Super Rugby

Stormers steal last gasp victory over stunned Lions




The Stormers stole victory from the jaws of defeat, winning an abysmal South African derby 19-17 against the Lions at Newlands, Cape Town.

Herschel Jantjies danced his way over from close range to score under the posts and tie the game at 17-all in the fifth minute of added time.

SP Marais kicked the easy conversion to give Robbie Fleck’s beleaguered side an unlikely win having trailed since Kwagga Smith’s sixth-minute try.

His boot kept the Cape side in contention, the fullback playing wing, kicked four penalties to bring his side back to within two, in the final quarter.

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Tries from Smith and Warren Whiteley, who left the field in the first half, gave the Lions a slender eight-point lead at the break.

Video Highlights: Stormers versus Lions

The Joburg men were off the pace but never looked in danger of losing this derby, which makes it all the more bizarre that they did.

Elton Jantjies kicked a rare penalty soon after Marais had reduced the Lions’ lead to give his team some breathing space, as Swys de Bruin’s charges kept the Stormers pinned inside their half.

But it all fell apart in the final 10 minutes for last year’s beaten finalists. Lots of ill-discipline gave their opponents a sniff, one they took.

Unstoppable force meets an immovable object

This was not a close game by any stretch of the imagination.

Marais’ early indiscretion led to the game’s first points. Elton Jantjies kicked the penalty to the corner (as ever), and from the next series of play, Smith was over.

The Blitzbok legend carried two Stormers on his back as he stormed to the try line. He may have been wearing a Spider-Man outfit, but he was more Incredible Hulk.

Marais, who was everywhere, put his side on the board with his first penalty.

Bongi Mbonambi’s brain freeze put the Stormers under pressure. Stephan Lewies went close before his captain dotted down from close range.

The Stormers gave away eight penalties and made seven handling errors in the first half, yet somehow, they stayed in the contest thanks to Marais’ boot.

The 29-year-old kicked doubled his team’s score before the break.

Ill-discipline hurts Lions

De Bruin’s team switched off. They started to get sloppy and give away soft penalties as their opponents fought back.

Marais missed a penalty but found his range with two more to make it a two-point ball-game.

A botched restart by the hosts gave Jantjies a rare penalty-goal, which extended the visitor’s lead to five.

An Eben Etzebeth high tackle and a tip-tackle from hooker Scarra Ntubeni released the increasing pressure the Lions were coming, under.

With 15 minutes remaining the home fans cheered what they thought was a try.

referee Egon Seconds blew for obstruction on Ntubeni, who blocked Lions defenders from stopping Marais.

Etzebeth won a stray Malcolm Marx throw before the Springbok hooker, who was ineffective throughout, was pinged for an illegal infringement at the breakdown.

Stormers turn the screw

Another series of sustained pressure was building for the Gauteng team.

Marnus Schoeman was sin-binned for one-two-many infractions by the visitors inside the red zone.

Another poor option from Marais saw him dive for the corner only to be tackled out and lose the ball forward in an attempt to score.

Dan du Plessis thought he had scored the winning try, but Damian de Allende’s pass was forward.

The Lions could not get any possession to release the siege and the Stormers sensed an opportunity.

They camped inside the Lions’ 22, winning penalties and opting for scrums.

Schoeman returned from the naughty step two minutes early, but the extra man could not stop Herschel Jantjies from salvaging a famous backs-to-the-walls win.

Jantjies took the ball and dazzled the defenders with some fancy footwork. Cue scenes.

Final Score: Stormers 19 (6) Lions 17 (14)


Tries – H. Jantjies
Pen – Marais (4)
Con – Marais
Drop –
Cards – A. Vermaak (Yellow, 41st’)

Tries – K. Smith, Whiteley
Pen – E. Jantjies
Con – E. Jantjies (2)
Drop –
Cards – Schoeman (Yellow, 78′)

Match Officials
Referee: Egon Seconds
Assistant Ref 1: Divan Uys
Assistant Ref 2: Aimee Barrat-Theron
TMO: Christie du Preez


Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 SP Marais, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ali Vermaak.

Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Frans Malherbe, 24 Eben Etzebeth, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Joshua Stander, 23 Dan du Plessis.

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Marvin Orie, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith.

Replacements: 16 Pieter Jansen, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Rhyno Herbst, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Gianni Lombard, 22 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 23 Sylvian Mahuza.

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