The DHL Stormers were unable to keep up their unbeaten run in South African Vodacom Super Rugby derbies this year, as they went down 17-25 to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Having seen off the Bulls (twice), the Lions and the Sharks up until now, the DHL Stormers were forced to play catch-up for most of tonight’s game as the hosts ran into an 18-3 lead after 26 minutes.
Tries by Dillyn Leyds and Duane Vermeulen gave the Cape side hope, however, as they trailed by just 17-18 as the final ten minutes drew closer – only for a series of missed kicks at goal to deny them taking the lead.
A Clayton Blommetjies breakaway try with 12 minutes left stretched the Cheetahs’ lead to 25-17 and that eight-point buffer proved too much in the end to overhaul.
DHL Stormers captain Duane Vermeulen said afterwards: “It’s obviously disappointing and not what we wanted, but we need to learn from games and results like this.
“Some stupid mistakes cost us and, like I said, we need to learn from this experience and continue to work harder.”
For the Cheetahs:
Tries: Van der Spuy, Benjamin, Blommetjies
Cons: Pietersen 2
Pens: Pietersen 2
For the DHL Stormers:
Tries: Leyds, Vermeulen
Cons: Catrakilis, Coleman
Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Sergeal Petersen, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Johannes Prinsloo, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Dolph Botha, 18 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 19 Steven Sykes, 20 Carel Greeff, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Francois Brummer, 23 Danie Dames.
DHL Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Juan de Jongh (vice-captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oli Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Manuel Carizza, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Huw Jones.
Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha and Rodney Boneparte
TMO: Johan Greeff