Heinz Schenk
2 minute read
11 Mar 2017
4:59 pm

Stormers show enough fire to tame hapless Kings

Heinz Schenk

The expansive Capetonians do the job in Port Elizabeth against a determined home side hampered by limited class.

Stormers winger Dyllin Leyds had a fine match overall. Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images.

There’s something about the Kings and local competitors in Super Rugby that brings out the worst in them.

“Worst” is perhaps a harsh description but it’s strange that the men from Eastern Cape keep racking up “comfortable” defeats against South African sides.

The Stormers’ 41-10 win in Port Elizabeth on Saturday afternoon is the Kings’ 16th consecutive loss to domestic opposition.

Even worse, they still haven’t scored a single bonus point for losing within seven points in those matches.

It’s in stark contrast to their from when they play overseas sides, where they run them either close (26-39 against the Jaguares) or win (37-23 against the Sunwolves).

The Kings’ biggest problem remains a familiar one.

They’ll never attract top-class players given their situation, which means they’ll always have to punch above their wright.

One can excuse the Kings for that.

But under Deon Davids, they at times don’t seem to have a coherent plan.

This game was a perfect example.

In the first five minutes, the Kings enjoyed the majority of possession and territory but simply didn’t have the skills or ideas to make much ground.

When the Stormers started finding their feet, the home side relied on the poaching skills of fetcher Chris Cloete to steal ball at the breakdown.

He was outstanding in that regard but you can’t just rely on that.

As an attacking force, the Kings are also limited.

Wing Makazole Mapimpi’s try from flyhalf Lionel Cronje’s superb weighted kick was beautifully worked but it was a moment of brilliance and not down to consistent attacking play.

It was notable that they only started to get into attacking positions once the Stormers became complacent.

That’s not a recipe for success.

For the Stormers, this was a game of mixed fortunes.

A revamped backline once again excelled as flyhalf Robert du Preez pulled the strings well.

His superb floated pass led to wing Dyllin Leyds’ brilliant, weaving run and try before he took on the line himself to score.

Yet coach Robbie Fleck won’t be happy with the amount of turnovers his side conceded and their attacking structure became ragged in the second half.

It’s a lesson they’ll need to absorb quickly: running ruby requires good skills throughout.

The Stormers made far too many handling errors and blind passes to pass that test.

In fact, with 72 minutes gone, the Capetonians were in danger of having little to show for their dominance.

But tries to replacement scrumhalf Justin Phillips and outside centre EW Viljoen changed that.

Point scorers: Stormers (17) – Tries: Dyllin Leyds, Bjorn Basson, Rynhardt Elstadt, Robert du Preez, Justin Phillips, EW Viljoen. Conversions: Du Preez (2), Kurt Coleman (2). Penalty: Du Preez. Kings (3) – Try: Makazole Mapampi. Conversion: Lionel Cronje. Penalty: Cronje.

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