The DHL Stormers picked up their third consecutive win of the Vodacom Super Rugby season as they claimed a 41-10 victory against the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
The bonus-point win sees the DHL Stormers consolidate their position at the top of Africa Conference One after outscoring the Eastern Cape side by six tries to one.
The home team were first to strike through a penalty from their flyhalf Lionel Cronje, but the DHL Stormers scored the first try of the game through a superb individual effort from wing Dillyn Leyds who got the ball in his own half and beat a number of defenders on his way to the tryline along the touchline.
It was an attritional and confrontational battle on a warm day in Port Elizabeth, with both teams showing plenty of physicality in the opening exchanges.
Despite the pressure from the Southern Kings, the DHL Stormers struck again on the half-hour mark when a flowing counter-attack saw the ball worked wide to left wing Bjorn Basson who got his first try for the DHL Stormers in the corner.
They followed that up with a third try just before half-time as a patient build-up in the Southern Kings 22 saw Rynhardt Elstadt score out wide to give the DHL Stormers a 17-3 advantage at the break.
It did not take long for the DHL Stormers to score their first try of the second half, as flyhalf Rob du Preez stretched to score and cap an extended period of pressure in Southern Kings territory.
The Kings managed to get over the tryline themselves after 55 minutes as wing Makazole Mapimpi collected a grubber to score in the corner.
The DHL Stormers responded with a Du Preez penalty and then absorbed some late pressure from the Kings before debutant Justin Phillips and centre EW Viljoen got over for late tries to seal the bonus-point win.
For DHL Stormers:
Tries: Leyds, Basson, Elstadt, Du Preez, Phillips, Viljoen
Cons: Du Preez 2, Coleman 2
Pen: Du Preez
For Southern Kings:
DHL Stormers: 15 SP Marais, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oli Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Chris Van Zyl, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Damian Willemse.
Southern Kings: 15 Masixole Banda, 14 Makazole Mapimpi, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Luzuko Vulinduli, 11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Ricky Schroeder, 8 Riaan Lerm, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Irne Herbst, 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Schalk Ferreira (captain).
Replacements: 16 Kurt Haupt, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Chris Heiberg, 19 Willem van der Sluys, 20 Andisa Ntsila, 21 Johan Steyn, 22 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 23 Berton Klaasen.