The DHL Stormers went down 26-23 against the Emirates Lions in a hard-fought Vodacom Super Rugby derby at DHL Newlands on Saturday.
A late try saw the Emirates Lions come from behind to claim the win against a DHL Stormers team that was shown two yellow cards and one red card.
The DHL Stormers came out firing early on and it was not long before they had the opening try. A chip over the top from flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis was collected by fullback Dillyn Leyds and a few phases later scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage darted over.
Pressure at scrum-time from the DHL Stormers resulted in a penalty in opposition territory, which Du Plessis slotted to make it 10-0 after 20 minutes.
The Emirates Lions got on the scoreboard with a try from scrumhalf Nic Groom, who dummied his way over to make it 10-7.
The DHL Stormers forwards responded with a series of powerful mauls and scrums before the ball was sent to the backline, with Raymond Rhule getting on the end of a Craig Barry grubber to score the next try.
The DHL Stormers were reduced to 14 men just before half-time when centre JJ Engelbrecht was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle and had a chance to extend their lead further, but Du Plessis’ penalty attempt bounced off the uprights.
The DHL Stormers were forced to play the last 30 minutes with just 14 men after wing Raymond Rhule was shown a red card, when he collided with an Emirates Lions player in the air.
Emirates Lions replacement prop Corne Fourie got the first points of the second half when he placed the ball on the line, to reduce the DHL Stormers lead to 17-12 with 25 minutes left.
The DHL Stormers were down to 13 men shortly after that when replacement loose forward Jaco Coetzee was shown a yellow card for repeated infringements from his team. Fourie scored his second try from the resulting maul to give the Emirates Lions a 19-17 advantage heading into the final 20 minutes.
Despite that, the DHL Stormers marched upfield and reclaimed the lead, with Du Plessis kicking two penalties in quick succession to put them 23-19 up.
The Emirates Lions were to strike the final blow with a late try from replacement wing Madosh Tambwe which sealed the win.
For DHL Stormers:
Tries: Duvenage, Rhule
Cons: Du Plessis 2
Pens: Du Plessis 3
For Emirates Lions:
Tries: Groom, Fourie 2, Tambwe
Cons: Jantjies 3
DHL Stormers: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Craig Barry, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe (50th DHL Stormers cap), 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Cobus Wiese, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Jaco Coetzee, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 EW Viljoen.
Emirates Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrink, 13 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Kwagga Smith, 7 Franco Mostert (captain), 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Lourens Erasmus, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Corne Fourie, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Rhyno Herbst, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Madosh Tambwe, 23 Shaun Reynolds.