Home Sport Lions can still make URC play-offs despite losing to 14-man Stormers

Lions can still make URC play-offs despite losing to 14-man Stormers

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The Lions face a nervy wait to see if they have secured a United Rugby Championship play-off place after a dramatic 29-24 defeat to the Stormers at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

Evan Roos of the Stormers is challenged by Willem Alberts of the Lions during the United Rugby Championship 2023/24 game between the Stormers and Lions at Cape Town Stadium on 1 June 2024. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky, BackpagePix

The Lions face a nervy wait to see if they have secured a United Rugby Championship play-off place after a dramatic 29-24 defeat to the Stormers at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

A losing bonus point moved the Lions to 50 points and they will ensure a quarter-final berth should Ospreys fail to pick up a five-point victory over Cardiff.

Angelo Davids was sent off but the Stormers still edged the Lions in the final game of the regular season. Davids was shown a red card in the 48th minute for a shoulder-led challenge to the head of Sanele Nohamba, lining up his hit at pace as the Lions fly-half was catching a high ball.

It completed a mixed 25th birthday for the wing given he had scored an earlier try. Nohamba was knocked out and he too would play no further part in an otherwise pulsating match between rival South African teams.

Davids certainly left his mark on the Lions having clattered into Rabz Maxwane early in the game but on this occasion his opponent’s poor tackle technique was responsible for his departure with a head injury.

Andre-Hugo Venter finished a maul try and Francke Horn crossed in the right corner in a brisk opening quarter that set the tone.

It was then the turn of the Stormers’ attack to ignite with Manie Libbok and Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu combining to send Davids over.

The Lions hit back with a maul try finished by JC Pretorius and the only difference between the sides was the goalkicking of Jordan Hendrikse, who had built a six-point cushion.

Davids was sent off and his replacement Marius Louw went to the sin-bin for starting a brawl after becoming incensed by the tackle on Nohamba.

Evan Roos rampaged through the Lions pack to run in the next try but Hendrikse’s fourth penalty nudged the visitors back in front.

Despite being a man down, the Stormers rallied and crossed next through Adre Smith who forced himself over from close range with four minutes remaining to snatch victory against the odds.

Point-scorers:

Stormers (12) 29 – Tries: Andre-Hugo Venter, Angelo Davids, Evan Roos, Adre Smith. Conversions: Manie Libbok (3). Penalty: Libbok.

Lions (21) 24 – Tries: Francke Horn, JC Pretorius. Conversion: Jordan Hendrikse. Penalties: Hendrikse (4).

unitedrugby.com

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