A young DHL Stormers team claimed a resounding 45-7 win over the Boland Cavaliers in pre-season action at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.
With just nine full DHL Stormers squad members in the mix (out of 25 players selected), this young outfit showed plenty of pace, power and precision to score seven tries to one in a one-sided affair.
Scrumhalf Godlen Masimla opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a neat dash and finish under the uprights and he was at it again eight minutes later when he scampered over for a second five-pointer.
A strong maul saw Michael Willemse (playing on the flank and not hooker this week) crash over for his team’s third try in the 31st minute and Masimla turned from try-scorer into try-creator when a mazy run from deep and a good chase from his own kick saw impressive inside centre Kyle Lombard get over untouched on the stroke of half-time.
At 26-0 up at the break there was always only going to be one winner in this encounter, although Boland opened their account first in the second half – only for the one-way traffic to continue later on.
First EW Viljoen scooted over – slicing through the defence from a standing start in Boland’s 22 – and then Sikhumbuzo Notshe, who had a busy and influential match from the No.8 position, grabbed his team’s sixth try in the 68th minute.
A flurry of late substitutions from both sides saw the match lose a bit of shape in the final ten minutes, but the visiting DHL Stormers finished on a high when right-wing Tshotsho Mbovane showed great feet to dance past the defence and score his side’s seventh try under the uprights after the full-time hooter had already sounded.
Replacement Ryno Eksteen, who looked sharp in his comeback match, slotted the conversion to add to the four earlier conversions of starting No.10 Robert du Preez.
All in all, it was a polished performance from this young DHL Stormers outfit, many of whom enhanced their reputations in this clash – helping avenge last year’s defeat in Wellington and showcasing, once again, the incredible depth at the union’s disposal ahead of the 2015 Vodacom Super Rugby and Vodacom Cup competitions.
For the Boland Cavaliers:
For the DHL Stormers:
Tries: Masimla 2, Willemse, Lombard, Viljoen, Notshe, Mbovane
Cons: Du Preez 4, Eksteen
Boland Cavaliers: 15 Eric Zana, 14 Duwayne Smart, 13 Wilneth Engelbrecht, 12 Edwinn Sass, 11 Senan van der Merwe, 10 Christiaan Rust, 9 Jovelian de Koker, 8 Wayne Wildschut, 7 Andre Cotzee, 6 Freginald Africa, 5 Gavin Annandale (captain), 4 Yves Bashiya, 3 Martin Dreyer, 2 Kelvin Fikster, 1 Henri Boshoff.
Replacements: 16 Clemen Lewis, 17 Charley Wenn, 18 SP Wessels, 19 Adriaan Botha, 20 Roderrick Dalton, 21 Denzil Adams, 22 EJ Jooste, 23 Tiaan Ramat, 24 Anzo Stubbs, 25 Jos Malherbe, 26 Leeroy Wildschut, 27 Kenwinn Wiener.
DHL Stormers: 15 EW Viljoen, 14 Tshotsho Mbovane, 13 Jarryd Sage, 12 Kyle Lombard, 11 Danwel Demas, 10 Robert du Preez (vice-captain), 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Sikumbuzo Notshe, 7 Luke van der Smit, 6 Michael Willemse, 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 David Ribbans, 3 Frans van Wyk, 2 Neil Rautenbach (captain), 1 Oli Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Liam Hendricks, 17 Deacon Chowlse, 18 Burger van Niekerk, 19 Johan Momsen, 20 Luke Stringer, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 SP Ferreira, 23 Ryno Eksteen, 24 Mat Turner, 25 Shuiab Samaai.
Referee: Jaco van Heerden