CAPE TOWN – The Stormers and the Bulls sure got the Super Hero Sunday memo.
While the Lions versus Sharks game wasn’t a very high-scoring affair (19-14 to the Lions), the North-South rivals went all out to make the Marvel-themed afternoon a Super entertaining one in the second match at a packed Cape Town Stadium.
The Stormers ran out 33-28 winners in the end, and did well to capitalise on the opposition’s mistakes.
Two intercepts and a charge-down in those first 40 minutes are errors the Bulls – who certainly played their part in the contest – couldn’t be too happy with.
But they can be pleased with their attacking shape and some of the offloads they got away.
Both sides seemed to appreciate the power of letting the ball do the work, and there were a lot of exciting snippets, and running, on the attacking front.
Seabelo Senatla used his gas to blaze a trail all the way to the tryline, like he’s done so many times in Sevens at the same stadium.
Scarra Ntubeni’s eager work, which at one stage saw him snatch up a loose ball to set up Senatla’s run to the whitewash, SP Marais’ intercept deep in his own half, before putting in the metres and hopping loose of the Bulls’ Duncan Matthews in the process to score – all of those were fine moments.
And let’s not forget about Jaco Coetzee’s break before passing the ball to Jano Vermaak, who then offloaded to Josh Stander coming up in support just in time to finish off.
Speaking of support play... It’s another aspect of the Stormers game that was good, especially in the first half. They always had numbers around the ball.
Halftime in game between @THESTORMERS and @BlueBullsRugby in #SuperHeroSunday in Cape Town. Massive carnival atmosphere in packed stadium; these rugby fans are incredible. It's on pre-season remember; guess the day is huge success. @IOLsport @SuperRugby pic.twitter.com/fpgKpGWvvD— Jacques vdWesthuyzen (@jacq_west) February 3, 2019
The Cape were on a mission right from the start, and ran in four superb tries to the Bulls’ three (26-21 at halftime, after being 21-0 up at one stage).
But one area that didn’t exactly go their way early on was the lineout. It’s an area where the Bulls really applied the pressure.
And for all the good there was on attack, there was no shortage of physicality in contact either. You just had to have a look at those tackles.
A great win by 33-28 for @THESTORMERS over the @BlueBullsRugby in the second match of #SuperHeroSunday, with nine tries between the two sides, and a number of massive hits too! @VodacomRugga @DStv @SuperSportTV @Marvel pic.twitter.com/nOsuNry7Gd— South African Rugby (@Springboks) February 3, 2019
If Sunday’s clash was a sign of the level of competition to come when these two sides meet again in their Super Rugby opener on February 16, then there’s no way it can’t be a good one.
But before then, the Stormers have another chance to continue building towards their 2019 campaign when they take on Boland in their last friendly on Friday.
Stormers 33 – Tries: Seabelo Senatla, Josh Stander, SP Marais, Juarno Augustus, Chris van Zyl. Conversions: SP Marais (3), Damian Willemse (1).
Bulls 28 – Tries: Handré Pollard, Ivan van Zyl, Warrick Gelant, Paul Schoeman. Conversions: Pollard (3), Manie Libbok (1).@WynonaLouw