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Super Rugby: Bottom side Stormers crushed South African rivals Lions
The Stormers recorded a much-needed 18-3 win against South African rivals the Lions in Saturday's Super Rugby clash at Newlands.
Having played some refreshingly attractive rugby to lead 18-0 at the break, the second half turned into a dogfight.
Pegged at the bottom of the standings the Stormers started the match at a frantic pace and were soon rewarded with a penalty in the third minute which Demetri Catrakilis converted.
It would, however, be one of his last actions in the game as he left the field minutes later with a broken nose - forcing Peter Grant to move from full-back to fly-half with Jaco Taute slotting in at the back.
For the first time this season the Stormers enjoyed a scintillating start and showcased great interplay between forwards and backs.
Where other Stormers sides would have kicked for touch when presented with penalties, the one that restored some faith on Saturday preferred to play the situation perfectly and were rewarded for doing so.
It was pretty much one-way traffic during the first half with Nizaam Car proving to be one of their most reliable forwards.
The only area where they looked vulnerable was at the breakdown while a lack of discipline could also be seen as reason for concern.
Hooker Deon Fourie saw yellow just after the 20 minute mark for charging into the back of Lions prop Schalk van der Merwe at a ruck.
But the Stormers didn't let the disadvantage get in their way and from a turnover well inside their own half, managed to score their first try of the match.
The initial kick ahead came from Damien de Allende and was collected by Juan de Jongh who ran out of space close to the touchline.
With numbers out wide, Stormers captain Jean de Villiers threw a poor pass, but then took a quick tap as the Lions were adjudged to have entered the ruck from the side.
A brilliant offload by Nic Groom put Carr into pace and he forced his way over the line to further stretch the Stormers lead.
Fourie nearly received his second yellow minutes before half-time as he conceded three penalties while trying to steal the ball close to his own try-line, but a moment of brilliance there would ensure that the Lions returned to their dressing room without a point to show.
At the break the Stormers looked to have the match in the bag at 18-0 although they struggled to compete at the same intensity.
However, the inefficiencies the Lions have experienced at line-out in recent weeks continued to prevent them from capitalising when they had their opponents on the ropes.
Their ball-handling skills were equally unimpressive while their only saving grace again proved to be the commitment they showed in defence.
Their line-out drives weren't too bad either, but that strength was limited due to their poor line-out throws.
One aspect that was as clear as daylight was the fact that neither of the sides were aware of what the referee's interpretation at the breakdown would be.
Preventing the Stormers from adding to their half-time total can also be seen as a small victory.
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|Friday 27th March|
|06:35||Hurricanes vs Melbourne Rebels|
|09:00||Reds vs Lions|
|Saturday 28th March|
|05:30||Chiefs vs Cheetahs|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Stormers|
|08:40||Waratahs vs Blues|
|15:05||Sharks vs Western Force|
|17:10||Bulls vs Crusaders|
|Friday 3rd April|
|07:35||Hurricanes vs Stormers|
|09:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Reds|
|Saturday 4th April|
|07:35||Chiefs vs Blues|
|09:40||Brumbies vs Cheetahs|
|14:00||Sharks vs Crusaders|
|16:05||Lions vs Bulls|
|Friday 10th April|
|08:35||Blues vs Brumbies|
|Saturday 11th April|
|08:35||Crusaders vs Highlanders|
|10:40||Waratahs vs Stormers|
|12:45||Western Force vs Cheetahs|
|14:00||Bulls vs Reds|
|16:05||Lions vs Sharks|
|Friday 17th April|
|08:35||Crusaders vs Chiefs|
|Saturday 18th April|
|05:30||Hurricanes vs Waratahs|
|08:35||Highlanders vs Blues|
|10:40||Brumbies vs Melbourne Rebels|
|12:45||Western Force vs Stormers|
|16:05||Sharks vs Bulls|
|Sunday 22nd March|
|Waratahs 28 - 13 Brumbies|
|Saturday 21st March|
|Sharks 12 - 11 Chiefs|
|Bulls 25 - 24 Western Force|
|Crusaders 57 - 14 Cheetahs|
|Friday 20th March|
|Melbourne Rebels 16 - 20 Lions|
|Highlanders 13 - 20 Hurricanes|
|Saturday 14th March|
|Cheetahs 10 - 27 Sharks|
|Stormers 19 - 28 Chiefs|
|Reds 0 - 29 Brumbies|
|Highlanders 26 - 19 Waratahs|
|Crusaders 34 - 6 Lions|
|Friday 13th March|
|Western Force 17 - 21 Melbourne Rebels|
|Hurricanes 30 - 23 Blues|
|Saturday 7th March|
|Stormers 29 - 13 Sharks|
|Cheetahs 20 - 39 Bulls|
|Reds 5 - 23 Waratahs|
|Blues 10 - 13 Lions|
|Friday 6th March|
|Brumbies 27 - 15 Western Force|
|Chiefs 17 - 20 Highlanders|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Lions 19 - 22 Stormers|
|Bulls 43 - 35 Sharks|
|Melbourne Rebels 15 - 20 Brumbies|
|Chiefs 40 - 16 Crusaders|
|Friday 27th February|
|Cheetahs 25 - 24 Blues|
|Western Force 13 - 42 Hurricanes|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com