CAPE TOWN - Independent Media rugby writer Wynona Louw believes Dillyn Leyds and Eben Etzebeth were the best performing Stormers players in Saturday's match against the Bulls.
Dillyn Leyds 8/10: He was massive with ball in hand again and he got some great passes away. His break in the opposition 22 laid the foundation for Notshe’s five-pointer. Shortly afterwards, he put another good run on show before losing the ball in the tackle. Ran a great angle to motor past Bulls defenders for his try that regained the lead for the Stormers. I don’t know which was better, his perfect pass to Damian Willemse to put him into space to score, or that line-breaking run just before. Once again, he was potent on the counter-attack, and that last try of Senatla showed it.
Cheslin Kolbe 7.5/10: This guy’s workrate is just first class. From his attacking play to his impeccable defensive efforts, he was just everywhere at Loftus. That series of steps in the build-up to his try was simply spectacular. Made a try-saving tackle on Warrick Gelant.
EW Viljoen 7/10: Good pass to Notshe to put him away for their second try. He produced some good runs throughout the thrilling match and he also got a few nice passes away.
Damian de Allende 7/10: He was solid in midfield, not so much for what he did with the ball, but rather his grind off it. The Stormers lost another scoring opportunity when he had the ball ripped away on the opposition five early in the second half. He did well with ball in hand and gained good ground.
Seabelo Senatla 6/10: He didn’t get the ball as much as he (or any of us) would have liked, but when he did, he made it count in terms of gaining ground. He thrilled with one lightning-like run and, of course, his run for his try was another exciting one. One fumbled high-ball take. Got involved wherever he could. He just lost the ball too many times.
Damian Willemse 6/10: He chucked the ball away in Bulls 22 as half-time struck. A few good kicks to touch. Did well to get over the line after some brilliant play by Leyds. Stunning offload to Kolbe in last few minutes. His distribution was good and he made a lot of tackles, but he made way too many handling errors. Also couldn’t get the tough kicks through the posts.
Jano Vermaak 7/10: Fantastic run early on. He moved the ball around quickly and he also made an impact when it came to the more gritty parts of the game.
Nizaam Carr 7.5/10: He was big with ball in hand and his passing game was on point. Showed his running class as he broke the line twice. His pace was put on show with that run in the third quarter, but a better option might have been to free Senatla up on his outside.
Sikhumbuzo Notshe 7/10: Nicely snatched up a loose ball in the first few minutes. Good contribution with ball in hand and when it came to making tackles. Ran in one of the Stormers’ tries.
Siya Kolisi 6.5/10: Powerful burst to score his try. Only carried the ball three times, but he definitely made it count. Conceded two turnovers. Made a few crucial tackles.
Pieter-Steph du Toit 7/10: Much-improved performance by the lock. He won a turnover and his hands were instrumental in some of the Stormers’ attacking stints - one of those moments was his top offload to Leyds just before his try. One good high-ball take.
Eben Etzebeth 8/10: He showed off his strength and power with those rampaging runs that dragged a mini-gang of Bulls with him every time. He broke through two tackles and his passing could rarely be faulted, however, he passed the ball into touch after some promising play early in the second half.
Frans Malherbe 7/10: He showed some good counter-rucking early on and he was massive on defence. Also carried well.
Bongi Mbonambi 5.5/10: Badly missed his target as early as the first lineout. Drifted off pillar defence which opened up space for replacement scrumhalf Piet van Zyl to snipe through and score. Made five handling errors and he missed a few tackles.
JC Janse van Rensburg 5/10: He didn’t have a very good game. Conceded a scrum penalty and in open play he didn’t contribute much.