Lions class too much for Stormers
The Lions gloriously played themselves back into Super Rugby contention here on Saturday.
It wasn’t just a precious win, but the manner in which they vanquished the Stormers that would have others sit up and take notice.
It took a while however for them to click into gear, and when they did they looked a potent force.
In the opening 40 minutes however this match displayed the hallmarks of their clash earlier this season at Newlands.
On that occasion the Lions made most of the running before the result swing against them in the last move of the clash.
The Lions came into this match with the lingering sub plot that saw playmaking flyhalf Elton Jantjies stood down for the clash. They hardly missed him.
His replacement Shaun Reynolds is a neat distributor and he showcased that skill splendidly.
Out wide Aphiwe Dyantyi played like a man whose confidence had been restored to optimum levels, Andries Coetzee continues to play with a spring in his step, while Lionel Mapoe grew more influential as the match developed.
It was upfront however where the Lions made the biggest impression. Front rowers Carlu Sadie, Malcolm Marx and Dylan Smith firmly came to grips with their perhaps more celebrated opposite numbers.
Sadie, a player on loan from the Stormers proved a point against former teammates Stephen Kitshoff, Wilco Louw, Frans Malherbe and Eben Etzebeth among others.
Kwagga Smith’s support play was superb, while Vincent Tshituka threw himself around with alacrity.
For all their possession in the first 25 minutes the Lions could not make much headway on the score board.
They squandered several opportunities of real promise in that period as poor handling and questionable decision making conspired against them.
They however rediscovered their roar after the halftime break and wrested the initiative with tries from Smith and a wonderful effort from turnover possession from Courtnall Skosan.
LIONS (13) 41
Tries: Kwagga Smith (2), Andries Coetzee, Courtnall Skosan, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Hacjivah Dayimani. Conversions: Shaun Reynolds (4). Penalty: Reynolds.
STORMERS (10) 22
Tries: Johan du Toit, Herschel Jantjies, Joshua Stander. Conversions: Joshua Stander (2). Penalty: Stander.