It was a titanic struggle at the Cape Town Stadium, but the Stormers weathered the early onslaught from the Bulls to pull off an 18-13 triumph to clinch the United Rugby Championship title.
Here is how we rated the Bulls…
Kurt-Lee Arendse: 8/10
The Bulls fullback never stopped working. He fielded high-ball after high-ball, despite not being the biggest guy on the pitch, and tried to spark a number of counter-attacks. But he was closely marked by the Stormers defence all night long.
Canan Moodie: 6
Also contributed to handling the Stormers bombs, but seldom got a chance to showcase his athletic attributes with ball-in-hand.
Cornal Hendricks: 5
Loses a point for conceding a yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Ruhan Nel, although it was a tough call as he appeared to make contact with the shoulder first. Tried hard to get the Bulls attack going, and defended well.
Harold Vorster: 8
Made a terrific start with a well-taken try, and was a threat with ball-in-hand throughout the match. Was a powerful presence on defence too.
Madosh Tambwe: 7
Had a couple of thrilling runs on attack, and covered the back-field well as the Stormers launched kick after kick.
Chris Smith: 6
Was solid without being spectacular this time around. Slotted his goal-kicks, but perhaps should have engineered a couple of drop-goal opportunities in such a tight game.
Zak Burger: 8
Kept the Bulls moving forward with a number of well-weighted box-kicks, which allowed his wings to contest the ball in the air. But Burger should also have put a few kicks into touch so that the Bulls could contest the lineouts.
Elrigh Louw: 6
Threw his big frame around the pitch, but didn’t make any serious inroads into the Stormers defence with his carries.
Arno Botha: 7
Had a fitting farewell outing for the Bulls. Carried hard, was always in support of the ball-carrier and hit rucks too.
Marcell Coetzee (captain): 6
After being such a force in the semi-final against Leinster, Coetzee wasn’t as prominent this time around, especially on attack. Maybe could also have disrupted the Stormers breakdown a bit more.
Ruan Nortje: 6
Was solid in the lineouts and put a solid shift in by doing the hard yards.
Walt Steenkamp: 7
Really added some grunt to the Bulls’ physical effort, and was safe in the lineouts.
Mornay Smith: 6
Had an even scrum battle with Steven Kitshoff, and got a few passes away on attack too.
Johan Grobbelaar: 7
Started like a house on fire as he made good metres with ball-in-hand and found his lineout jumpers, and delivered a superb offload to set up Vorster’s early try. Wasn’t quite able to win those breakdown turnovers and penalties like he did against Leinster.
Gerhard Steenekamp: 6
Had a good outing against Frans Malherbe in the scrums, and cleaned out the rucks with venom.
Best of the Bench: Janko Swanepoel: 7
Put in some big hits in defence and tried to put pressure on the Stormers attack.