Jantjies ‘magic’ sinks Stormers

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In his a hard-fought contest in which no quarter was asked or given but in the end the Lions ground out the win on the back of a matchwinning 2-1 try count. Stormers return home with a losing bonus point. In the first half, the Lions were dominant in the possession and retention stakes and deservedly held a 16-12 lead by the time the sides changed ends.

However, the Stormers led for most the way until the Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies intervened with two magic touches to pave the way for rightwing Ruan Combrinck's try which he converted splendidly from the touchline, two minutes ahead of the halftime whistle. Stormers flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis and his opposite number Jantjies traded penalties over the opening half hour when both sides were guilty of high tackles and breakdown infringements.

Du Plessis goaled four in the opening 32 minutes as against three from Jantjies during this period (12-9).

The Lions were playing with such intensity that the Stormers were forced to settle for a largely defensive role and they stood their ground until they failed to counter Jantjies' inventive touches which produced Combrinck's converted try in the closing stages of what was a frenetic half (16-12).

After the Stormers survived a close call when the Lions stepped into touch on their way to the tryline, they took play up to the Lions deep-end where they tried to pick-and-drive several times in an effort to cross the whitewash.

However, they failed to look after the ball and the Lions produced a try-saving turn-over, five metres out. The Stormers did manage to make their presence count in the Lions territory when De Plessis reduced the deficit with a 54th-minute penalty, he's fifth in the match (16-15).

The Lions responded with telling break-out which saw them transfer play 75 metres downfield where substitute scrumhalf Faf de Klerk was on hand to take a quick tap penalty which caught the Stormers defence napping. Jantjies made no mistake from in front of the posts to open an eight-point lead (23-15).

Just past the hour mark, the Stormers produced their finest passage of play yet when they launched a try-scoring move with a quick line-out throw.

Centre Juan de Jongh and flanker Nizaam Carr led the charge before substitute loosie Siya Kolisi twinkle-toed his way over for his side's first try, leaving Jantjies grasping fresh air as he was wrong-footed. Du Plessis conversion was true and the match was reduced to a one-point affair in the 65th minute (23-22).

Seven minutes, Du Plessis was nailed for offside play and Jantjies steered the resultant penalty through the posts for a 26-22 lead and with the Stormers unable to undo the Lions' vice-like grip on the match, it marked the beginning of the end for them.

Four minutes from time, Jantjies hammered the final nail in the Stormers' with an opportunist drop-goal (29-22).

Scorers: Lions 29 (16): Tries: Ruan Combrinck, Faf de Klerk. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (2). Penalties: Jantjies (4). Drop-goal: Jantjies Stormers 22 (12): Try: Siya Kolisi. Conversion: Jean-Luc du Plessis. Penalties: Du Plessis (5) - African News Agency (ANA)

Original source: Jantjies ‘magic’ sinks Stormers

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