Lions maul Stormers

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iol spt feb23 Lions-Stormers Gallo Images The Lions continued their good start to the Super Rugby season when they beat the Stormers 34-10. Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Johannesburg – Lions flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff again starred for his side at Ellis Park on Saturday as they comprehensively beat the Stormers 34-10 for their first victory against the coastal side since the Cats franchise dissolved before the 2006 season.

Boshoff, who scored all of his side's points in their victory over the Cheetahs a week ago was again on song as he contributed 29 points to his side's score.

The 25-year-old punched over three drop goals, six penalty conversions while he also converted their only try of the night.

The Lions made their intentions clear from the start that they would not be the whipping boys to the Stormers.

The match started at a frenetic pace as the two sides opened with aerial exchanges before the Lions made the first move on attack.

The hosts threw caution to the wind and put the ball through the hands where captain Warren Whiteley pierced the Stormers defensive line before offloading to Stefan Watermeyer on his outside.

Watermeyer beat his man and made a beeline for the goal area to score, with Boshoff converting.

There was no sign of the pace slowing down as the hosts fiercely attacked the advantage line and just to demonstrate they had more in their armoury Boshoff dropped into the pocket to execute a drop goal in the fifth minute.

To further emphasise that his fabulous one-man domination of the Cheetahs a week before was no fluke, Boshoff punched over another drop goal four minutes later to extend their lead to 13 points with only 10 minutes gone on the stadium clock.

As the tempo started to dissipate the Stormers finally had an opportunity to get onto the scoreboard in the 13th minute but flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis' kick missed the mark.

Two minutes later Boshoff was again lining up to take aim and made no mistake before adding another three points on the 20 minute mark to extend his side's lead to 19-0.

After the restart the Stormers were rewarded a penalty just outside the Lions 22 but captain Jean de Villiers opted to go for the line where they could set up an attacking opportunity.

On the second attempt hooker Scarra Ntobeni took the ball up and rolled out of a tackle to score his sides first try of the night, with Catrakilis converting.

Shortly before the half-time break Boshoff pulled back three points with another successful penalty conversion with the host leading the Stormers 22-7.

The home side were left a man short in the 43rd minute when lock Franco Mostert copped a yellow card for collapsing an attacking maul close to the line.

They, however, managed to fend off a relentless six minute Stormers offensive on their tryline when the visitors knocked the ball on from a pick and go.

Mostert's absence proved of little consequence as they Lions added another three points in the 51st minute courtesy of a Boshoff penalty conversion.

Despite conceding another yellow card in the 55th minute with prop Julian Redelinghuys this time the guilty party, the Lions showed immense character to keep the resurging Stormers from their line.

The Lions defensive line snuffed out the advancing Stormers attack and drove the visitors deep back into their half of the field.

On Redelinghuys' return to the field without his side having conceded in his absence, Boshoff stabbed over his third drop goal in the 66th minute before adding his fifth penalty conversion six minutes later for an almost unassailable 21-point lead.

To add insult to injury for the Stormers, Boshoff had the final say of the match with his sixth penalty conversion for a comprehensive beating of the visitors.

While Boshoff again starred with the boot, his pintsized halfback partner Faf de Klerk also deserve a mention for his gutsy performance on the night.

De Klerk's pressure on his opposite number, sniping runs and defensive efforts belied his size.

Scorers: Lions 34 (22): Tries: Stefan Watermeyer, Conversion:

Marnitz Boshoff. Penalties: Boshoff (6). Drop goals: Boshoff (3).

Stormers 10 (10):Try: Scarra Ntubeni. Conversion: Demetri Catrakilis.

Penalty: Catrakilis. – Sapa


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