DHL Stormers flashback: Cape crusade

PUBLISHED: March 14, 2024

A historic victory against the Crusaders at Newlands was a memorable milestone on the DHL Stormers’ road to the 2010 Super Rugby Final.

Coached by Allister Coetzee and featuring stalwarts such as Schalk Burger, Juan de Jongh and future double world champion Duane Vermeulen, the DHL Stormers won nine of 13 regular-season matches.

Facing a Crusaders side spearheaded by three-time World Player of the Year winners Richie McCaw and Dan Carter, the DHL Stormers overpowered the visitors in an emphatic 42-14 victory. A capacity crowd that had braved the wintery conditions witnessed a fiery performance as the hosts showcased both enterprising play and the accurate boot of Peter Grant.

The match began with Grant slotting two early penalties and although the then seven-time Super Rugby champions responded with a converted try by Carter, the DHL Stormers remained undeterred.

Jaque Fourie’s moment of magic, weaving through tackles to score an epic try, set the tone for the Capetonians’ dominance. Grant continued his prolific kicking, extending the lead to 25-7.

Despite losing Bryan Habana to injury, the DHL Stormers maintained control. A break-out move resulted in a converted try by Fijian powerhouse Sireli Naqelevuki, securing a 35-14 advantage for the men in blue and white.

The Crusaders managed a late try by fullback Colin Slade at the corner flag to narrow the deficit, but Fourie had the final say, finishing off a splendid move that had started near the halfway line for Grant’s conversion to seal a resounding triumph.

This result marked a clean sweep for the DHL Stormers of the five New Zealand Super 14 sides that season, and boosted their confidence as they progressed to the playoffs as title-contenders.