The DHL Stormers ended their Vodacom Super Rugby season with a 27-16 victory against the Cell C Sharks at DHL Newlands on Saturday.
It was the sixth victory of the season of the season at home for the DHL Stormers, who outscored their coastal rivals by three tries to one on the night.
The home side were dominant in the first half, scoring three converted tries to the Cell C Sharks’ three penalties.
The visitors opened the scoring with a penalty from flyhalf Rob du Preez, but the DHL Stormers responded with the opening try after Josh Stander had put Damian de Allende through the gap, with the centre finding lock Cobus Wiese on his inside to gallop over and score.
The Cell C Sharks responded with two more penalties from Du Preez, which gave them a brief 9-7 lead, but the DHL Stormers hit back with two more tries.
They took the lead back through centre EW Viljoen, who went over out wide after the forwards had come within inches of scoring.
They were not done there as a bit of magic from Dillyn Leyds in his 50th DHL Stormers game put Sikhumbuzo Notshe in some space and Raymond Rhule was on hand to score the third try.
All three tries were converted by Stander to give the DHL Stormers a healthy 21-9 advantage at the break.
The Durban side got over the tryline early in the second half, with replacement wing Kobus van Wyk going over for the try to make it 21-16.
Both teams threw everything at each other to try and gain the ascendency and it would be the DHL Stormers to score next, as Stander kicked a penalty to give them an eight-point advantage heading into the final 15 minutes.
Stander added another penalty just before full-time to seal the 27-16 win and end the DHL Stormers’ 2018 campaign on a high at DHL Newlands.
For DHL Stormers:
Tries: Wiese, Viljoen, Rhule
Cons: Stander 3
Pens: Stander 2
For Cell C Sharks:
Try: Van Wyk
Con: Du Preez
Pens: Du Preez 3
DHL Stormers: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 JJ Engelbrecht, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Josh Stander, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit (captain), 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 Jan de Klerk, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensberg.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Juarno Augustus, 21 Johan du Toit, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Craig Barry.
Cell C Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 S’bu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jacques Vermeulen 6 Phillip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Beast Mtawarira, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Wian Vosloo, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Kobus van Wyk.