The Stormers ensured they got back to winning ways with a grinding 34-18 Super Rugby win over a very confrontational and niggling Rebels outfit at Newlands on Friday afternoon.
Scoring four tries to two and coming back from three derby losses away from home, the Stormers scored only their fourth win of the season in 10 starts, all coming at Newlands, and lead 17-6 at the break, but certainly didn’t have it all their way in the second half.
A late 81st minute try by Stormers wing JJ Engelbrecht, his second of the match, gave some substance to the final scoreline, but in the second half the Stormers had to pull out all the stops to keep the pressing Rebels out.
Scoring their third try by fullback Dillyn Leyds four minutes after the break to go into a 24-6 lead, the Rebels came storming back with two tries by powerful wing Seva Naivalu in the 53rd and 75th minutes to narrow matters and also depriving the Stormers of a valuable bonus point.
Key Player of the game
Stormers lock Pieter-Steph du Toit could very soon be pushing to be under the three top locks in world rugby in another storming display while he also provides a great option at seven and once again he was in the thick of the tight exchanges or taken the ball up as a ball-carrier while his lineout abilities are beyond doubt.
Key Moments of the Game
- Stormers and Springbok centre Damian de Allende ensured they got back in the game when he scored their first try in the 16th minute after he was not held in the tackle, and broke three more tackles to give the Stormers a much required 10-6 advantage.
- Unfortunately De Allende was guilty of obstruction and taking a defender out in contact when another try by centre EW Viljoen was disallowed in the 29th minute, running straight into the Rebels fullback and also changing his line.
- The Stormers however finally received the dividends from their dominant scrum when wing JJ Engelbrecht went over for their second try in the 33rd minute after a long overheaded pass from flyhalf Damian Willemse and unselfishly lock Pieter-Steph du Toit could have scored himself but passed at the last second to Engelbrecht.
- With wet and damp conditions greeting both teams the Rebels went into an early 13-6 lead after two penalties from the Rebels No 10 Jack Debreczeni and one from the Stormers Damian Willemse, but the Stormers powerful scrum and abrasiveness at the collisions were starting to pay dividends.
Stormers: Tries: Damian de Allende, JJ Engelbrecht (2), Dillyn Leyds, conversions: Damian Willemse (4), penalty: Willemse (2).
Rebels: Try: Seva Naivalu (2), conversions: Jack Debreczeni (1), Penalties: Debreczeni (2).