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Lions, Stormers win to open Super Rugby season in S. Africa

JOHANNESBURG (AP) The Lions began their latest quest for a first Super Rugby title with a slender 26-19 win over the Sharks on Saturday, a morale-boosting start for the losing finalist of the last two years against a team seen as its strongest challenger in the South African conference.

The Lions came back from an early try by new Sharks flyhalf Robert du Preez to score four of their own at home at Ellis Park, two to outside center Lionel Mapoe.

The Lions backs were given a platform by a dominant scrum, and the Johannesburg-based team was clinical enough with attacking opportunities to hand new coach Swys de Bruin a winning start.