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Unconvincing Stormers battle to victory over Lions

Gio Aplon holds on to the ball before scoring a try for the Stormers

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Article Published: Saturday 30 June 2012|

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The Stormers held on to their top spot in the South African Super Rugby conference after they beat the Lions 27-17 at Newlands.

The Stormers started strongly and went out to a 13-3 lead at half time following a first half try by Gio Aplon.

The Lions came out for the second half with a lot more determination and took the game to the Stormers. A try by captain Josh Strauss had the Lions trailing by three points.

As the match reached the last quarter the Lions intensity faded which allowed the Stormers to take control of the match and Jebb Sinclair scored his first Super Rugby try which took the game away from the Lions.

As the match reached the last quarter the Lions intensity faded which allowed the Stormers to take control of the match and Jebb Sinclair scored his first Super Rugby try which took the match away from the Lions.

Even though the Stormers were never behind in the match they seemed headed for a scoreless second half until replacement loosie Jebb Sinclair and winger Gerhard van de Heever crashed over converted tries in the final seven minutes.

The Lions infringed twice in the opening two minutes when the Stormers showed a keen-ness to run the ball and flyhalf Peter Grant exploited the second with a penalty goal to secure an early 3-0 lead.

Over the first 20 minutes both teams enjoyed passages of play where they held the upper hand, but both defences stood firm when the trylines were threatened.

The Lions were impressive with their attacking variations on their sorties into the opposition's 22-metre area, but against the best Super Rugby defence their efforts were in vain.

Just after each side had goaled a penalty (6-3) with Grant and flyhalf Elton Jantjies (Lions) the scorers, the Stormers launched two penetrative onslaughts in quick succession from their own 10-metre line to take play up to the tryline.

Only the second paid off as the Lions defence was stranded on the left flank where fullback Gio Aplon ran in for the first try of the match. Grant added the conversion for a 13-3 lead after 30 minutes.

Just ahead of the break the Stormers suffered a disruption, their second for the day, when injured Danie Poolman (wing) was forced to leave the field and was replaced by Marcel Branche. Earlier on, the flu-hit Joe Pietersen was an 11th hour withdrawal and Poolman was brought into a reshuffled backline.

The Stormers finished the half strongly without increasing their 13-3 lead by the time the halftime hooter sounded.

When the teams returned, the Lions absorbed the initial pressure but once they managed to break out of their half they caught the Stormers napping around the fringe of a breakdown play and skipper Josh Strauss scrambled through for a try, which Jantjies converted (13-10).

The Lions were fired up by this seven-point advance but in their eagerness to up their tempo, errors crept into their game and the Stormers managed to wrest the initiative, and they might have added a second try but Aplon was collared on the whitewash with a team mate on his outside.

With 15 minutes play left, the Lions threatened to turn the match on its head when they made several charges at the tryline but a mixture of sound defence and poor options left them empty handed, and instead the Stormers bounced back in great style with late tries by Sinclair and Van den Heever.

In the final minute Franco van der Merwe scored a converted try to reduce the deficit.

Final Score Stormers 27 (13) Lions 17 (3)

Scorers

Stormers
Tries - G Aplon, J Sinclair, G van den Heever
Pen - P Grant 2
Con - P Grant 3
Drop -
Cards -

Lions
Tries - J Strauss, F Van der Merwe
Pen -E Jantjies
Con - E Jantjies 2
Drop -
Cards -

Match Officials
Referee
: Mark Lawrence
Assistant Ref 1:Lourens van der Merwe
Assistant Ref 2:Jason Jaftha
TMO : Gerrie Coetzee

Teams

Stormers

15 Gio Aplon ,14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Danie Poolman, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Siya Kolisi, 7 Don Armand, 6 Tyrone Holmes, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Deon Carstens

Substitutes: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Quinn Roux, 19 Jebb Sinclair, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Marcel Brache

Lions

Andries Coetzee, Deon Van Rensburg, Lionel Mapoe, Butch James, Anthonie Volminck, Elton Jantjies, Tian Meyer, Joshua Strauss (c), Grant Hattingh, Derick Minnie, Franco Van der Merwe, Hendrik Roodt, Jacobie Adriaanse, Callie Visagie, JC Janse van Rensburg,

Reserves: Martin Bezuidenhout, CJ van der Linde / Ruaan Dreyer, Ruan Botha, Jaco Kriel, Michael Bodesio, Waylon Murray, Ruan Combrinck

 
 
 
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