Stormers extend Bulls' losing drought at Newlands
MATCH REPORT & HIGHLIGHTS: The Stormers secured a narrow 24-23 win over the Bulls at Newlands on Saturday.
It looked as if the Stormers were out to eclipse their 3-40 defeat to the Bulls, but, despite enterprising rugby from the hosts, in the end only one point separated the two teams at Newlands.
It was a morale-boosting victory for the Stormers who climb to third on the South African conference, while Bulls slip to second.
The Stormers dominated the first half and took a 14-9 lead thanks to converted tries from Sergeal Petersen and Seabelo Senatla, while Handré Pollard’s boot kept the Bulls in contention.
The opening few minutes belonged to the Bulls as they found themselves inside the Stormers’ 22 thanks to a impressive break by Lizo Gqoboka. However, following the visitors quick recycle, Jesse Kriel’s final pop pass was knocked forward by lock RG Snyman.
It was another case of so close yet so far when Herschel Jantjies pounced on a loose ball behind the try-line. After a lengthy TMO deliberation, referee Glen Jackson ruled no try, spotting a sneaky little knock by the scrumhalf.
Minutes later, the Stormers finally had the first points on the board. A clinical build-up saw Siya Kolisi find Petesen, who stepped his way through defenders, for the try in the corner. Du Plessis added the extra for the 7-0 lead after 17 minutes of play.
The Bulls’ effort were rewarded when Pollard broke their duck with a successful penalty.
A massive collision in the 26th minute between Dillyn Leyds and Bulls’ Jade Stighling saw both wings briefly replaced by Senatla and Divan Rossouw, respectively.
Nonetheless that did not halt any of the Stormers’ momentum as superb interplay by Damian Willemse and Senatla ensured that the BlitzBoks superstar strolled under the posts for the second try of the match. Du Plessis made no mistake to add the easy conversion, 14-3.
Just short of the break, two late Pollard penalties narrowed the deficit to five points.
The Bulls came out the blocks fast and within the first three minutes of the second-half took the lead courtesy of Ivan van Zyl. The replacement scrumhalf dipped in from close range for his first Super Rugby try. Pollard added the extras to for a narrow 16-14 lead.
The tempo of the match subdued and the lead exchanged hands courtesy of penalty by replacement flyhalf Joshua Stander.
The hosts extended the lead when a kick-chase from Willemse put Pollard under pressure and forced a poor clearance. Leyds claimed it and sliced through Bulls’ defence, however was tackled just short of the line but he managed to pop the ball up to Jantjies who finished the job. Standers added the extras for the 24-16 lead.
The Bulls had the last say as Mannie Libbok exploded away to score the consolation try. Pollard added the extras and sealed the losing bonus-point for the visitors.
Next week the Stormers face the Jaguares away while the Bulls are at home to the Waratahs.
Man of the match: For the Bulls the stars in their side was Handré Pollard and RG Snyman, who was a true workhorse in the pack, while Lizo Gqoboka also deserves a mentioned for his efforts. For the Stormers, the pack was a little bit under pressure, however the backline certainly made up for it. Dillyn Leyds was in fine form, However our nod goes to scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies, who proved to be a vital link.
Tries: Petersen, Senatla, Jantjies
Cons: Du Plessis 2, Stander
Tries: Van Zyl, Libbok
Cons: Pollard 2
Pens: Pollard 3
As it happened: Stormers v Bulls
Our updates will appear below. There might be a slight delay in the match centre loading, please be patient. We apologise for any inconvenience.
Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Johannes Engelbrecht, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Kobus van Dyk, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 John Schickerling, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Eben Etzebeth, 20 Ernst van Rhyn, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Joshua Stander, 23 Seabelo Senatla.
Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jade Stighling, 10 Handré Pollard , 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Rudolph Snyman, 4 Jannes Kirsten, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Wiehan Herbst, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Paul Schoeman, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw.
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Egon Seconds (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
*Photo credit: @TheStormers