The Lions won their first match against South African opposition this year and kept their playoff hopes alive by beating the Stormers 41-22 in a fast-paced local derby at Ellis Park on Saturday.
The Lions had a slender 13-10 lead at the interval but they accelerated their efforts in the second half to post a very comfortable home victory in the end.
They scored six tries, with the last by Hacjivah Dayimani coming in the last minute of play . This try added a bonus points to the Lions win as the Stormers could only score three tries.
The Lions’ victory came off the back of a brilliant second half display, during which they scored four of their six tries for a well-deserved win. Kwagga Smith (2), Andries Coetzee, Courtnall Skosan, Aphiwe Dyantyi and Hacjivah Dayimani crossed the chalk while Shaun Reynolds (flyhalf) kicked four conversions and one penalty goal.
Smith (picture by GB Jordaan) was a menace in open play and his efforts were rewarded with two well-taken tries, while Malcolm Marx once more led from the front by putting in a great shift.
Johan du Toit (flank), deputising for his injured Springbok brother Pieter-Steph, scored his maiden Super Rugby try for the Cape side, while Herschel Jantjies (scrumhalf) and Josh Stander (flyhalf) were the other two try scorers. Stander also slotted two conversions and hit the mark with one penalty goal.
The two teams were closely matched in a tight first half, when the Stormers managed to keep the deficit to just three points between them. However, a brilliant passage of play in the first 17 minutes of the second half, when they managed to score three well executed tries, sealed the match for the Highvelders.
The Lions host the Hurricanes Ellis Park next weekend, while the Stormers will host the Sunwolves in the Saturday late afternoon clash.
Lions (13) 41: Tries: Kwagga Smith (2), Andries Coetzee, Courtnall Skosan, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Hacjivah Dayimani. Conversions: Shaun Reynolds (4). Penalty goal: Reynolds.
Stormers (10) 22: Tries: Johan du Toit, Herschel Jantjies, Josh Stander. Conversions: Stander (2). Penalty goal: Stander.