Vodacom Super Rugby: Xerox Lions 34, DHL Stormers 10



The Lions will be keen to prove that last weekend’s win over the Cheetahs was no fluke when they host the Stormers in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Johan Ackermann’s men, who missed out on last year’s competition after being relegated, made a memorable return when they beat the Cheetahs – thanks to some last minute heroics from fly-half Marnitz Boshoff – in Bloemfontein.

That result shocked many but Ackermann is convinced his side have the ability to build on their superb start by beating the Stormers – a side who haven’t lost in nine previous Super Rugby encounters against the Lions.

“We are used to the pressure and how the referees make the calls, so those small little things will help and the fact that the guys got that first game out of the way – the uncertainty about where you are,” said Ackermann.

“Hopefully the tempo, the heat and the altitude will work for us but it is still an interesting game lying ahead.”

The departures of stalwarts like Andries Bekker, Bryan Habana, Joe Pietersen and Gerhard van den Heever as well as a injuries to Eben Etzebeth and Juan de Jongh mean the Stormers will have some new faces in their side, with four players – including Argentina lock Manuel Carizza – in the matchday 23 set to make their tournament debuts.

Ackermann believes this inexperience presents his side with an opportunity to break their duck against their visitors.

“I think they are a bit unsettled as well, it is always difficult to make changes and some of your frontline players aren’t there but looking at the team there is still quality and they still have a lot of self-belief,” Ackermann said.

“You’ve got the leaders in the side like Jean de Villiers, Duane Vermeulen and all those guys, but it obviously helps if a Eben Etzebeth and a Juan de Jongh are there.”

With a couple of youngsters in right wing Kobus van Wyk and centre Michael van der Spuy – preferred ahead of Damian de Allende, who is on the wing – Stormers skipper Jean de Villiers has extra responsibility.

“I remember the days when I was a newcomer and I enjoyed great encouragement from the senior players,” he said. “It is up to us as the senior players to support the youngsters coming through the ranks.”

The Springbok captain expects a difficult assignment in Johannesburg but unlike last year – when the Stormers lost their first two matches to the Bulls and Sharks – he believes his side can kickstart their campaign in positive fashion.

“Each guy in Saturday’s squad will go on to the field with a lot of confidence, and in the knowledge that they the best in their positions at the Stormers,” said De Villiers. “It’s always tough to play at Ellis Park, and after last week’s win over the Cheetahs, they (the Lions) too will be confident.”

Lions: 15 Chrysander Botha, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Stefan Watermeyer, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Ruan Combrinck, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (c), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Franco Mostert, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 MB Lusaseni, 20 Warwick Tecklenburg, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 JW Jonker, 23 Coenie van Wyk.

Stormers: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Michael van der Spuy, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Damian de Allende, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Rynhardt Elstadt, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements:16 Deon Fourie, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Pat Cilliers, 19 Michael Rhodes, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Ryno Eksteen.

Date: Saturday, February 22
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 19:10 (local, 17:10 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: tbc, Cobus Wessels (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

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Better known as Bunny, Took over after Pissant went over to the "Dark Side"


  1. Lions busy playing the stormers of the park, so good to see a team that does everything full out. This is a team i will support all the way. Lions very unlucky not to be ahead with a bigger score.

  2. To say I enjoyed this is to minimize the emotions I am feeling…

    That awkward moment when the Stormers have to play against the Spears to stay in SR…

    Or the Bulls… doesn’t matter…

    This is just the start… but the truth is I’m going to enjoy the wave while it lasts…

    It is sure the Lions will fade as the oother teams start to gel and hit their straps…

  3. unfortunate for stormers but yo first played kak rugby and won, then you played kak rugby and won a bit less (last year), and hopefully now you wikk play kak rugby and lose badly, so we can finally see some change at the union.

  4. @DavidS:

    or maybe the Lions approach (steady foundation, great pivot) together with their spirit (fok alles, lets give it a go) is the new recipy for success?

  5. funny thing is the ireland/england game had a low score yet was never boring. Both teams just gunning for 80 minutes using every weapon possible. They both kicked, they both kept it close and mauled, they both went wide, they both scored great tries off planned moves etc etc.

    Rugby does not have to be a try- fest to be entertaining. But then teams have to try and win doing everything possible. Soon all the teams that tru not to lose will just keep losing, and this is good for the game.

  6. Irish game also illustrated how important it is going forward to have players with a great kicking game. Sexton was off form and this made all the difference. Pom defence came up quick and a few good kicks could have sorted that.

    Did not see much of Stormers game but from what I saw tge Greek is juts another in a long line of very mediocre pivots to don the Stormers jersey.

  7. @biltongbek:

    But I dont think you can call Stormers players ‘talented’ after having all their talent coached to oblivion within a season or two.

    Thhis generation of Stormers players are the most boring in history. They simply do everything in their power to keep a game close and try not to lose it. 20 minutes against 14 men and never looked like scoring.

  8. I just wish refs would allow the ball carrier to place the ball. The daylight rule is all but ignored now.

    Scrums better so far this year. Much less resets.

