Yes, the Stormers did win this afternoon when they showed bucketful of perseverance to push the winning three in the 82nd minute at Emirates Airline Park against the Lions, but one also gets a little sorry for the home team.
Because this is now the second time in the past couple of Super Rugby matches between the two teams that the Capetonians have broken the hearts of the Johannesburgers.
Last year, Herschel Jantjies and Egon Seconds (to a lesser extent) took care of the Lions tears at Newlands, while Ruhan Nel was responsible for the wet handkerchiefs today.
If these two Stormers victories could be compared to a relationship, the Lions would probably have packed all their bags to go English overseas; apparently it works for broken hearts.
Steven Kitshoff’s Stormers won a tough South African derby 33 – 30 after the Lions still trailed 30 – 26 in the 79th minute.
But the Stormers somehow got hold of the ball, held their heads and Nel ran very quietly over the Lions goal line to push the turn three.
Yet the Lions also deserve praise for the way they fought back in the second half; After all, the Stormers enjoyed a comfortable 26-15 lead at one point.
However, Willem “Bone Collector” Alberts immediately made his presence known to the home team when he made his appearance on the pitch in the 62nd minute.
The rattling former Springbok loose forward came up with a couple of power runs and one or two rocky tackles to put the Capetonians on the back foot.
Then Elton Jantjies found his mojo and with a brilliant three and an equally brilliant penalty kicked the momentum pendulum definitely in the Lions’ favor.
Still, for a larger portion of the game, the Stormers have been much better than the Lions and their canny death attitude has been well deserved.
There is something that will make the Lions supporters smile; they ensured that the Capetonians’ perfect defensive record was kept in check. However, their scrumming will give them headaches for a long time if there is no improvement quickly.
Stormers: Tries: Juarno Augustus, Godlen Masimla, Sergeal Petersen, Ruhan Nel. Goalkeepers: Damian Willemse, Jean-Luc du Plessis. Penalties: Willemse (3).
Lions: Trees: Andries Coetzee, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies. Conversions: Jantjies (2). Penalty: Jantjies.