This was definitely a game that lived up to its high pre-match expectations as the Stormers underlined their ability to mix it up with the best in Super Rugby this year.
With high-octane action and collisions that were massive, the Stormers hung on to beat the Chiefs 34-26 they retained their six-match winning run.
Leading 24-18 at halftime, the Stormers outscored their Kiwi guests by four tries to three and the big crowd of 34 792 got their full value.
More importantly, they made amends for the 60-21 defeat in last year’s playoff against the same team.
Player of the match
Undoubtedly Stormers fullback SP Marais – with captain Siya Kolisi a close second – who not only scored a gem of a try in the 52nd minute after excellent work by wing Dillyn Leyds but he also weighed in with two superb long-range penalties.
Key moments of the match:
- After a massive brawl broke out after just two minutes between Eben Etzebeth and Brodie Retallick, it was the Stormers who scored the first try through No 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe to answer the Chiefs physical questions in no uncertain terms.
- Chiefs fullback Damien McKenzie wasn’t only massively influential in the visitors opening two tries but he also weighed in with a long-range penalty to pull the visitors back at 14-13 by the 24th minute. The first try by Toni Pulu though was the best seen at Newlands in a very long time.
- The Chiefs threatened to run the Stormers riot with their opening two tries to regain the lead 18-14 after a thrilling opening 28 minutes, but the Stormers responded excellently by scoring their third try on the stroke of halftime through flyhalf Robert du Preez.
- The late withdrawal of Stormers lock Pieter-Steph du Toit saw veteran Chris van Zyl moving into the starting team. Just to show how switched on the Capetonians are, he ensured the Stormers maintained their physical edge by ploughing into ruck after ruck and never giving an inch.
Stormers: Tries: Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Siya Kolisi, Robert du Preez, SP Marais. Conversions: Du Preez (4). Penalties: Marais (2).
Chiefs: Tries: Toni Pulu (2), James Lowe. Conversion: Aaron Cruden. Penalties: Damian McKenzie, Cruden (2).