Vodacom Super 14
Pietersen stars for Stormers
Bryan Habana and Jaque Fourie of Stormers celebrate a try. (Gallo)
Johannesburg - Fullback and man-of-the-match Joe Pietersen scored 21 points as the Stormers kicked off their Super 14 campaign with a 26-13 away win over the Lions in an all-South African tussle on Saturday.
The Stormers, 10th last year but bolstered by Springboks Bryan Habana and Jaque Fourie during the off-season, did enough in the first half against an inexperienced Lions side to secure the victory but were unable to score a single point after the break.
Pietersen scored a try and kicked two conversions and four penalties while opposite number Earl Rose kicked two penalties and a conversion for the home side.
In the opening 30 minutes Pietersen and Rose traded penalties for a 12-6 Stormers lead before the visitors seized the initiative with two quick tries just before the break.
Much of the first period was a stop-start affair but the Stormers' territorial pressure eventually told after 35 minutes when winger Habana broke through in midfield before passing to an unmarked Pietersen to dot down in the left-hand corner.
Centre Fourie, a veteran of 54 Tests, burst through for a second try two minutes later to open up a 20-point halftime lead.
The Lions made a number of substitutions at the break and the new combinations not only kept the Stormers scoreless but cut the deficit to 13 points when replacement back Michael Killian scored under the posts on the hour mark for Rose to convert.
Despite pushing hard for the try that would have brought them to within range of the Stormers, Killian's score proved to be the only points of the half for either side as Pietersen missed two kicks in the final 10 minutes that would have sealed a more emphatic victory.