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Lions, Stormers make winning starts

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    18 Feb 2018     Getty Images

Dyantyi had only one chance in the first half, but he took it and it served as an inspiration for his side.


It was when he collected a pass that was heading behind him, used his speed and a well-placed kick ahead to regather the ball and score.

That was important as the Sharks made the early play in the game, camping in Lions territory and finally produced a chance which first five-eighths Robert du Preez took to use his ability to take the ball to the line to crash over in Elton Jantjies' tackle.

The Lions took time to settle with hooker Malcolm Marx struggling with his accuracy in lineout throws, one of which provided du Preez with his chance, while fullback Andries Coetzee had trouble with his kicking radar and his catching skills.

Having just set up centre Lionel Mapoe's second try of the game, Coetzee failed to claim the restart which allowed the Sharks an attacking opportunity to get Makazole Mapimpi across for a try.

However, composure proved an asset for the Lions and they wore down the Sharks initiatives to claim the win.

In Cape Town, the Jaguares gave the Stormers a big fright before the home team claimed a 28-20 win.

But it was touch and go. The Stormers had hooker Ramone Samuels sin-binned in the 65th minute for killing the ball. At a resulting scrum the Stormers conceded a penalty try which reduced the margin to five points.

The Jaguares went back on attack and won another feed to a five-metre scrum, but the Stormers packed Damian de Allende on the side and an eight-man shove secured a penalty which cleared the line and gave them the breathing space.

First five-eighths Damian Willemse ensured an eight-point margin with an injury time penalty goal.

The Stormers enjoyed the better of the first half with tries to de Allende and flanker and captain Siya Kolisi, both of them the result of weak Jaguares tackling, but, equally, they left opportunities on the field.

They also had issues at the lineout, losing three lineouts after starting hooker Bongi Mbonambi was ruled out before the game with appendicitis and replaced by Samuels.

However, the Jaguares were unable to capitalise on the rustiness in the Stormers game, being guilty of indiscipline themselves with fullback Joaquin Tuculet sin-binned also for killing the ball in an effort that saw the penalty count go against them 13-8. It was another unnecessary infringement, tackling a man without the ball, that resulted in Willemse's late penalty goal which cost the Jaguares a losing bonus point.

More weak tackling from the Jaguares allowed Raymond Rhule to capitalise on a fine breakout by the Stormers, and he ran 70m to score.