The Stormers are starting to make louder Super Rugby noises despite a nervy 25-19 win over a physical and game Reds side at Newlands on Saturday afternoon.
Robbie Fleck’s troops raced to a 18-0 lead after scoring the opening two tries of the game but then lost some steam.
The Reds, who hit back with two tries either side of halftime, reduced the deficit to 18-14 and suddenly uncertainty crept into the Stormers’ game.
Some of referee Marius van der Westhuizen’s calls, however, left a lot to be desired, especially after at least two so-called crass-cutter tackles went unpunished.
Who was the star in this match?
Stormers left wing Raymond Rhule was involved in two crucial moments which allowed the hosts to build scoreboard pressure. First, he made a telling linebreak to link up with centre EW Viljoen, setting up the first try by scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage. He then brilliantly collected a chip from wing Craig Barry to score the Stormers third try of the game and showed some decent touches on defence too.
Key moments and themes
- The Stormers suffered a setback just prior to the kickoff when wing JJ Engelbrecht had to pull out, resulting in Craig Barry being moved to right wing. George Whitehead, who was due to start on the bench as the reserve flyhalf, was drafted in as fullback.
- While the Stormers took the battle to the Reds at scrum-time and the collisions, the Reds were guilty of some foul play earlier when first Stormers flank Cobus Wiese and then flyhalf Damian Willemse were the victims of some vicious and inappropriate defensive tactics.
- The Reds impressed with their willingness to go direct and also exploit the wider channels when they got their act together and definitely finished stronger. But the Stormers will be pleased that they managed to hold out. It’s that type of composure than can be built on.
Stormers – Tries: Dewaldt Duvenhage, Wilco Louw, Raymond Rhule, Conversions: Damian Willemse (2), Penalties: Willemse (2).
Reds – Tries: Caleb Timu, Alex Mafi, Filipo Dauganu, Conversions: Jonno Lance (2).