The DHL Stormers bounced back to winning ways with an 18-3 Vodacom Super Rugby, Round 10 victory over the Lions at DHL Newlands on Saturday night.
The hosts got onto the scoreboard early through a Demetri Catrakilis penalty goal, before the starting No.10 was forced to leave the field after taking a heavy knock.
Peter Grant shifted from fullback to flyhalf – with Jaco Taute coming off the bench – and immediately kicked a penalty goal to make it 6-0 after 15 minutes with the Lions having just one penalty attempt (which Marnitz Boshoff missed) to show for their efforts.
However, the Boshoff attempt came at a cost for the DHL Stormers, who saw livewire hooker Deon Fourie sent to the sin bin, but the hosts actually benefitted from Fourie’s spell off the field – with both their tries coming during his 10-minute spell in the ‘naughty corner’.
First Grant had an attempt at goal – which hit the upright – and then Damian de Allende raced over for a try after some superb interplay and a clever quick tap from skipper Jean de Villiers.
De Allende had started the attack with a well-timed kick ahead, which was expertly chased by his teammates. The DHL Stormers won a penalty just outside the Lions 22, which De Villiers tapped and De Allende cut inside and dived over on the right-hand side.
Grant missed the conversion but his team was suddenly in double figures – at 11-0 up after 30 minutes – but the 22,341-strong crowd nearly erupted some four minutes later when the impressive Nizaam Carr crashed over for his team’s second try.
Carr finished well after a terrific build-up from the home team saw almost the entire DHL Stormers side handle the ball. Wing Sailosi Tagicakibau showed his strength on numerous occasions down the left flank before a clever pass from De Allende – the official Vodacom Super Rugby Man of the Match – found Carr on the angle.
Grant converted to make it 18-0 just before the break and the score remained the same despite a strong finish to the half by the Lions – only for a strong defensive effort from the hosts to keep them scoreless up until the break.
The Lions struck first in the second half with a Boshoff penalty in the 44th minute – to trail by 3-18 – and that was to be the only points as both teams continued to put in the effort.
The DHL Stormers continued running the ball well into injury-time, as the likes of Pat Cilliers, Brok Harris, Jurie van Vuuren, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Louis Schreuder and Devon Williams all received some game time in the last 20 minutes.
It was, however, job done for the hosts who will travel to Bloemfontein to face the Cheetahs next weekend (kick-off 17h05). The DHL Stormers’ next home game is against the Highlanders on Saturday, May 3 (kick-off 15h00).
For the DHL Stormers:
Tries: De Allende, Carr
Pens: Catrakilis, Grant
For the Lions:
DHL 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 Cronje, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Derick Minnie (captain), 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 LB Lusaseni, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Rudi Mathee, 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)