Using a dominating scrum as a solid platform the Stormers beat the Bulls 29-17 in a pulsating Super Rugby clash at Newlands on Saturday afternoon to put the cherry on the cake in captain’s Siya Kolisi’s 100th game for the Cape franchise.
The Bulls suffered a late setback when prop Trevor Nyakane pulled out just prior to kickoff and in the first few scrums, especially, his replacement Conraad van Vuuren was mauled by the Stormers’ Steven Kitshoff.
The Bulls recovered slightly but the Stormers retained their upper hand in the scrums while outscoring their Pretoria visitors by four tries to two.
It was the Stormers who enjoyed an emphatic start to the game leading 12-0 after so many minutes, but the Bulls gradually worked their way back in the game and after trailing 12-10 at the break they even took the lead 17-12 in the 48th minute after their second try by big flank Jason Jenkins.
Scoring their first points since the 12th minute the Stormers regained the lead in the 50th minute following their third try by fullback SP Marais at 19-17 while Marais’ penalty stretched matters to 22-17 three minutes later.
Most valuable player of the game
While special mention should be made of Bulls lock Lood de Jager, the Stormers’ lock Pieter-Steph du Toit showed that he is currently in the form of his life and was just about here, there and everywhere; he made the crucial final pass for the Stormers’ final try by hooker Ramone Samuels in the 62nd minute.
Key moments of the game
- After a disallowed try after just two minutes by lock Chris van Zyl after a forward pass from scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenhage, Stormers flyhalf Damian Willemse scored the opening try cutting past Bulls flyhalf Handre Pollard and centre Burger Odendaal after the Bulls scrum was decimated.
- The Stormers enjoyed a tenacious start to the game and scored their second try in the 12th minute for a 12-0 lead with prop Wilco Louw thundering his way past three Bulls defenders from close range in a period where the Stormers deprived the Bulls of any possession or territory.
- The Bulls came thundering back with their opening try by Lood de Jager after the initial passing was done by hooker Adriaan Strauss but it was a great flat pass by Pollard that set up De Jager, who ran a great line to have a clear run to the tryline and suddenly the Bulls trailed just 12-7.
- The Bulls drew even closer when Stormers hooker Ramone Samuels was yellow carded for a late tackle on Pollard in the 33rd minute and, with Pollard converting the penalt,y the Bulls were only down 12-10 at halftime.
Stormers: Tries: Damian Willemse, Wilco Louw, SP Marais, Ramone Samuels, conversions: Willemse (3), penalty: SP Marais.
Bulls: Tries: Lood de Jager, Jason Jenkins, conversions: Handre Pollard (2), penalties: Pollard (1).