The Cape Town Stadium went absolutely wild as Damian Willemse hoofed the ball into touch to seal a thrilling 18-13 (halftime 3-7) win in the United Rugby Championship Grand Final on Saturday night.
It is a historic first international title for the Stormers, who fully deserve it after an incredible season that saw them finish with the most wins and least losses in the competition, after finishing second overall on the log.
In the game it was a very scrappy first half, which the Bulls dominated for large parts, but were unable to turn their possession and territory into points.
Stormers loose forward Deon Fourie played a key part in stopping the visitors, making three key turnovers in his own 22m in the half, which proved invaluable as he side only trailed by four points at the break.
It was a cracking start to the match for the Bulls as they set up a lineout deep in the Stormers 22m, secured the ball and attacked, with hooker Johan Grobbelaar breaking off and getting close before offloading to inside centre Harold Vorster to spin and dive over to score.
The conversion from flyhalf Chris Smith gave the visitors a 7-0 lead within the first three minutes.
However that was as good as it got for both teams in terms of tryline action for the half, as neither could cross the whitewash over the rest of it.
Steady second half
The Bulls were largely on top, but the Stormers finally found their feet in the closing moments of the half, which saw them earn two penalties on the Bulls 22m, with flyhalf Manie Libbok pulling the first but slotting the second to make it 7-3 at the break.
It was the Bulls who then struck first in the second half with an early penalty from Smith, moving them back seven points ahead, but the Stormers came with renewed energy and soon levelled things up.
After good play in the Bulls half, inside centre Damian Willemse made the initial break but came up short, with the recycled ball finding eighthman Evan Roos to reach over and score, with Libbok’s extras making it 10-10 after 46 minutes.
URC results’ final minutes
A high tackle from outside centre Cornal Hendricks on his opposite number Ruhan Nel in the 56th minute then saw him yellow carded.
This allowed the Stormers to kick a penalty deep into the Bulls 22m, set up the maul and power it over, with replacement hooker Andre-Hugo Venter dotting down for the unconverted score and a 15-10 lead after 59 minutes.
A 65th-minute penalty from Smith then reduced the deficit, only for Libbok to put the Stormers ahead by five again with a smart drop goal in the 74th minute, which was enough of a buffer for them to hold out over the final few minutes to seal a brilliant win.
Stormers: Tries: Evan Roos, Andre-Hugo Venter; Conversion: Manie Libbok; Penalty: Libbok; Drop Goal: Libbok
Bulls: Try: Harold Vorster; Conversion: Chris Smith; Penalty: Chris Smith (2)