A brace of tries by scrumhalf Godlen Masimla steered the Stormers to a close 38-32 win over Griquas in their lively Preparation Series match played in Kimberley on Tuesday afternoon.
After leading 38-13, the Stormers had to endure a strong fight back by the home team, eventually scoring five tries to four.
With Masimla completing his brace in the first half, the Stormers led 24-13 at the break, with the second of Masimla’s two tries being scored while Griquas were down to 14 men.
New wing Sihle Njezula, centre Cornel Smit and flank Marcel Theunissen were impressive for the Stormers but at times they struggled with continuity against a feisty Griquas team at home.
Njezula had a hand in Masimla’s second try and also made the final pass for the Stormers’ third try scored by fullback Sergeal Petersen just before the break.
In strong, windy conditions the Stormers won the toss and decided to play the first half against the wind after losing captain Chris van Zyl just prior to the game, as he was replaced at lock and as skipper by Ernst van Rhyn.
While the Stormers employed a rushed defensive line, Griquas posed numerous questions by getting behind the Stormers defence in the first half to dictate territorial matters and cause uncertainty among the Stormers ranks.
Discipline cost Griquas, however, with scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer getting his second straight yellow card.
Griquas: Tries: Ederies Arendse, HJ Luus, Daniel Kasende, Tinus de Beer. Conversions: George Whitehead (1), De Beer (2). Penalties: Whitehead (2)
Stormers: Tries: Godlen Masimla (2), Sergeal Petersen, Marcel Theunissen, Kade Wolhuter. Conversions: Wolhuter (5). Penalties: Wolhuter (1)