Stormers tame Lions with 14 men
April 19, 2014
Nizaam Carr finished off after slick handling by the Stormers
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The Stormers scored two tries with 14 men to defeat the Lions 18-3 at Newlands stadium in Cape Town Saturday and end a five-match Super 15 losing streak.
Right-wing Damian de Allende and flanker Nizaam Carr crossed the try-line for the Cape Town-based franchise during the first half while hooker Deon Fourie was in the sin bin.
Showing a greater appetite for keeping the ball in hand than in previous games, the Stormers built an 18-point first-half lead and restricted the Lions to just three points after the break. The Stormers had a clear edge at the line-outs, with Lions hookers Robbie Coetzee and replacement Malcolm Marx guilty of numerous poor throws, especially to the tail.
Success lifted the Stormers off the foot of the southern hemisphere inter-provincial championship table as they climbed to 10 points - one more than compatriots Central Cheetahs. The Lions, whose No. 8 and captain Warren Whiteley was a last-minute injury withdrawal, suffered three consecutive losses for the first time this season and remain in mid-table.
Fly-half Demetri Catrakilis put the Stormers ahead after three minutes with a penalty, but had to retire with a suspected broken nose soon after.
Superb handling by the home side led to another penalty against the Lions and Peter Grant, who moved from full-back to replace Catrakilis, made no mistake. An off-the-ball charge on Lions prop Schalk van der Merwe led to Fourie being sin binned midway through the half. But the hosts shrugged off the numerical disadvantage to score 12 unanswered points and establish an 18-point advantage.
De Allende was first to cross the try-line after a quick tap penalty by captain and centre Jean de Villiers caught the visitors napping. Carr struck five minutes later, diving over following slick handling after the Stormers won a ruck close to the 22-metre line.
Grant, whose second penalty attempt rebounded off the post, converted the second try and Stormers ran to the changerooms satisfied with a dominant first-half show. They would have been particularly pleased at keeping the Lions scoreless for 40 minutes after intense late first-half pressure from the Johannesburg outfit.
Leading Super Rugby points scorer and Lions fly-half Marnitz Boshoff atoned for an opening-half miss by slotting a penalty on 44 minutes. But Boshoff, who scored 29 points in a 34-10 home win over the Stormers two months ago, had to settle for just three points as he was replaced before the hour. Elton Jantjies took over as playmaker and there was also a change at scrum-half, with Faf de Klerk coming on for Ross Cronje.
The Lions pressed hard as the game entered the final quarter, but traditional solid Stormers defending kept them out.
The Stormers' Michael Rhodes was issued an off-field yellow card for a lifting tackle in the 17th minute.
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