Boshoff drops in again for Lions win
Boshoff drops in again for Lions winSHARE
The Lions continued their amazing comeback to Super Rugby with a second successive win, beating the Stormers 34-10 at Ellis Park on Saturday.
After two matches in 2014 Super Rugby the Lions are just one win away from the three matches they won out of 16 in 2012 when they were last in Super Rugby.
They beat the Cheetahs last week and this week the Lions won a big victory over the Stormers, their first victory over the Cape side in Super Rugby.
The Cheetahs scored two tries to nil against the Lions and against the Stormers the try count was one-all.
The difference was 50 points, from the two matches, from the exceptional boot of Marnitz Boshoff – all 21 against the Cheetahs and 29 against the Stormers.
He has been astonishing, a new star flashing into the galaxy.
Identified as a player of great talent at Hoërskool Nelspruit he was recruited by the Blue Bulls, played for Griquas and for the Lions – a bit as a fullback last year while Springbok Elton Jantjies played flyhalf.
Jantjies was crocked and played in the curtain-raiser on Saturday. Boshoff was chosen at flyhalf and now everybody knows that the Lions flyhalf is Marnitz Boshoff and that he is a star.
Against the Lions the Stormers enjoyed over 70 percent of possession and over 60 percent of territory and with all that they managed just one bashing try and not a point in the whole of the second half. Agreed they kicked six kickable penalties for touch in the hope of scoring tries. They managed just one try from those kicks into touch, which is not a great return on their investment.
Apart from bashing at close quarters the Stormers never looked like creating a chance to score a try, not with phases that consisted usually of one pass, not with a lack of variation or support, not off a slow service. These days there are stats of how many metres a player has run. Are there such stats for how many metres a scrumhalf runs sideways before passing?
There was a time when the Stormers professed not to mind the absence of tries bcause they kept the opposition from scoring. This was not the case at Ellis Park today.
The Lions on the other hand were sharp, creative, enterprising and they tackled with greater vigour and fought for the tackle ball. Their handling was far better than that of the visitors. In fact they are a delight to watch.
The Lions scored their try inside two minutes of the match. There was kicking to and fro to start with and Gio Aplon, who had a nightmarish match, kicked down into the Lions' half. The Lions did not kick but countered down the left. From a ruck they went right where Warren Whitely broke past Manuel Carizza's half-hearted lunge, passed across the face of Siya Kolisi to Stefan Watermeyer who raced some 40 metres to score unopposed. Boshoff, inevitably, converted. 7-0 after two minutes.
There was some hither-and-thither play which suggested that the game was going to be exciting – a prospect that did not materialise because the Stormers dominated possession – and then Boshoff dropped a soaring goal. 10-0 after 4 minutes. Four minutes later he dropped another soaring goal. 13-0 after 8 minutes. Then when Scarra Ntubeni was penalised at a tackle, Boshoff goaled a penalty and then from just inside the Stormers' half Boshoff kicked another penalty. 19-0 after 19 minutes. One wondered how far a surprise can go.
At this stage the Stormers eschewed easy kicks at goal for line-outs. They got a five-metre line-out, mauled and did not really get going, as bodies lay as barriers in their way. They got another penalty and repeated the same formula but this time they broke off and bashed and Ntubeni got the ball at the line and with force and a swirl scored a try. 19-7 after 23 minutes.
The Lions lost Derick Minnie to a fractured cheekbone which was a shock as above all players he has seemed indestructible. Warwick Tecklenburg took his place and had a good game. Then Schalk Burger went off injured and was replaced by Deon Fourie.
Ntubeni was penalised at a scrum and Boshoff goaled form 40 metres out. 22-7 after 34 minutes and on the stroke of half-time Dimitri Catrakelis goaled a penalty from a scrum. 22-10 at half time.
There were no tries in the second half, just four Boshoff kicks. The Lions suffered two sin-binnings and still the Stormers could not score. A penalty gave them a five-metre line-out and they were held up, producing a five-metre scrum. Vermeulen drove off the scrum and Kolisi was close but the Stormers lost the ball forward.
Later they bashed again and turned the ball over in a tackle. The Stormers were freekicked and Boshoff kicked high, the Stormers knocked the ball back which Ruan Combrinck nearly grabbed, which could have led to a score.
Boshoff kicked a high diagonal to his right and the Lions did some phases till they got the ball back to their flyhalf who dropped a third goal. 28-10 with 15 minutes to play.
The Stormers attacked from a line-out and lost the ball. They were clearly running out of energy for the fight – all except Deon Fourie. But he was penalised at a tackle and, ineluctably, Boshoff goaled. 31-10 with 9 minutes to play. Time was up when he goaled the last penalty and the final whistle went to cause great joy in the majority of the crowd of 39 562.
Super Rugby is back in Johannesburg and flourishing.
Man of the Match: There were several lionhearted Lions – lively Faf de Klerk, brave Alwyn Hollenbach, zealous leader Warren Whitely, all-action Jaco Kriel and earnest Robbie Coetzee with a lovely smile, but the obvious choice, for the second week in a row, is Marnitz Louis Boshoff.
For the Lions:
Pens: Boshoff 6
DGs: Boshoff 3
For the Stormers:
Yellow cards: Franco Mostert (Lions, 43 – repeated infringement, in at the side of a maul), Julian Redelinghuys (Lions, 54 – repeated infringements at the breakdown)
Lions: 15 Chrysander Botha, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Stefan Watermeyer, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Ruan Combrinck, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 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 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 20 Warwick Tecklenburg, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Jacobus Jonker, 23 Coenie van Wyk.
Stormers: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Michael van der Spuy, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 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 Siyabonga 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.
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Cobus Wessels (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)