The Sharks have beaten the Stormers at Newlands by 34 points to 10 in Super Rugby, the biggest home reversal to be suffered by the Cape side in seven seasons.
Unfortunately falling short of the massive victory target needed to qualify for a home semifinal, the Sharks will nonetheless take a huge amount of momentum into next weekend’s home knock-out game against the Highlanders. Late tries to S’bura Sithole and Stefan Ungerer after the game had already been won got the visitors’ tails up, after a first half in which Frans Steyn’s boot was the difference between the sides.
An early try to Nizaam Carr – which Jaco Peyper awarded despite no evidence of grounding – appeared to have given the Stormers the advantage, but Steyn soon cancelled that out via a string of good penalties, before Paul Jordaan scored the opening try after good pressure from Charl McLeod at the back of a Stormer scrum.
Holding a 19-10 half time lead, Steyn’s early penalty in the second half was the only score for a good thirty minutes – a period which the Sharks spent mostly defending their line and doing so with aplomb. The late breakout tries, sparked by Jordaan and Fred Zeilinga respectively, gave an almost incredulous aspect to the scoreline, given that the Sharks had enjoyed no more than 40% possession all game long.
Stormers (10): Try Jaco Peyper. Converions Kurt Coleman. Penalty Coleman.
Sharks (34): Tries Paul Jordaan, S’bura Sithole, Stefan Ungerer. Conversions Frans Steyn (2). Penalties Steyn (5).