RUGBY NEWS - Centre Ruhan Nel scored a post-hooter try as the Western Stormers snatched a 33-30 victory at the Golden Lions on Saturday after a Super Rugby thriller.
The score stemmed from a scrum on the halfway line, which the Cape Town outfit won before patiently building momentum using the width of the Ellis Park pitch in Johannesburg.
As the Stormers approached the Lions tryline, the ball was swiftly moved to the right and wing Sergeal Petersen made the pass that sent Nel over close to the posts.
Substitute fly-half Jean-Luc du Plessis converted and the Stormers maintained a perfect start to the season with three wins, although they dropped one place to second in the overall table.
The Waikato Chiefs and the Stormers have 13 points each with the Warren Gatland-coached New Zealanders occupying first place on points difference.
It was a bitter climax for the Lions before their supporters in 30 degrees celsius (86 fahrenheit) heat after turning an 11-point deficit on 67 minutes into a 30-26 lead.
A seesaw first half ended with the Stormers 18-15 ahead and Petersen scored a try 40 seconds into the second half to stretch the advantage.
In the end, one penalty separated the teams with both scoring four tries and kicking two conversions while the Stormers slotted three penalties and the Lions two.
'Extremely proud' Kitshoff
The Lions, losers in three consecutive finals between 2016 and 2018, collected a bonus point for losing by fewer than eight points and rose two places to ninth overall.
"I am extremely proud at the way we snatched victory," said Stormers prop Steven Kitshoff, who is deputising as captain with Springbok skipper Siya Kolisi sidelined by a knee injury.
"We did lose concentration at times but a big plus was our work in the scrums, which won us several penalties."
Lions captain and fly-half Elton Jantjies, who contributed 15 points and took the man-of-the-match award, was upbeat despite a second loss in three outings.
"We gave everything in a good game and I was impressed by the way we fought back during the second half.
"I am excited and proud to lead this team and we can now look forward with confidence to our (Australasia) tour."
Loose forward Juarno Augustus, scrum-half Godlen Masimla, Petersen and Nel scored tries for the Stormers, fly-half Damian Willemse kicked a conversion and three penalties and Du Plessis a conversion.
The Lions' tries came from full-back Andries Coetzee, wing Courtnall Skosan, Jantjies and centre Dan Kriel while Jantjies kicked two conversions and two penalties.
The Stormers host the Jaguares next Saturday while the Lions have a bye before flying to Sydney.