The DHL Stormers put in a clinical performance to register a 28 – 3 win over a visiting Cheetahs side at Newlands on Saturday evening and in doing so put something of a silver lining on an otherwise gloomy season.
Saturday’s victory was another W registered next to the home game column for the Cape side, the only loss coming against a severely depleted Crusaders side who happen to enjoy a cape supporter base that makes that fixture seem to be at neutral ground. The Cheetahs were clear favourites going into the game, the Bloemfontein team are enjoying their most successful season to date and the Stormers were without the services of inspirational captain Jean De Villiers and rough and tumble hooker Tiaan Liebenberg but they seemed to have done some hard work during the Test window because they put in one of the more complete performances we’ve seen from them this season.
The much vaunted defensive system was working well with the usual double hits on ball carriers but it was the scrums that surprised most on the night, there was a groan of despair from the press corps when Liebenberg was withdrawn from the squad as it meant that front row would consist of Harris, Ntubeni and Kitshoff, none of those players known for being strong scrummagers but they fronted well and managed to win a number of penalties against the Cheetahs pack. Siya Kolisi was in sublime form on the night, carrying the ball as if his life depended on it and putting in a hit on Coenie Oosthuizen that was appreciated by rugby watchers everywhere, Deon Fourie once again showed why he should abandon the number 2 jersey completely and stick to flank.
Adriaan Strauss and Naka Drotske looked a bit shell shocked during the post-match press conference and admitted that this game was their shocker for the season and would have to take a hard look at themselves before facing the Blues. Deon Fourie was proud of the team performance but felt that they were poor in the first 20 minutes of the game and could have gotten onto the scoreboard much earlier, he was happy that the team backed the systems and were patient enough to reap the rewards.
The Stormers travel to PE to face the Kings before their final fixture again the Bulls at home, should they win the next two fixtures they will look at their home record as something to be positive about as it will read played 7, won 6 lost 1.Tweet