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Stormers scramble past brave Lions to top table

Date

Colin Bryden

LIONS 19 STORMERS 24

De Kock Steenkamp and Duane Vermeulen of the Stormers run into Warren Whiteley of the Lions.

De Kock Steenkamp and Duane Vermeulen of the Stormers run into Warren Whiteley of the Lions. Photo: Getty Images

JOHANNESBURG: The Stormers went to the top of the Super Rugby championship table when they beat the Lions 24-19 at Coca-Cola Park on Saturday.

MATCH STATS

It was the fourth win in as many matches for the Cape Town-based team, who are the only unbeaten side in the competition, but they were made to struggle by the injury-ravaged but spirited Lions.

The Stormers went ahead after 72 seconds when hooker Tiaan Liebenberg scored a try after a multi-phase movement that started when the visitors stole the ball from the kick-off.

It seemed likely to be an easy night for the 2011 semi-finalists when Springbok wing Bryan Habana scored his 50th try in the competition after 14 minutes.

They stretched the lead to 18-0 after 20 minutes with two penalties by full-back Joe Pietersen -- but the Lions dominated the rest of the match.

"We played rugby for 30 minutes, then for 50 minutes the Lions played better than us," admitted Stormers captain and centre Jean de Villiers.

Despite struggling to win set-piece ball, the Lions competed ferociously in broken play, kept the ball in hand and forced the Stormers to make more than 100 tackles.

A try by scrum-half Tian Meyer reduced the deficit to 11 points at half-time and the Lions got within two points with three penalty goals by fly-half Butch James after the break.

After 48 minutes without scoring, the Stormers got some breathing space when Pietersen landed a penalty 12 minutes from time and he ensured a victory for the visitors with a long-range goal a minute from the end, before Lions wing Andries Coetzee dropped a goal after the final hooter to give his side a bonus point.

The Lions had been decimated by injuries in the early weeks of the season and were forced into fielding an inexperienced front row and a second-string half-back pairing.

Habana's try came when the Lions lost a scrum on their own put-in. But the young Lions showed plenty of commitment and determination as they fought their way back into the match.

De Villiers said the Stormers would have to improve when they play Northern Bulls, who are just one point behind, in Cape Town next Saturday.

"There is a lot of work to be done before next week," he said.

STORMERS 24 (Bryan Habana, Tiaan Liebenberg tries Joe Pietersen con 4 pens) bt LIONS 19 (Tian Meyer try Butch James con 3 pens Andries Coetzee drop goal) at Ellis Park. Referee: Glen Jackson.

AFP

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
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