Independent Media rugby writer Wynona Louw rates the Stormers players after they beat the Chiefs in style at Newlands.
SP Marais 8.5/10: Couldn’t get the offload away to Cheslin Kolbe in the second quarter and lost the ball forward, but at least he looked for the offload. He absolutely nailed his 50-metre kick at goal – twice. Top run to the try line after Dillyn Leyds’s amaaaaazing offload. Another big game filled with fine runs, good passes and hard work.
Cheslin Kolbe 8.5/10: Brilliantly picked up a kick by James Lowe and sliced through. Picked up a fumbled pass by Marais well and gained big ground. That intercept and kick-ahead was JUST. PLAIN. BRILLIANT. One of his kicks was charged down. Massive contribution overall. He will really be missed next season.
EW Viljoen 8/10: Slipped a tackle on Damian McKenzie during that devastating counter-attack. Great work when he gathered a high ball and got back up on his feet quickly after the tackle. Great pocket pass to Dan du Plessis in the build-up to Siya Kolisi’s try. Quickly picked a knocked-on Chiefs ball and impressively swerved through defenders in the third quarter, but he lost the ball forward shortly afterwards. Made a few big tackles.
Dan du Plessis 7.5/10: He was very lucky not to get yellow carded for that deliberate knock down early on. Made huge, important tackles again. Beautiful run to within centimetres of the try line.
Dillyn Leyds 10/10: He deserves a 10 just for that offload, regardless of all the other good things he did in this classic match. No further explanation needed.
Robert du Preez 8.5/10: Nailed his conversions. Made a few very good tackles. Mixed up his play like a good general should. Good dummy followed by a strong run for his try. Fantastic touchfinder in the last quarter.
Dewaldt Duvenage 7/10: Very good kick-ahead which Leyds chased down. Good thinking when he pounced on a loose ball before being taken down by Brodie Retallick on the blindside after a ruck on Chiefs’ five. One or two aimless kicks. Made his tackles.
Sikhumbuzo Notshe 7.5/10: Made a great blindside break after a Stormers maul before selling a top dummy to snipe through to score. That “knock-on” ruling by Jaco Peyper in the third quarter was shocking, because Notshe clearly lost the ball backwards.
Siya Kolisi 9/10: This man showed pure class in a massive game. Powered through for his try after his team solid play by his team. The way he took down Lachlan Boshier, got back up and then went for Tawera Kerr-Barlow, cutting off his passing options, pretty much summed up the intensity and heart he played with. And I really enjoyed that ball-dislodging tackle on Hika Elliot before he had a one-man celebration before pushing Tawera Kerr-Barlow and joining the ruck immediately afterwards. That kick off the shin didn’t work out, but he tried something there. His performances are inspiring and influential. And it seems like his leadership is doing the Stormers good. Bok captain, perhaps?
Cobus Wiese 7/10: He was just as involved in the game as he was in that brawl early on. His unnecessary, off-the-ball tackle (no-arms) was reckless and it put the Stormers under unnecessary pressure as they were down to 14 men. Made good tackles and a few strong carries, though.
Chris van Zyl 7/10: Very poor pass to Du Plessis after a Stormers lineout, but he worked hard and contributed to the Stormers’ impressive defence.
Eben Etzebeth 8.5/10: Beautifully tapped the ball back into Wiese’s hands after the restart kick. Showed off his power when he steam-trained through the Chiefs’ defence and gained some good metres. His chirping to Elliot probably helped because the Chiefs front row lost their focus at scrum time which led to Marais’ penalty. Keep going, Eben.
Wilco Louw 7/10: The Chiefs snatched the ball out of his grip just too easily in the second quarter. Worked hard off the ball and made his tackles.
Bongi Mbonambi 8/10: He made a LOT of good, aggressive tackles, including some bone-crunchers that could be heard in the stands. But he needs to watch those lineout throws, I mean, there were a few troubled throw-ins.
JC Janse van Rensburg 6.5/10: Whenever you’re part of attacking line, you have to be aware. So I don’t know why Janse van Rensburg looked and acted so shocked by that pass from Notshe that shot forward off his chest. Some strong runs.