show a bit more patience in their play and started to look a bit more cohesive . They started finding themselves spending more time in Lions territory and ended up with 3 points for their efforts. They had applied some good pressure and earned a penalty for an early shove by the Lions on their 5m and would have scored if not for a flying Lions defender(looking to be a mile offside) making a good block.

Elton Jantjies was able to give his side a further cushion after the hooter sounder after Vincent Koch was penalised for illegal scrummaging, the score going into the changerooms being 13 -9.
The second half got underway in the same way that the first ended, Jantjies easing a penalty over after Cheslyn Kolbe failed to release the ball. In this period the Lions upheld their ascendancy at the breakdown with Jaco Kriel this time making it look all too easy. The Stormers lineout woes also standing out badly.

Ruan Botha who had been having a great game so far was then penalised for a shoulder check inside the Lions half and Elton Jantjies calmly slotted the 50m+ kick with some change giving the home side a handy 7 point cushion. The next 15 minutes went by without any score but the game was still being played at a handy pace with some big hits being handed out before Catrakilis was allowed to narrow the gap to 4 after a Lions scrum infringement.

With time running out and set pieces a complete mess Duane Vermuelen took a massive gamble and instructed substitute flyhalf Kurt Coleman to kick for the corner after another somewhat debatable scrum penalty, The Stormers managed to secure their ball this time and Siya Kolisi crashed over at the tail of a driving maul, Coleman did well to nail a tricky conversion making it 19- 22 to the visitors with just under 3 minutes to play.


At this point the game became really interesting, Coleman made an error by putting his clearance kick directly into touch giving the Lions a last glimmer of hope, they secure their lineout and and opt for a DG which goes wide and out the dead ball area forcing Coleman to restart the game which he does with a deep kick infield. The Lions then showed tremendous attacking intent, furiously trying to secure the victory , turning down 2 easily kickable penalties that would have secured them a draw.

This period saw them take play through more than 20 phases before winning a penalty, Howard Mnisi knocked on while diving over the line, they took the penalty quickly and again created multiple phases before Mnisi was forced to knock again due to some strong defence.
Allister Coetzee will be happy to have the points in the bag but will also be deeply concerned at the shambles that was his teams set piece.


The Stormers host The Sharks in Cape Town next weekend , the Durban side will be looking to get back to winning ways after being on the end of some dubious reffing decisions in Pretoria and will make life extremely difficult for a team not 100% in their game plan.


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