Stormers thump Cardiff in Cape Town
URC REPORT: The Stormers moved up to seventh position in the United Rugby Championship standings after they thumped Cardiff 40-3 in Cape Town on Sunday.
The South African side were ruthless on the counter-attack and took a firm grip with three slick tries in the first half.
Ruhan Nel, Leolin Zas and Manie Libbok all crossed as the hosts opened up a 19-3 half-time lead before Junior Pokomela, Evan Roos and Rikus Pretorius went over in the second period.
Libbok converted four for a 13-point individual haul while Tim Swiel added another.
Cardiff were ragged by the end as Stormers repeatedly cut loose but it was the Welsh side who started the better.
The visitors applied considerable pressure in the opening 15 minutes but an early Jarrod Evans penalty was all they gained from it.
The opening try came against the run of play as Stormers seized a chance after Cardiff conceded a penalty.
The ball was spread right by long passes from Libbok and Warrick Gelant before wing Zas kicked forward and gathered himself to put Nel over on the inside.
Another Stormers try followed after Evans knocked on under a high ball. Zas again showed great improvisation to hack on and he was presented with a simple scoring opportunity after Seabelo Senatla cleverly palmed back into his possession.
The hosts then took complete control with another superb counter-attacking try. Gelant’s kick was claimed by Libbok, who then charged forward and exchanged passes with Herschel Jantjies to wrongfoot the defence and touch down.
The early part of the second half was a stop-start affair but Stormers regained their stride around the hour mark and ran away with the match with three tries in quick succession.
They secured a bonus point after Cardiff lost possession in front of their own posts and Roos quickly put them on the attack.
Damian Willemse carried the ball close to the line and offloaded for Pokomela to cross.
Roos then got in on the act himself soon after by breaking a tackle and racing clear.
Pretorius capped a fine afternoon for the Stormers with a long-range score after Cardiff turned over the ball inside their own half.
Man of the match: The award goes to Stormers fullback Warrick Gelant. The 26-year-old was lethal out wide and he had a hand in a couple of his team’s tries.
Man of the Match
Fullback Gelant enjoyed a fine game at the heart of the Stormers attack and his link-up play with those around him, notably Willemse, was impressive.
The kick for Libbok in the build-up to Stormers’ third try was exquisite and further showed great understanding with his teammates.
Play of the match
The Stormers took command of proceedings with a superb third try just before the interval.
Gelant kicked forward and Libbok was brilliant as he gathered, passed inside to the charging Jantjies and then ran behind the scrumhalf to give him an inside option.
The ball duly came back and Libbok crossed by the posts.
Tries: Nel, Zas, Libbok, Pokomela, Roos, Pretorius
Cons: Libbok 4, Swiel
Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian Willemse, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Hacjivah Dayimani, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ernst van Rhyn, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff (capyain).
Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Ben-Jason Dixon, 20 Junior Pokomela, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Rikus Pretorius.
Cardiff: 15 Matthew Morgan, 14 Jason Harries, 13 Max Llewellyn, 12 Ben Thomas, 11 Theo Cabango, 10 Jarrod Evans, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 James Botham, 7 Ellis Jenkins, 6 Josh Turnbull (captain), 5 Rory Thornton, 4 Matthew Screech, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Corey Domachowski.
Replacements: 16 Keiron Assiratti, 17 Brad Thyer, 18 Will Davies-King, 19 Teddy Williams, 20 Will Boyde, 21 Ellis Bevan, 22 Garyn Smith, 23 Hallam Amos.
Referee: Sam Grove-White (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Morne Ferreira (South Africa)
TMO: Adam Jones (Wales)