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Lions come from behind to edge reduced Stormers

Elton Jantjies of the Lions and team mates celebrate during the Super Rugby match between DHL Stormers and Emirates Lions

Elton Jantjies of the Lions and team mates celebrate during the Super Rugby match between DHL Stormers and Emirates Lions

The Lions needed a late try to edge a 14-man Stormers team 23-26 at Newlands in Cape Town to earn back to back wins.

The Lions lost three matches in a row when they went on tour of Australia and New Zealand but since returning to South Africa they have beaten the Brumbies and now the Stormers.

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The Stormers lost tryscoring winger Raymond Rhule to a red card in the 50th minute of the match and had to play with 14 players for 40 minutes 14 players and for 10 minutes with 13 players as JJ Engelbrecht and Jaco Coetzee were also yellow carded.

The result is the first time since 2011 that the Stormers have lost back to back matches at home in Newlands after they were beaten by the Chiefs in Round 13.

The Stormers loss is their 9th from 14 matches and the Lions victory is their 8th from 14 matches and the Lions win is the only South African victory in Round 15.

The Lions have not lost to a South African side since 2015 but they trailed for much of the match and looked more like they would finish as the losers.

Both teams started the match at pace and tested each other’s defences but the Stormers were the first to score as Dewaldt Duvenage scored the opening try of the contest.

Flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis added the conversion and then a penalty to give the hosts a 10 point lead.

Former Storners scrumhalf Nic Groom put the South African conference leaders on the scoreboard with a try which Elton Jantjies converted.

The Stormers hit back as winger Raymond Rhule scored in the corner and Du Plessis added the conversion to keep his side in front on the scoreboard.

With four minutes remaining in the first half JJ Engelbrecht was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle but the Lions were unable to add any points before half time despite having an extra player.

The Lions conceded three consecutive penalties at the start of the second half which ran the clock down on Engelbrecht’s card and he returned without the Lions adding any points.

The Lions launched into attack down the wing in the 50th minute but as Ruan Combrinck booted the ball ahead Rhule jumped for the ball and connected with the Lions back’s jaw. After an extensive TMO review Rhule was shown the red card.

The Stormers came close to losing Engelbrecht again in the 53rd minute for a neck roll but referee Nick Briant only awarded a penalty after a review with the TMO.

From the penalty the Lions won a line out and with the maul drove Corne Fourie over the tryline for the first of his two tries. Jantjies was unable to add the conversion.

At the start of the final quarter the Jaco Coetzee was yellow carded for a late tackle. From the penalty the Lions went to Fourie again and he went over for his second and this time Jantjies converted.

The Stormers took back the lead though with a penalty kick and then went further ahead with another penalty with ten minutes remaining.

However with five minutes left the Lions were awarded a penalty and again went to the line out. They used the maul to draw in the Stormers defence and then moved the ball out to Madosh Tambwe who scored in the corner.

Jantjies added the conversion to give the Lions a three point lead and the visitors held on for the remaining four minutes to win their 18th consecutive match against a South African side.

The South African teams now take a break from Super Rugby for the June Internationals and return to the tournament at the end of June.

Final Score Stormers 26 (17) Lions 23 (7)


Tries – D. Duvenage, R.Rhule
Pen – J-L. du Plessis 2
Con – J-L. du Plessis 2
Drop –
Cards – JJ Engelbrecht (36th min yellow), R.Rhule (50th min red), J. Coetzee (59th min yellow)

Tries – N.Groom, C.Fourie 2
Pen –
Con – E.Jantjies 2
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Nick Briant
Assistant Ref 1:Quinton Immelman
Assistant Ref 2: Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO : Christie du Preez



15 Craig Barry, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe (50th 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 EW Viljoen, 23 Craig Barry.


15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 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 Sylvian Mahuza.

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