  9. Well, my applause to the Lions for beating
    a very inept Cape outfit.

    They will still probably be bottom of the log,
    but I’ve always admired guts and a coach like

    I this Boshoff chappie the answer at 10 and
    not Lambie and the wunderkids Pollard and
    Goosen (who keeps on collecting his cheques

  10. @Boertjie:

    like a said last week. My dad saw this kid in live game Curie Cup last year and his words were clear : “fok lambie en goosen en daai klomp, Boshof moet die Bok fly wees”

  11. He has more than a sharp boot, yes?
    Two of those drops were long distance too,
    and he gets a lot of metres on his line kicks.
    The rest of his come also on par.

    Tell us where he comes from?

  12. dont know him at all. Just remember the name after my dad raved about him last year after that game. If not from Grey, affies, Paarl etc that might be why we dont know him.

    Kak system in SA dominated by these ponsy schools.

  13. Bishoff has been impressive, he is on a roll when it comes to kicking, I would like to see where his stats end up at the end of the season.

  14. Het ek reg gekyk? Daar was 40,000 mense op Ellispark?
    Gee hulle die kaartjies gratis weg?
    Gratis vervoer?
    Hamburger, Coke en T-hemp?

  15. Marnitz Boshoff (born 11 January 1989) is a South African rugby union footballer. His regular playing position is fly-half. He represents the Griquas in the Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup. Boshoff previously played for the Blue Bulls.

    1,79 m 86 kg Born in Nelspruit

    He joined the Golden Lions for 2013.[1]

    He played in both legs of the Lions’ promotion/relegation matches after the 2013 Super Rugby season,[2][3] which saw the Lions regain their spot in Super Rugby.

    He was then included in the Lions squad for the 2014 Super Rugby season[4].

  16. After school the best pace you can go to is Kimberley.

    Worse place is Tukkies. Anywhere in Cape also a career graveyard

  17. @Cheetah Glory: He he well put – so glad I recorded the game and didn’t have to sit through this crash and bash stuff by the Stormers at 6am here in NZ.

    Surely it isn’t just superior defence that is shutting down the Stormers ability to play attacking rugby? The Lions defence was good if at times somewhat illegal, but not as good as that poor effort from the Stormers made it appear. Can Fleckie not cast his mind back to the days he played in a WP backline that actually cut the line with regularity and coach some of that into these guys. Only de Allende on the wing made it look like a backline with attacking skills. They are playing dumb rugby and will come short against the Canes who showed v the Sharks how to attack with silky handling skills, commit the defence and to offload in time to ever present support players.

    The play that really showed me how unimaginative our attack play is occurred when the Lions had just been reduced to 13 men for a string of fouls defending their line. From the ensuing penalty, Vermuelen lumbered into the Lions defence , crabbing across the field and for the umpteenth time the ball went to ground and didn’t emerge before the Lions defence had reformed. What happened to stretching the 13-man defence with skillful and fast players using imaginative play and then slicing through to score? Come on Stormers, you are better than that and well done Lions you showed them up with scraps of possession and territory.

  18. OW


    The Lions missed THREE tackles in the entire game!!!!


    The Stormers had over 70% territory and 62% possession

    A performance like that is going to win you far far far more games than lose

  19. Six penalties, three drop goals and a conversion… Morne Steyn like… and stopping Vermuelen 5m out was impressive.

    114 tackles to 63…

  20. Mmmm, now we’re going to have guys telling us that the secret to success is running everything you get, yet the Lions victories over the Cheetahs and Stormers were based on good defense and good kicking.

    Ditto the Cheetahs against the Bulls on Friday. Good kicking won them the game, superior tactical kicking to the Bulls and great defense.

    Good win for the Lions, wonder who is worse off, the Bulls or the Stormers? The Bulls problems do seem a bit easier to fix though.

  21. @Morne Nortier: Yep our guts seem to go missing in action- would love to have the Hurricanes 9 and 10 in the Stormers squad and Barrett is probably the number 3 flyhalf in NZ while Perenara at 4 or 5 in the scrumhalf pecking order is yet to get on the field for the AB’s.

    That Sharks 9 Reinach is doing OK though. Is he Bok material or not?

  22. Congratulations to the Lions. That was a big hiding.

    Marnitz Bossoff grew up in Nelspruit and matriculated at Nelspruit Hoerskool. He played cravenweek for the Pumas. After school he played aged group rugby for the Bulls.
    His older brother Ruan also played flyhalf for the Bulls and then the Lions a few years back.

  23. @Aldo:

    And the Sharks looked unstoppable until the 20th minute when they started to play dumb “we run everything” and let the ‘canes back into the game.
    Jake White must have been seriously pissed off by half-time

  24. @Timeo:

    It reality unlless the talented side fails to play to its potential it loses.

    If it simply fulfils its potential as players they willl win 99/100

    It’s like whenever we play |Wales or Scotland here at home – those sides SOOOOO want to beat the Boks but…