The DHL Stormers recorded a 34-3 pre-season win over a competitive SWD Eagles side in very humid conditions at George’s Outeniqua Park on Saturday.
The young DHL Stormers were playing in their first of three pre-season clashes ahead of the 2015 Vodacom Super Rugby season and they were well tested by their hosts in front of a jam-packed crowd, many of whom were clad in Blue & White and shouting for the visitors!
In the end, however, coach Allister Coetzee would have been pleased with his team’s five tries to nil victory – mainly because the game gave him an opportunity to give some key men a run-out and test some new combinations in the process and, also, because there were no fresh injury concerns to report after the match.
New faces like Dillyn Leyds, Vincent Koch, Bongi Mbonambi,Wilco Louw, David Ribbans, Robert du Preez, Huw Jones and Neil Rautenbach all got game time, whilst skipper Duane Vermeulen got some valuable game time in his first match as full-time skipper of this side and after a good rest over December.
Fullback Cheslin Kolbe and right-wing EW Viljoen crossed for tries in the first half as the DHL Stormers led by 15-3 at half-time and Huw Jones (on debut – where he featured on the wing) and flanker Rynhardt Elstadt scored in the second half.
The DHL Stormers, whose scrum looked in menacing form throughout the day, finished with a flourish as they were rewarded with a penalty try in the 78th minute – from yet another powerful scrum on the Eagles’ line.
Flyhalf Kurt Coleman kicked two conversions and one penalty goal – both his missed conversions being from out wide and also missing a long-range penalty attempt in the first half – whilst replacement Robert du Preez converted their penalty try.
Skipper Vermeulen said afterwards: “The humidity (sticky and wet conditions) made it tough for us… plus I thought the SWD Eagles made it hard for us too. But it’s a start for us, a start to 2015… and we certainly look forward to getting better from here.”
When asked about the amazing support for the DHL Stormers in George, Vermeulen added: “Wherever we go, we’re so lucky to have such great support and I’d like to thank the people of George for coming out to support us.”
For the SWD Eagles:
Pen: Van Vuuren
For the DHL Stormers:
Tries: Kolbe, Viljoen, Jones, Elstadt, Penalty try
Cons: Coleman 2, Du Preez
SWD Eagles: 15 Elric van Vuuren, 14 Clint Wagman, 13 Kirsten Heyns, 12 Luzuko Vulundli, 11 Alshaun Bock, 10 Leighton Eksteen, 9 Dillon Snell, 8 Zandre Jordaan, 7 Christo du Plessis (captain), 6 Junior Bester, 5 Mzwanele Zito, 4 Schalk Oelofse, 3 Pieter Stemmet, 2 Maruis Fourie, 1 Layle Delo.
Replacments (from): Wayne Khan, Dextor Fahey, Ashley Buys, Grant le Roux, Lyndon Hartnick, Buran Parks, Dwayne Kelly, Daniel Robberts, Brian Skosana, Ashwin Scott.
DHL Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 EW Viljoen, 13 Juan de Jongh (vice-captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Jurie van Vuuren, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements (from): 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 David Ribbans, 20 Robert du Preez, 21 Michael Willemse, 22 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 23 Louis Schreuder, 24 Huw Jones, 25 Neil Rautenbach, 26 Kobus van Wyk, 27 Godlen Masimla.
Referee: Quinton Immelman