Stormers clinch last-minute nail-biter in Nelspruit
CAPE TOWN - The Stormers on Friday night left it to the final few minutes at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit to secure a come-from-behind victory over hosts the Pumas.
John Dobson’s men clawed back a 30-14 half-time deficit to win their second Super Rugby Unlocked fixture by six tries to four (42-37).
The Pumas showed that they will be no push-over at home racing ahead and scoring three tries to the Capetonians’ two in the first half. However, while the Pumas could only add seven points to their half-time tally through a second five-pointer by Neil Maritz, the Stormers - who lost captain Siya Kolisi to injury early on in the encounter - fought back bravely after the break, scoring 28 points in an enterprising second-half display.
While he was breathing heavily on the hot Lowveld night, Stormers hooker Bongi Mbonambi added a try of his own when he crashed over as late as the 70th minute.
Winger Leolin Zas, who had few chances all evening, added try number five with only six minutes to spare.
Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok Warrick Gelant secured the deal for the visitors when he - with only minutes left on the stadium clock - dashed through for the Stormers’ sixth try and a smash-and-grab 42-37 victory.
Scorers in the match (half-time score in brackets):
Pumas 37 (30)
Tries: Neil Maritz (2), Jeandré Rudolph, Wayne van der Bank
Conversions: Eddie Fouche (2), Neil Marais (2)
Penalty goals: Eddie Fouche (3).
Stormers 42 (14)
Tries: Rikus Pretorius, Herschel Jantjies, Neethling Fouche, Bongi Mbonambi, Leolin Zas, Warrick Gelant.
Conversions: Tim Swiel (6)