Stormers 3-49 Lions: Warren Gatland’s men put South Africa ‘A’ defeat behind them with seven attempts to seal victory in Cape Town as captain Alun Wyn Jones makes a remarkable return from a dislocated shoulder
- After Tim Swiel kicked the Stormers forward, the Lions stepped on the gas
- The first half attempts came from Adam Beard, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Jonny Hill
- Four more converted scores followed as Warren Gatland’s men rioted
- Marcus Smith took all his conversions on a strong fly-half debut debuut
- Alun Wyn Jones also returned – three weeks after dislocating a shoulder
Alun Wyn Jones made a successful comeback from his dislocated shoulder as the British and Irish Lions warmed up for their series against South Africa with a 49-3 win over the Stormers.
Three weeks after sustaining an injury that appeared to end his tour, Jones completed 27 minutes as a substitute in the second half of the Cape Town stadium.
The Wales skipper carried and made several tackles, taking blows to his left shoulder, and appeared to be coming through unscathed to put him into battle to start against the Springboks next Saturday.
Warren Gatland’s men put defeat to South Africa ‘A’ behind them to beat the Stormers with ease
Tour captain Alun Wyn Jones made a remarkable comeback three weeks after injuring his shoulder
Luke Cowan-Dickie played himself in Test reckoning with a raging display at hooker that was brimming with confrontation and was complete with turnovers, hard carries and a try before being substituted early in the second half.
Duhan Van Der Merwe also advanced his claim and – although the tackle-busting wing did not make it onto the score sheet – he impressed with his strength, footwork and work ethic.
Scrum half Ali Price and flanker Tadhg Beirne also gave Warren Gatland well-timed nudges as the Test team was chosen on Sunday, but overall it was the least satisfying win of the tour against opponents who missed eight players on the serve in South Africa.
The Lions made seven tries, but they looked more destructive against previous provincial opponents, the Sigma Lions and the Sharks, than on this afternoon of fragmented play in which the attackers took the lead.
At least the Gatland tourists came back from defeat on Wednesday to a test-grade South African ‘A’ and continued to purr over the composure of debutant Marcus Smith, who ripped the Stormers to shreds late.
Beirne looted one turnover but was also dispossessed shortly afterwards in a tackle as part of a restrained start that showed promise for the Stormers.
Luke Cowan-Dickie, Louis Rees-Zammit and Sam Simmonds were among the goalscorers
The Lions were the first to really threaten as Elliot Daly’s thumping left boot swept them to the field, but just as the pressure on the home line started to mount, Cowan-Dickie was penalized for a double move.
Instead, it was the Stormers who drew the first blood when Tim Swiel was awarded a penalty and the Lions were in the unusual position of leaving the provincial opposition behind.
That changed in the 29th minute after Tadhg Furlong burst through the middle of the home defense on a turnover ball and a move from Beirne and Josh Adams ended when Price sent Adam Beard.
Marcus Smith kicked off all seven conversions in an impressive debut for the English fly-half
The Stormers were exposed without the ball when they broke up at a maul, allowing Cowan-Dickie to lunge forward, break a tackle and hit the ground with an outstretched arm.
And there was still time in the first half for another try as the Lions pressed again, Price and Van Der Merwe did the initial damage before Beard and Stuart Hogg sent Jonny Hill off.
When play resumed, the tourists were besieged early on, leading to consecutive offside penalties, but the Stormers were unable to capitalize on their first attack on the whitewash.
Smith also produced the highlight of the match when he broke excellent to Rees-Zammit. to set up
Smith and Daly used sharp passes and smart lines to conjure a shot for Jack Conan on the other hand, Ireland’s number eight who showed his athletic ability to cross.
Jones and the all-new front row came in the 54th minute and on the next scrum, the Stormers won a penalty and the Lions had to wait another 13 minutes to score their next try when Zander Fagerson jumped from close range.
They saved their best for last, with Smith’s blistering break from his own 22 setting up a try for Louis Rees-Zammit before Sam Simmonds completed a sweeping move.