The DHL Stormers scored five tries in a morale-boosting 41-24 win against the Melbourne Rebels on Friday, to end their Australasian tour on a high.
It was a polished performance from the DHL Stormers, as they showed great commitment and organisation on defence and then took their opportunities on attack to claim what was a comfortable win in the end.
They now return home to Cape Town after four weeks on the road in Australasia and will face the Brumbies at DHL Newlands next weekend.
The first half was characterised by a titanic defensive effort, as the visitors drove the Rebels back and kept them out admirably.
The only try of the first half came from DHL Stormers wing Dillyn Leyds, who scooped up a loose ball, slipped through a gap and then turned on the pace to score.
Flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis added the conversion and followed that up with a penalty, while the Rebels only had a single penalty from flyhalf Quade Cooper to show for their efforts in the first 40 minutes.
The home side struck just after the half-time break with an intercept try from fullback Reece Hodge which levelled the scores at 10-10.
However, the DHL Stormers kept their composure and responded with two more tries to take control of the encounter.
Replacement loose forward Juarno Augustus went over in the corner after some well-timed passes on the blindside from Leyds and fullback Damian Willemse, to put the Cape side back in front.
Leyds was instrumental in the next try as well as he wriggled through a gap before getting an offload away to inside centre Damian de Allende, who powered over for the try.
Outside centre Ruhan Nel scored the fourth try after chasing a kick and picking up a loose ball, to put the DHL Stormers in firm control.
Replacement flyhalf Joshua Stander bounced a penalty attempt from halfway off the crossbar and over to take their advantage out to 34-10.
The Rebels responded with tries from scrumhalf Will Genia and replacement Campbell Magnay to deny the DHL Stormers a bonus point, but the visitors would have the final say as Nel grabbed a late intercept and raced away for his second try which sealed the 41-24 win.
Tickets for the DHL Stormers’ next two home games at DHL Newlands following their tour against the Brumbies on 20 April and the Vodacom Bulls on 27 April are now on sale from Computicket.
Tickets are available through Computicket- either online at wprugby.computicket.com – or in-store and also from Shoprite/Checkers stores and the DHL Newlands Box Office during match weeks. Only tickets bought from wprugby.computicket.com, or any Computicket outlet will be valid at DHL Newlands. These are the only outlets which are licenced to sell tickets to DHL Newlands. Tickets obtained from any other source may not be valid.
There are more ticket options beyond the standard season ticket and matchday ticket. The DHL Newlands Faithful will be able to ‘Upgrade to Business Class’ in a special offer. The halfway line Business Class seats have been refurbished on the halfway line in Block H on the Railway Stand and holders of these tickets will also have exclusive access to the Railway Coach bars both before, during and after the match. These prime seats will cost R320 each.
For DHL Stormers:
Tries: Leyds, Augustus, De Allende, Nel 2
Cons: Du Plessis 2, Stander 3
Pens: Du Plessis, Stander
Tries: Hodge, Genia, Magnay
Cons: Cooper 3
DHL Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Ernst van Rhyn (DHL Stormers debut), 5 Cobus Wiese, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Johan du Toit, 20 Juarno Augustus, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Josh Stander, 23 Seabelo Senatla.
Rebels: 15 Reece Hodge, 14 Semisi Tupou, 13 Tom English, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Angus Cottrell (captain), 6 Luke Jones, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Robbie Abel, 1 Tetera Faulkner.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Esei Ha’angana, 20 Rob Leota, 21 Richard Hardwick, 22 Michael Ruru, 23 Campbell Magnay.