The Capetonians scored three tries to one in the first half, and then managed two more after the break despite a lively second half display from their opponents.
It was the DHL Stormers who went into the break with a 20-7 lead following three tries and a penalty goal in the opening half of their first match back since COVID-19 interrupted the rugby season for six months.
The DHL Stormers hit back with three unanswered tries following Courtnall Skosan’s well executed effort for the Emirates Lions in the fifth minute of the opening stanza. The wing collected an excellent cross-field kick from his skipper, Elton Jantjies, to easily dot down.
Young Springbok utility Damian Willemse kicked the first points of the match for the DHL Stormers when he landed a penalty goal a few minutes later, and from then on it was the more experienced forward pack of the Capetonians who dominated proceedings and laid the foundation for a profiting first-half.
Dan du Plessis ran through a big hole in the opposing defence to score under the posts and with Emirates Lions lock Marvin Orie off the field with a yellow card, the Cape outfit took advantage of their numerical superiority to score their second try through Scarra Ntubeni from a powerful driving maul.
DHL Stormers skipper Siya Kolisi grabbed his team’s third try of the first half when he went over in the right corner following a patience build-up to give his team a 20-7 halftime lead.
Springbok fullback Warrick Gelant then scored his debut try for the DHL Stormers when he waltzed between two front rankers for a try under the poles to increase their led to 27-7.
The Emirates Lions then made 15 changes and the fresh outfit on the field quickly made their presence felt, bringing on new energy for a much better overall display in the second half.
Jamba Ulengo and youngster MJ Pelser scored in quick succession as the Pride of Jozi clawed their way back to a 27-21 deficit on the hour mark.
However, last score of the match belonged to the DHL Stormers’ Paul de Wet who crossed the line to finally take the game away from the plucky Emirates Lions.
DHL Stormers 34 (20), Emirates Lions (7) 21
DHL Stormers – Tries: Dan du Plessis, Scarra Ntubeni, Siya Kolisi, Warrick Gelant, Paul de Wet. Conversions: Damian Willemse (3). Penalty goal: Willemse.
Emirates Lions – Tries: Courtnall Skosan, Jamba Ulengo, MJ Pelser. Conversions: Elton Jantjies, Gianni Lombard (2).