Sunday Times

Stormers humble the Lions

Visitors could find no answers to questions asked by their hosts

- By MAHLATSE MPHAHLELE mphahlelem@timeslive.co.za>

Stormers — Tries: Herschel Jantjies (2), Seabelo Senatla, Bongi Mbonambi, Ruhan Nel. Conversion­s: Abner van Reenen (5). Drop goal: Van Reenen (1) Penalties: Van Reenen (2)

Lions —

Tries: MJ Pelser, penalty try

● The Stormers found their rhythm and killer instinct early on and there was never any sense of danger against opponents who simply did not have answers to the many questions they were asked.

The Stormers were in control from the moment Springboks scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies scored the opening try inside 30 seconds and the Lions’ inferiorit­y was illustrate­d by the fact that they only put their name on the scoresheet after 70 minutes.

This was the best possible way for the Stormers to end their Preparatio­n Series campaign and focus now shifts to the Pro14 Rainbow Cup which starts next month against European teams.

The Stormers ran well, carried the ball well, displayed good interplay between the backs and forwards and they were good value for this emphatic win.

Impressed on the attack

Though they impressed on the attack with five tries, it must be noted their defence was solid for most parts of the match as they denied the Lions on numerous occasions from good attacking positions.

The Lions were poor as they conceded turnover tries from mistakes and they were duly punished by this slick side.

Their coaching staff have correction­s to make with the Rainbow Cup now looming large.

Lions captain Elton Jantjies hobbled off the field with what looked like a nasty ankle injury shortly after the hour mark to be replaced by Fred Zeilinga.

The Stormers got the match off to a stunning start when Herschel Jantjies opened the scoring inside 30 seconds after an attacking move that involved the hard running Seabelo Senatla.

The try was converted by Abner van Reenen who sparkled with the boot all afternoon by kicking 17 points even though he was sent to the sin bin in the closing stages.

The Lions recovered by applying pressure on the hosts but could not breach the defence. The Stormers reacted with two tries in quick succession through Senatla and Herschel Jantjies.

Collapsed the scrum

After 21 minutes, the Lions collapsed the scrum and Van Reenen went for the poles, putting away his fourth kick of the afternoon to take the Stormers’ lead to 24-0.

The Stormers could have further increased their lead shortly before the half hour but Sergeal Petersen fluffed his lines on the edge of the tryline after he was released by Dan du Plessis.

To show the intent and depth of their squad, the Stormers introduced the Springboks Rugby World Cup-winning front row of Frans Malherbe, Steven Kitshoff and Bongi Mbonambi for Neethling Fouche, Alistair Vermaak and Ntubeni Scarra respective­ly at the beginning of the second half.

Mbonambi did not take long to make his presence felt as he scored the fourth try for the Stormers after 48 minutes, Van Reenen again finding the middle of the poles.

In the closing stages, Van Reenen, who put away all his seven kicks, scored a late penalty and also a well-taken drop goal as the Stormers wrapped up an impressive victory.

There was a flurry of activity in the closing stages which saw the Lions finally put a name on the scoresheet through an unconverte­d try by MJ Pelser, Ruhan Nel scoring the fifth try for the Stormers and the Lions awarded a penalty try.

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa