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Lions hold off gutsy DHL Stormers

PUBLISHED: April 16, 2016



The DHL Stormers showed plenty of heart at Emirates Airline Park, but could not prevent the Emirates Lions from picking up a tense 29-22 victory in their Vodacom Super Rugby clash on Saturday.

The DHL Stormers showed plenty of heart at Emirates Airline Park, but could not prevent the Emirates Lions from picking up a tense 29-22 victory in their Vodacom Super Rugby clash on Saturday.

It was just the second defeat of the season for the DHL Stormers, who secured a bonus point for their efforts in Johannesburg.

The game got off to a frantic start, with a long-range drop-goal attempt from Cheslin Kolbe falling just short, and the DHL Stormers would open the scoring a short while later through a penalty from Jean-Luc du Plessis.

The home side responded with a penalty from the boot of Elton Jantjies to level things up soon afterwards after the DHL Stormers managed to hold out a sustained attack on their tryline.

The teams continued to trade blows from the kicking tee, with three penalties from Du Plessis and two from Jantjies before Lions wing Ruan Combrinck scored the opening try just before half-time to give the home side a 16-12 lead at the break.

The DHL Stormers absorbed a lot of pressure at the start of the second half, as the Lions camped in their 22 for an extended period, but it would be the visitors to score first in the second half as another Du Plessis penalty brought them within one point at 16-15.

However, the Lions hit back with a try from replacement scrumhalf Faf de Klerk who took a quick tap close to the tryline and forced his way over to extend their lead to 23-15.

The DHL were back within one point when a flowing movement saw the ball worked out to replacement Siya Kolisi who tepped the last defender to dive over for a memorable try.

That left the game right in the balance with 15 minutes left, and it would be the home side that had the final say as a fourth Jantjies penalty followed by a late drop-goal from the flyhalf was enough to secure the 29-22 win.

The scorers:

For DHL Stormers:
Try:
Kolisi
Con: Du Plessis
Pens: Du Plessis 5

For Emirates Lions:
Tries: Combrinck, De Klerk
Cons: Jantjies 2
Pens: Jantjies 4
DG: Jantjies

Teams:

DHL Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Juan de Jongh (co-captain), 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Mike Willemse, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Frans Malherbe (co-captain), 19 Rynhardt Elstadt, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Damian de Allende, 23 Huw Jones.

Emirates Lions: 15 Jaco Van Der Walt, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Ruan Ackermann, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Andries Coetzee.

Referee: Stuart Berry