Lions tamed by Stormers
Cape Town outfit stay top of South African conference
Last Updated: 30/06/12 7:18pm
Gio Aplon: Scored only try of first half
The Stormers maintained their place at the top of the South African Super Rugby conference after claiming a 27-17 victory over the Lions at Newlands.
The Stormers started strongly and held a 13-3 lead at half time following a first-half try by Gio Aplon and two penalties from Peter Grant.
However, the Lions came out for the second half in determined mood and a try by captain Josh Strauss brought them to within three points of their fellow South African side.
The visitors were unable to complete a comeback, however, and the Stormers managed to regain control of the match when Jebb Sinclair scored his first Super Rugby try.
Even though the Stormers were never behind in the match they seemed headed for a scoreless second half until replacement Sinclair and wing Gerhard van den Heever crashed over for converted tries in the closing stages.
The Lions infringed twice in the opening two minutes when the Stormers were keen to run the ball and fly-half Grant exploited the second with a penalty to secure an early 3-0 lead.
Grant and opposing stand-off Elton Jantjies then traded penalties, before Aplon ran in the first try of the match with Grant adding the conversion to give his side a 10-point lead.
The Lions absorbed some further pressure at the start of the second half and then caught the Stormers napping around the fringe of a breakdown, with skipper Strauss scrambling through for a try which Jantjies converted.
The Lions were fired up but errors crept into their game and the Stormers managed to take back the initiative, almost adding a second try when Aplon was collared on the line with a team-mate on his outside.
The Stormers bounced back in great style with late tries by Sinclair and Van den Heever, while Franco van der Merwe scored a converted try in the final minute to reduce the deficit.