Stormers say farewell to Newlands with impressive win over Cheetahs
CAPE TOWN – The Stormers sealed their last game at Newlands (playing as the Stormers) with a 30-13 victory over the Cheetahs on Saturday night.
It was clear that the slippery conditions wouldn’t make things easy for either side, and while the Stormers had the scrums throughout the game, the breakdown was one area they would have liked to have gone better in the first half. But that one mattered not, as the good they did was enough to make sure that they emerged victorious on the night after an overall-pleasing performance.
Herschel Jantjies, who missed last week’s game against Griquas on grounds of bereavement, looked revived after his slow start since rugby returned.
The scrumhalf also scored the opening try after cleaning the base of the ruck, after which the Stormers sent it wide to wing Angelo Davids, who stepped and swerved his way past defenders, with Jantjies moving out in support and picking the ball up – neatly placed by Davids – to snipe down the blindside and exploit the Cheetahs’ sleepy defence on the short side. Flyhalf Damian Willemse – who had a superb night – made no mistake with the conversion to take the score to 7-0.
Towards the end of the first quarter, a series of attacking scrums by the hosts in opposition 22 allowed Willemse to slot a penalty to extend their lead (10-0).
At the half-hour mark, Cheetahs 10 Tian Schoeman finally got some digits on the board for the visitors (10-3), but Willemse ensured that his side went back to a 10-point lead just before half time as he slotted a monster dropped goal after inside centre Rikus Pretorius did well to hold his pass before sending the oval Willemse’s way (13-3).
The Cheetahs were the first to get points in the second half, with Schoeman adding a second penalty (13-6), but fullback Warrick Gelant, who had another standout night with fine touches on attack, stepped his way past defenders to put Ruhan Nel – another Stormers back who can be pleased with his contributions – in space. Hooker Scarra Ntubeni was next on the ball, before he sent an offload to Juarno Augustus to finish it off (20-6).
With 15 minutes left on the clock, Cheetahs wing Rosko Specman scored their first try (20-13), but Willemse bagged his side a 10-point margin again with another accurate kick at posts to stretch their lead (23-13).
Willemse capped a flawless night from the kicking tee off with a dash of skillful brilliance as he sent a superb chicken-wing offload to Gelant on his outside to score, and the flyhalf - who was yellow-carded in the 69th minute - kept his kicking stats perfectly clean as he added the conversion to seal the game (30-13).
The Stormers are back in second spot on the Super Rugby Unlocked log (thanks to a superior points difference to the Sharks), with the Bulls in top spot.
Stormers: Tries: Herschel Jantjies, Juarno Augustus, Warrick Gelant Conversions: Damian Willemse (3) Penalties: Willemse (2) Dropped goal: Willemse (1) Yellow card: Willemse
Cheetahs: Tries: Rosko Specman Conversions: Tian Schoeman Penalties: Schoeman (2)