Stormers hand Sharks a rugby lesson in Durban
URC REPORT: The Stormers returned to winning ways in the United Rugby Championship with a convincing 46-19 victory over the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.
After they lost their last two matches in the tournament, John Dobson’s side looked like reigning champions again at Kings Park as they dominated all areas of the game.
The Capetonians scored six tries on their way to the bonus-point win.
For the home side, it was a day to forget as their play-offs hopes are still very much in the balance with more tough fixtures to come.
Herschel Jantjies, Ruben van Heerden, Joseph Dweba, Seabelo Senatla, Suleiman Hartzenberg and Manie Libbok crossed for tries for the Stormers, with Libbok adding a further 14 points with the boot and Clayton Blommetjies two.
Gerbrandt Grobler scored a pair of tries for the hosts, with Dan Jooste also crossing and Curwin Bosch converting two.
The Stormers made a lightning start with the opening try in the second minute when flyhalf Libbok broke the line and drew his man before flipping to Jantjies to run in for an easy score under the posts and Blommetjies added the extras.
Van Heerden then took an inside pass before bulldozing through the defensive line to power over and put the Stormers 14-0 up after 18 minutes.
The Stormers’ dominance continued when Dweba went over from the back of a maul before the Sharks finally got on the board two minutes before the break when Grobler broke through two tackles to go in under the posts.
It only took a minute after the restart for the Stormers to claim the bonus-point try. A long cut-out pass from a maul found Senatla in acres of space on the left wing to coast in for a try.
Senatla was the architect as Stormers went in for a fifth try, latching onto his own kick ahead before laying off to Hartzenberg to coast in.
Poor handling in the backs from the Sharks allowed Libbok to pounce on the loose ball and sprint clear for the easiest of tries under the sticks.
The Sharks salvaged some pride as Jooste and Grobler claimed late tries.
With the five points gained, the Stormers now trail Leinster by 11 points, while the Sharks remain in the final play-off place in eighth.
Player of the match
Flyhalf Manie Libbok made quite a few mistakes in the match, especially with his kicking out of hand. However, he was excellent on attack and he contributed 19 points to his team’s tally. Ruben van Heerden was a colossus in the physical exchanges and he scored a great try. But the award goes to Stormers captain Deon Fourie, who was everywhere on the park. He was a menace at the breakdowns and he showed how lethal he can be with ball in hand.
Play of the match
The Stormers dominated from the first whistle and set the standard with a fine try just two minutes into the game. Manie Libbok showed quick feet to evade the defensive line and draw his man in before offloading to a supporting Herschel Jantjies to run in under the posts.
Tries: Grobler 2, Jooste
Cons: Bosch 2
Tries: Jantjies, Van Heerden, Dweba, Senatla, Hartzenberg, Libbok
Cons: Blommetjies, Libbok 4
Pens: Libbok 2
Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Marnus Potgieter, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Phendulani Buthelezi (captain), 7 Henco Venter, 6 James Venter, 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Hyron Andrews, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu.
Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste, 7 Dian Bleuler, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Bradley Davids, 22 Lionel Cronje, 23 Yaw Penxe.
Stormers: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Suleiman Hartzenberg, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Marcel Theunissen, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Deon Fourie (captain), 5 Gary Porter, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Brok Harris.
Replacements: 16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 Ben-Jason Dixon, 20 Willie Engelbrecht, 21 Keke Morabe, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu.
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Griffin Colby
TMO: Marius Jonker
Additional source: @URCOfficial