The Stormers capped the first New Year’s Eve Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash in Cape Town with a bonus-point win against the Lions on Saturday night.
Leading at 19-3 at half time, the URC champions finished 2022 unbeaten at Cape Town Stadium after they ran in six tries – two from right wing Angelo Davids – in a 40-8 victory.
Veteran ballhawk Deon Fourie was immense at the breakdown for the Capetonians, while Man of the Match No 8 Hacjivah Dayimani was dynamic with ball in hand, as the Stormers’ ability to reorganise on defence suffocated the Lions on attack.
Stormers fullback Damian Willemse, taking the ball at first receiver, cut the line after nine attacking phases for the opening try, before Fourie rose with ball in hand over the whitewash off the back of a textbook lineout maul.
The hosts boasted a 16-point lead at half time after outside centre Dan du Plessis coasted through to dot down near the uprights following a sniping run from scrumhalf Paul de Wet. Flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse bagged the only points of the first half for the Lions from the kicking tee, with opposite number Manie Libbok on song with two of five conversions in the match.
The Lions drew first blood after the break when outside centre Henco van Wyk finished off a clever trick play in the corner from the visitors, but the Stormers to hit back via Davids, who dotted down for the bonus-point try courtesy of an electrifying breakaway from Dayimani.
Libbok added the extras to make it 26-8 heading into the final quarter, as replacement halfback Morne van den Berg’s converted touchdown for the men from Joburg midway through the second stanza was overturned by the TMO for a knock-on from loose forward Emmanuel Tshituka in the buildup.
The Stormers, though, were on the right side of another TMO review after Davids and Dayimani combined again out wide for the former’s second, with replacement flanker Marcel Theunissen soaring over at the death to ring in the new year in style.
The Stormers will now refocus for a trip to Scotland to face the Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium next Sunday, while the Lions turn their attentions to a clash with Munster in Limerick on Friday night.
Stormers: Tries – Damian Willemse, Deon Fourie, Dan du Plessis, Angelo Davids (2), Marcel Theunissen. Conversions – Manie Libbok (5).
Lions: Tries – Henco van Wyk. Penalties – Jordan Hendrikse