Sport

Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
3 minute read
22 May 2021
3:25 pm

Swiel seals Stormers win against Sharks

Ken Borland

The Sharks were ultimately their own worst enemies with too many soft moments as they went down to the men from the Cape.

Pieter-Steph du Toit of the Stormers, alongside referee Marius van der Westhuizen, was one of his team's big performers in the team's win against the Sharks on Saturday. Picture: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Stormers replacement flyhalf Tim Swiel kicked a 77th minute penalty and sealed a 25-22 win for the Stormers over the Sharks in their Rainbow Cup match at a wet and miserable Kings Park in Durban on Saturday.

The penalty was awarded when Sharks loosehead prop Ox Nche was caught scrumming in at a set-piece inside the 22. The Sharks then lost a lineout, for the fifth time, inside Stormers territory and spent the final minute desperately trying to run the ball out of their own 22 before a knock-on ended the game.

The Sharks started the game strongly and were 10-0 up after the first quarter as their dominance of the early scrum exchanges led to flyhalf Curwin Bosch kicking a phenomenal angled penalty from 60 metres out and Nche forcing his way over for the opening try.

But a patch of very poor rugby by the Sharks around the 25th minute then saw the momentum shift and the Stormers gained the ascendancy for the rest of the first half. A couple of iffy tactical kicks by Bosch allowed wing Edwill van der Merwe to counter-attack from 65 metres out and he put in a brilliant run, helped by dismal Sharks tackling, and scored under the posts.

Van der Merwe scored a second try shortly before the break as the Stormers went into halftime with a 12-10 lead.

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The contributions of loose-forwards Pieter-Steph du Toit and Siya Kolisi in the early stages of the second half will please people who have the Springboks’ interests at heart, but it was Du Toit who made the more lasting impact and was declared man of the match at the end of the tight contest.

Du Toit started the second half superbly by surging over for a try from 30 metres out after hooker Bongi Mbonambi and scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies had combined well off a lineout drive, putting the Stormers 19-10 up.

But Sharks scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse then took a quick tap-and-go at a penalty and passed out wide to Kolisi, who bumped off a tackle, made a break and then sent wing Yaw Penxe racing away for the try.

The Sharks scored again two minutes later in freakish fashion to take a 22-19 lead. The Stormers were hard on attack when a pass rebounded off the head of Sharks fullback Aphelele Fassi, who was always quick to get off the line in defence.

Fassi beat Van der Merwe to the ball, kicked through and scored. Some people may have been concerned about the legality of the try coming so soon after Du Toit had tapped a penalty, but he had already run five metres while the Sharks were retreating so the home side were not offsides.

But the Sharks’ ill-discipline cost them in the end as prop Thomas du Toit then blocked Pieter-Steph du Toit off the ball, allowing Swiel to level the scores in the 55th minute.

A yellow card to wing Sbu Nkosi in the 69th minute, after repeated team infringements, did not help the Sharks’ cause, and ultimately they were their own worst enemies with too many soft moments.

Scorers

SharksTries:  Ox Nche, Yaw Penxe, Aphelele Fassi. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (2). Penalty: Bosch.

StormersTries: Edwill van der Merwe (2), Pieter-Steph du Toit. Conversions: Abner van Reenen (2). Penalties: Tim Swiel (2).