Stormers stumble past rubbish Rebels
The 34-18 (four tries to two) win meant the Stormers keep alive their slim hope of qualifying for the play-offs.
However, it was far from convincing against a Rebels team that looked rubbish for more than an hour and finally awoke in the last quarter.
The face of Stormers coach Robbie Fleck at the end of the match said it all. Not even the joy of the victory could mask the utter disgust of the quality of play.
Although there were moments of entertaining and creative play, for the most part, it was an error-riddled game.
The men from the Cape have now won all four of their home fixtures this season, but have lost six on the road.
Damian de Allende, Johannes Engelbrecht (twice), and Dillyn Leyds dotted down for Robbie Fleck's team in a game they dominated for long periods.
Sefanaia Naivalu scored both the Rebels' tries.
The Rebels' woes continue, as they slumped to their fourth successive loss.
The Melbourne outfit started the brighter and were rewarded for their early dominance, after Stormers wing Craig Barry and centre EW Viljoen were penalised for going off their feet at the breakdown. Jack Debreczeni converted from right in front to give them a 3-0 lead.
Stormers flyhalf Damian Willemse levelled matters with a penalty on 10 minutes, when Rebels prop Jermaine Ainsley was found guilty of illegal wheeling at the scrum and won the penalty.
Soon after, a piece of individual brilliance from centre Damian de Allende, in which he steamrolled Debreczeni, gave the Stormers the lead for the first time.
The Stormers set up their second try with a series of powerful carries, Damian Willemse choosing the right time to go wide with the long pass. Pieter-Steph du Toit was on hand to provide the assist with an offload in contact for Engelbrecht, who dotted down in the left-hand corner.
This Stormers took that 11-point lead into half-time.
In the first half, the Rebels only had 30 percent of the possession and territory in the opening forty.
Just under four minutes after the interval, the Stormers continued where they left off.
Dewaldt Duvenage showed good awareness putting in an excellent grubber kick for Dillyn Leyds who showed great anticipation to dive on to the ball in a clinical finish. Willemse's conversion made it 24-6.
Finally, the Rebels began to enjoy possession and territory and after seventeen phases and what must be said some beautiful build-up, Sefa Naivalu was on the end of substitute flank Colby Fainga'a's long pass to finish to have the easiest of run-ins on the overlap. Debreczeni's conversion cut the deficit to 11 – at 13-24.
But the Rebels were pegged back once again by the boot of Willemse, who kicked his second penalty to go with his three conversions and make it 27-13 after 56 minutes.
With five minutes to go, Naivalu grabbed his brace, scoring in identical fashion after a number of pick-and-goes from the Rebels forwards had sucked the Stormers defence in very tight, allowing for the long pass over the top to allow the Fijian flyer the easiest of run-ins once again.
The Stormers would have the last laugh, however, as Engelbrecht grabbed his brace after an excellent break by Sikhumbuzo Notshe in the build-up to close out a convincing victory.
Next week the Stormers host the Bulls in an epic SA derby at Newlands and the Rebels travel home to play host to the Crusaders.
For the Stormers:
Tries: De Allende, Engelbrecht 2, Leyds
Cons: Willemse 4
Pens: Willemse 2
For the Rebels:
Tries: Naivalu 2
Pens: Debreczeni 2
Stormers: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Craig Barry, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Johannes Engelbrecht, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Jacobus Janse van Rensburg, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Cobus Wiese, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Sarel Marais, 23 Seabelo Senatla.
Melbourne Rebels: 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 Tom English, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Michael Ruru, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Angus Cottrell, 6 Lopeti Timani, 5 Adam Coleman (captain), 4 Matt Philip, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner.
Replacements: 16 Sama Malolo, 17 Fereti Sa'aga, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Colby Fainga'a, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Semisi Tupou, 23 Sefa Naivalu.
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Rasta Rasivhenge
TMO: Christie du Preez