British & Irish Lions vanquish the Stormers
They were slow out of the blocks but by the time final whistle sounded here on Saturday the British & Irish Lions had thoroughly vanquished the Stormers.
The 49-3 win was another convincing display by the tourists who apart from the opening quarter had things pretty much their way.
The Lions will go into next weekend's first Test with just one blemish on their report card‚ the midweek defeat at the hands of the Bok laden South Africa A side.
They regrouped well however.
The Lions again went about their business at a rate of knots but in all their haste they initially committed errors. To be fair‚ the Stormers who seemed energised by the occasion carried the attack to the visitors for much in the first 20 minutes.
The Stormers' early bluster was well met by the Lions' stout defence and although the hosts held 55 percent of the territory by the break‚ they rarely made it into the final third.
Stormers flyhalf Tim Swiel converted a penalty to open the score in the 20th minute but thereafter the Lions started shifting gears.
Lions wing Duhan van der Merwe was well marked initially but gradually the whirl wind speed at which the tourists were operating strung out and eventually ruptured the hosts' defence.
Hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie and flank Hamish Watson became increasingly influential ball carriers‚ while the incisive Ali Price pulled all the right strings from the back of the scrum. Cowan-Dickie was equally prominent in defence‚ and proved an adept pilferer on the deck. All three are likely to feature in next week's Test 23.
Recent addition flyhalf Marcus Smith‚ revelled in the space and time that was in increased supply as the match wore on. Smith winged his way here this week along with initial tour captain Alun Wyn Jones‚ who made a miraculously speedy recovery from a shoulder injury at the end of last month against Japan.
Jones stepped off the bench and duly completed the 20-odd minutes that would have restored him to the Test selection frame.
By the time he came on the visitors were firmly in the ascendancy.
The Lions' clarity of thought and speed of execution gradually wore the Stormers down.
After brilliant build-up work Adam Beard rounded off a good team try in the 29th minute for the Lions. The tries scored by Cowan-Dickie and Jonny Hill were clear examples of a defence that had fallen off the pace.
The Lions added four more converted tries in the second half with Smith exploring the wide open spaces.
Stormers (3) 3
Penalty – Tim Swiel.
B & I Lions (21) 49
Tries: Adam Beard‚ Luke Cowan-Dickie‚ Jonny Hill‚ Jack Conan‚ Zander Fagerson‚ Louis Rees-Zammit‚ Sam Simmonds. Conversions: Marcus Smith (7).