Independent Media rugby writer Wynona Louw rates the Stormers players after their 30-22 victory over the Blues at Newlands.
SP MARAIS 6.5: One of his passes early on went forward, but it didn’t really matter as the Blues were offside anyway. But afterwards he passed the ball straight into Sonny Bill Williams’ hands and sent another one astray a while afterwards. His goal-kicking was clean as usual. His space was closed down quite effectively again, but he managed a great run and offload to Cheslin Kolbe in the last quarter.
Cheslin Kolbe 6: One aimless kick that set the Blues up to win good territory in the first quarter. Some great footwork to evade two defenders just before halftime. Made a few good runs and passes.
EW Viljoen 5.5: He got a few passes away and there was that chip kick that went into the Blues’ hands, but otherwise he was quiet (by his standards) in the first half. He should have gotten the ball to his outside men instead of taking contact when Blues wing Matt Duffie was yellow carded – there was a clear overlap and the Stormers were only about five metres out.
Shaun Treeby 7: Treeby, pictured, was great on defence and put the Blues under some good pressure with his speed and smothering defence. Great running line and offload to Dillyn Leyds in the build-up to Siya Kolisi’s try. His intercept in the third quarter gave the Stormers a bit of a breather. Offside once or twice.
Seabelo Senatla 6: That run early one that saw him break through the Blues’ defence was class (and the roar from the crowd proved it), but he lost the ball forward in the tackle afterwards. He was guilty of three handling errors. He didn’t get much ball, but it was great to see that running again.
Dillyn Leyds 6.5: He didn’t always produce the best displays with the boot, and although the thinking behind some of those kicks was good, the execution wasn’t. Nice quick work just before he scored in the last quarter. He made some good passes and a lot of tackles. Also made two handling errors.
Dewaldt Duvenage 5.5: Made a few good tackles, and he showed good alertness when he quickly ran to the lineout to snatch up the ball that Eben Etzebeth tapped to the side after poaching a Blues’ lineout throw. That chip for Senatla to chase was good, even though nothing came of it. Made good passes, but he needs to be much quicker at the breakdowns.
Nizaam Carr 6.5: Made a number of strong carries and gained good ground a few times. His steal in the second half in Blues 22 was crucial because that was just after the Stormers had turned possession over painfully close to the try line. Big game on defence.
Siya Kolisi 7.5: Knocked the ball on in the first quarter. Exploited the limited space on the Blues’ try line well to work his way through for their first try. I love the fact that he gets back up on his feet so quickly after making a tackle or being taken down, but speaking of tackles, he missed quite a few. That knock on inches from the try line in the third quarter ruined a promising scoring opportunity for the hosts, but it wasn’t the easiest ball to catch. Won three turnovers.
Kobus van Dyk 6: Almost overran the kick-off ball which resulted in the ball going loose, but we’ll blame the smoke from the pyrotechnics for that. He was quite quiet early on, but he got into it as the game progressed and made a few good tackles and strong runs. Blew another scoring opportunity for the hosts when he lost the ball forward right in front of the try line. Made one good break and some good tackles.
Pieter-Steph du Toit 6.5: Made a massive contribution on defence. Great work to secure a turnover at a ruck early on. Knocked the ball forward while contesting at a lineout. Guilty of a few handling errors.
Eben Etzebeth 6.5: He made a few great carries and got well over the gain line with almost every carry. He got a yellow card at a very bad time when the Stormers were already under huge pressure on their try line (not like there’s ever a good time to see yellow, or red). Showed brilliant, quick movement to steal a Blues’ lineout ball just before halftime.
Frans Malherbe 6: Slipped a tackle or two, but he also made a few big hits. Got in well behind the gain line when he carried.
Bongi Mbonambi 6.5: Missed his target at the Stormers’ first lineout, but after that he got it right every time. He made solid tackles and didn’t miss a single one. And while you might be able to question his lineout throwing at times, his willingness to get stuck in there – be it at a ruck, maul or tackle – is tops. Knocked the ball on once.
Oli Kebble 5.5: Made a few tackles, but he didn’t contribute much in open play.