The DHL Stormers scored four tries on their way to a thrilling 30-26 Vodacom United Rugby Championship win against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
The visitors scored two tries in each half to claim a crucial bonus point away from home to start 2022 in the best possible way.
The DHL Stormers started with incredible intensity, flying at the opposition on attack and defence. They got an early reward when Seabelo Senatla pounced on a loose ball which bounced his way from a Manie Libbok grubber to score.
The first scrum of the match resulted in a penalty for the DHL Stormers as the front row stamped their authority and Libbok slotted the kick from the halfway line.
The DHL Stormers were not done there as a 50-22 kick from Damian Willemse put them in position before the home side strayed offside, giving Libbok the chance to slot the easy kick and make it 11-0.
The pressure remained squarely on the Vodacom Bulls as it was a Libbok grubber again that set up Senatla for his second try.
The DHL Stormers were reduced to 14 men late in the first half when Ernst van Rhyn was shown a yellow card for repeated infringements and the Vodacom Bulls managed to get on the scoreboard with a maul try which made it 18-7 at half-time.
The Vodacom Bulls scored the first three tries of the second half to take the lead for the first time of the match just short of the hour mark.
However, the DHL Stormers stayed in the fight and hit back with a try from Herschel Jantjies, who got on the end of a grubber from Warrick Gelant.
That reduced the gap to just three points and from the restart it was Vodacom Bulls wing Madosh Tambwe who was shown a yellow card for taking Senatla out in the air.
The DHL Stormers dug deep and came up with he winning try from replacement scrumhalf Paul de Wet which sealed a 30-26 bonus-point win.
For DHL Stormers:
Tries: Senatla 2, Jantjies, De Wet
Cons: Libbok 2
Pens: Libbok 2
For Vodacom Bulls:
Tries: Grobbelaar, Tambwe, Papier, Louw
Cons: Smith, Steyn 2
DHL Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Salmaan Moerat (co-captain), 3 Sazi Sandi, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff (co-captain).
Replacements: 16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Brok Harris, 19 Adre Smith, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Dan du Plessis, 23 Warrick Gelant.
Vodacom Bulls: David Kriel, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Lionel Mapoe, Cornal Hendricks (captain), Madosh Tambwe; Chris Smith, Embrose Papier; Elrigh Louw, Reinhardt Ludwig, Arno Botha, Ruan Nortje, Walt Steenkamp, Mornay Smit, Johan Grobbelaar, Gerhard Steenekamp.
Replacements: Bismarck du Plessis, Lizo Gqoboka, Jacques van Rooyen, Janko Swanepoel, Marcell Coetzee, Zak Burger, Morne Steyn, Harold Vorster.