Handre Pollard scored a 20-point haul as Leicester Tigers survived a surprising efficiency from the DHL Stormers within the opening spherical of the Champions Cup on Sunday.
What was meant to be one-way site visitors for the Springbok-powered hosts, dealing with a Stormers crew manufactured from a mixture between veterans and youth, became an actual armwrestle because the guests gave far more than anticipated at Welford Street.
In the end, a sensational efficiency from Handre Pollard – together with a self-converted second-half strive – guided Leicester to a 35-26 victory, with the Stormers lacking out on what would have been greater than a deserved bonus level.
He can kick em, he can rating em.
— Darren (@SaffasRugby) December 10, 2023
Regardless of the opening-round defeat, John Dobson shall be delighted with the battle his Stormers aspect confirmed, as they took the sport proper all the way down to the wire and compelled loads of errors from the international-laden Tigers.
Debutant flyhalf Jurie Matthee produced a exhibiting past his years, exhibiting loads of composure by nailing a drop-goal, two conversions and three penalties in his battle with fellow Paarl Gimnasium previous boy Pollard.
It was the World Cup-winning Springbok who had the decisive contact although, as he threw an unimaginable flat move out large to place Josh Bassett over for Leicester’s bonus-point strive, which additionally denied the Stormers a degree within the ultimate play of the sport.
The guests will rue a considerably harsh yellow card to prop Lee-Marvin Mazibuko for a deal with that slipped up on a ducking Jasper Wiese, which the Springbok No 8 definitely made essentially the most of.
Nonetheless, they nonetheless had a late alternative to grab a possible upset win with a penalty 5 metres-out with 5 minutes to play. After the Stormers opted for a scrum, with their lineout creaking, Leicester produced an almighty shove to win a vital penalty, surviving what was the away aspect’s final go at a rating.
The Stormers subsequent tackle defending champions La Rochelle, in what shall be their first sport of the season on the refurbished Cape City Stadium, subsequent Saturday, however will accomplish that figuring out they’ve successfully bolstered their depth.
Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Photographs