Wellington – The Stormers' untried combination was rudely surprised by neighbours Boland who ran out 29-24 victors in the annual derby played in Wellington on Saturday.
The match, played in searing heat, was the final warm-up ahead of the Stormers opening 2014 Super Rugby fixture against the Lions, in Johannesburg, next week.
Most of the first-choice players were rested for the fixture and the squad's reserves were not particularly impressive against Boland.
The Stormers were fairly happy to go wide on early attacks but they were closed down several times by stout defence close to the Boland tryline.
They camped in the Boland 22-metre area in the opening 10
minutes and a number of times tried to bulldoze their way through without success.
In the ensuing minutes, Boland staged three break-outs with counter-attacks and the third yielded handsome dividends when centre Cheswin Williams gathered a 16th minute kick by wing Danwel Demas. He ran in unchallenged for the opening try in the match. Fullback Eric Zana added the conversion (7-0).
This score, against the run of play, seemed to provide Boland's game with a substantial lift and, for a few moments, they started to match the Stormers in all departments of play.
The hosts pulled off an enterprising backline move which left the Stormers' defence in disarray and flyhalf Ricardo Croy slipped through for his side's second converted try in the 20th minute (14-0).
The Stormers upped their efforts at the set-pieces but it took some time before they managed to get on the scoreboard.
In the 29th minute, a switch pass presented an opening for flank Sikhumbuzo Notshe to dot down next to the posts. Flyhalf Gary van Aswegen goaled the conversion (14-7).
The setback did little to discourage the spirited Bolanders and, after they spurned a scoring chance when prop Kwezi Mkafu lost the ball in the in-goal area, centre Albert Trytsman breached the Stormers' defence out wide for his side's third converted try in the 38th minute (21-7).
Zana goaled a penalty on the stroke of halftime to secure a 17-point lead for the Wine Farmers (24-7).
Two minutes after the break, a driving maul by the Stormers from 10 metres out saw flank Rohan Kitshoff dot for an unconverted try (24-12).
But there was more woe for the Stormers when they fell further in arrears after shoddy defence allowed flank Franzel September to round the defence out wide for an unconverted try (29-12).
The Stormers returned to basics and started using their power upfront to contain their enterprising opponents. Substitute centre Jarryd Sage made the fightback count with 65th minute try which was goaled by substitute flyhalf Kurt Coleman (29-19).
Stormers leftwing Devon Williams broke powerfully on the Boland 10-metre line and then shrugged off a number of tackling attempts to score his side's fourth try, which went unconverted, nine minutes from the end (29-24).
Scorers: Boland: Tries: Cheswin Williams, Ricardo Croy, Albert Trytsman, Franzel September.
Conversions: Eric Zana (3). Penalty: Zana.
Stormers: Tries: Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Rohan Kitshoff, Jarryd Sage, Devon Williams. Conversions: Gary van Aswegan, Kurt Coleman – Sapa