The DHL Stormers scored nine tries on their way to a comprehensive 55-7 Vodacom United Rugby Championship victory against Italian side Zebre Parma at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch on Sunday.
A hat-trick from Seabelo Senatla and braces from Leolin Zas and Scarra Ntubeni, along with tries from Damian Willemse and Manie Libbok saw the DHL Stormers notch their biggest win of the season.
It was a fitting display of attacking rugby in Willemse’s 50th DHL Stormers game and will give the team plenty of confidence heading into their clash with Cardiff at DHL Stadium next week.
It did not take the home side long to get the scoreboard moving, with No.8 Evan Roos breaking the line and putting Manie Libbok over for the opening try.
That was followed up by a brilliant individual effort from Damian Willemse, who took the ball on the 22, stepped his man and turned on the pace to glide through to score.
The DHL Stormers backline was playing with real confidence and the third try was a great example of that as a cross-kick from fullback Warrick Gelant was picked up by Ruhan Nel, who got the offload away to a flying Leolin Zas.
The bonus point try came up just after the 20-minute mark as a loose ball was snapped up by Seabelo Senatla, who raced 50 metres to score.
They were not done there though, as the forwards got in on the act just before half-time, with hooker Scarra Ntubeni scoring from a maul to make it a commanding 33-0 lead at the break.
The visitors opened their account early in the second half, with centre Erich Cronje diving on a grubber to score.
The DHL Stormers responded with another sublime individual effort from Senatla who hit some space on the outside, put in a chip and then chased it down to score.
Zas got over for his second shortly after, finishing in the corner to cap a period of pressure as the home side kept the pressure on.
Zebre wing Asaeli Tuivuaka was shown a red card late in the game and Ntubeni got over for his second maul try shortly afterwards.
There was time for one more try at the death as Senatla completed his hat-trick to cap a comprehensive win for the home side.
For DHL Stormers:
Tries: Libbok, Willemse, Zas 2, Senatla 3, Ntubeni 2
Cons: Libbok 4
For Zebre Parma:
DHL Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian Willemse, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Hacjivah Dayimani, 6 Deon Fourie (captain), 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Adre Smith, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Brok Harris.
Replacements: 16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Junior Pokomela, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Rikus Pretorius.
Zebre Parma: 15 Jacopo Trulla, 14 Junior Laloifi, 13 Erich Cronjé, 12 Timothy O’Malley, 11 Asaeli Tuivuaka, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Nicolò Casilio, 8 Renato Giammarioli (captain), 7 Iacopo Bianchi, 6 Luca Andreani, 5 Andrea Zambonin, 4 Liam Mitchell, 3 Ion Neculai, 2 Massimo Ceciliani, 1 Paolo Buonfiglio.
Replacements: 16 Giampietro Ribaldi, 17 Andrea Lovotti, 18 Juan Pitinari, 19 Potu Junior Leavasa, 20 Maxime Mbandà, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Antonio Rizzi, 23 Giulio Bisegni.